Stephen Colbert’s Election Night Finale Was Poignant and Deeply Heartbreaking

He put jokes aside and delivered a sobering commentary.


“By every metric, we are more divided than ever as a nation,” a sober Stephen Colbert told his Showtime audience at the end of a televised election special on Tuesday night. “Both sides are terrified of the other side.”

Colbert’s whole moving monologue is worth watching from beginning to end—even though it was broadcast before the election had been officially called for Donald Trump early Wednesday morning—for its seemingly improvised portrait of a deeply partisan nation, and the comedian’s plea for post-election harmony.

“They designed an election that was meant to confuse us and bore us a little bit,” Colbert said, lamenting a time before social media seemed to divide friends and families along party lines. “But now politics is everywhere and that takes up precious brain space we could be using to remember all the things we actually have in common.”

The he added: “Now, please. Get out there. Kiss a Democrat. Go hug a Republican.”

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This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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