Many people are struggling to come to terms with the reality of a Trump presidency in the immediate aftermath of his election win. Over the past week, various late night hosts have addressed the current climate and are trying to remain positive, but one in particular has come forward to demand that people remain vigilant against Trump. On last night’s “Last Week Tonight,” the last episode of the year, host John Oliver dedicated the entire episode to Trump and how best to combat the potentially negative impact his administration will have on the lives of vulnerable Americans. Watch the full episode via YouTube below.
The theme of the episode centers around the dangers of normalizing Donald Trump and how acting like he’s just like every other candidate will allow people to become complacent. “Optimism is nice if you can swing it,” says Oliver, “but you’ve got to be careful because it can feed into the normalization of Donald Trump, and he is not normal. He is abnormal.”
Over the course of a half hour, Oliver takes on Trump’s lies, his dangerous political cabinet and also the widespread failures of the media and the endless parade of fake news spread on social media. But then, Oliver demands his audience not to remain ignorant of the news or threaten to move to Canada, but instead remain here and resist.
“We’re gonna need to stay here and fight, and not just politically in four years when he’s up for reelection,” says Oliver, but constantly — monitoring legislation as it moves through Congress and fucking voting when your legislators come up for reelection in two years. But that is still below the barest minimum of what is going to be needed because for the last eight years we’ve had a president we could assume would generally stand up for the rights of all Americans, but that is going to change now. So we’re going to have to actively stand up for one another, and it cannot just be sounding off on the Internet, or sharing thinkpieces or videos like this one that echo around your bubble. I’m talking about actual sacrifice to support people who are now under threat.”
Oliver then lists a number of organizations in desperate need of funding in the coming years, including Planned Parenthood, the National Resources Defense Council, the Trevor Project, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund and more. He encourages his audience to donate because while “the sun will rise each day…the continuing rotation of the Earth should not be your baseline expectation of American society.”
He closes out the episode with a video featuring a diverse swath of New Yorkers as well as celebrities — including Amy Schumer, Weird ‘Al’ Yankovic and Larry Wilmore — to say, “Fuck you, 2016,” in part because “a Klan-backed misogynist internet troll will deliver the next State of the Union Address,” which is, to put it lightly, “fucked up.”
“Last Week Tonight” will return sometime in 2017.