Colbert got it wrong

In the end we are all American. (SEE DESC.)

Todd Gitlin (yes, “head of the SDS” Todd Gitlin on Stephen Colbert’s election night show:

What followed Colbert’s plea for unity was a string of jokes not worth repeating. Did he mean to show that the greatness of America is that everyone feels compelled to laugh at the same lame jokes? According to CBS, this closing monologue has been viewed more than 2 million times.

Honorable Stephen Colbert: We didn’t overdose on politics. Not enough of us took politics seriously. Not enough of us troubled to vote against a grotesque parody of populist politics laced with enough racism, nativism, sexism, bullshit and lies to choke a Constitutional convention. Not enough of us resisted the systematic rollback of voting rights that choked off the votes of people of color — restrictions mounted for the first time in 2016 in 14 states, including such swing states as Virginia and Wisconsin. As Ari Berman wrote in The Nation, as “27,000 votes currently separate[d] Trump and Clinton in Wisconsin
300,000 registered voters, according to a federal court, lacked strict forms of voter ID…. On Election Day, there were 868 fewer polling places in states with a long history of voting discrimination, like Arizona, Texas and North Carolina.”

These outrages against democracy did not draw the attention of major networks.

This anti-political doctrine greases the skids for despotism.

While Colbert would have his devoted fans abandon politics until summoned again by a quivering trumpet, those who are not his fans — Republicans, not to put too fine a point on it — have arranged to take over the governments, the governorships and legislatures, in two-thirds of our states.

Two-thirds. With that control, they overthrow voting rights. With that control, they redistrict to force right-wing dominance of the House of Representatives.

To advise his hip fans to get over their retrograde interest in politics, to lighten up, to live as if hugging your adversary were the sole vitality of life, as if citizenly life were nothing more than a clogging of mental arteries — this is yahoo encouragement for the screaming me-me’s. This anti-political doctrine greases the skids for despotism. This disrespect for the common life, this indifference to truth, this counsel of surrender, Stephen Colbert, is how a republic dies.