British comedian John Oliver didn’t mince words in his response to the victory last week of US president-elect Donald Trump.
“How the fuck did we get here?” he asked on his HBO show, Last Week Tonight, on Nov. 13. “And what the fuck do we do now?”
Then Oliver went on to offer some answers the latter question:
First of all, instead of moving to Canada or acquiescing to Trump’s leadership, Oliver said, “We’re going to need to stay here and fight.”
And not just politically in four years when he’s up for reelection. 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 who 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 can’t be just sounding off on the internet or sharing think pieces 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 suggested donating or volunteering at several organizations fighting for the rights of women, immigrants, and LGBT people (here’s our list).
And he pointed out that journalists are likely to be under threat, given that Trump has promised to cause “problems” for the media by changing libel laws. Oliver had some criticism earlier in his monologue for the press’s failure to check Trump’s rise (though he reserved his worst ire for the scourge of fake news spread widely on social media).
Still, he acknowledged that journalists’ role will be all the more important in the next few years, and he suggested buying a subscription to the New York Times, the Washington Post, or a local newspaper, as well as donating to organizations doing investigative reporting such as ProPublica.
He then went on to make a more fundamental point:
I just need to ask you one more thing. It is going to be too easy for things to start feeling normal, especially if you are not someone who is directly impacted by his actions. So keep reminding yourself this is not normal—write it on a Post-It note and stick it on your refrigerator; hire a skywriter once a month; tattoo it on your arse. Because a Klan-backed misogynist internet troll is going to be delivering the next state of the union address and that is not normal. It is fucked up.
The segment, Oliver’s last until 2017, ended with a bang—literally—as he blew up a giant sign of the numbers “2016” in a video about how absolutely terrible this year has been. New Yorkers and celebrities railed about the Syria crisis, zika, “Ryan Lochte being a douche,” and the deaths of luminaries ranging from Muhammad Ali to Prince to David Bowie. “Fuck you, 2016!” they concluded.
As he signed off for the season, Oliver didn’t dance or goof around, as he usually does. Instead he made a simple request: “Let’s all try harder next year.”