Stephen Colbert calls out Trump’s empty words and America’s gun culture

Stephen Colbert (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
Stephen Colbert (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images) /

Stephen Colbert shared his thoughts on how leaders like President Donald Trump and Senator Mitch McConnell can do something about gun violence.

A late night host addressing the country in the aftermath of a national tragedy has become a common occurrence. But that’s where things stand in 2019 where gun violence is more frequent and late night shows are more political. And once again, it was Stephen Colbert who delivered the most poignant message.

Following the shootings in Dayton, Ohio and El Pasto, Texas, there was more sadness, outrage, and “thoughts and prayers.” There was also the same cycle of people calling for gun control reform and another group of people saying the shootings shouldn’t be politicized.

With at least one of the shooters tied to white nationalism, many people wanted to blame President Donald Trump’s rhetoric for inciting such violence. Fans know that this has been a common topic covered in late night, with shows like Late Night with Seth Meyers calling out the president’s racism.

The Late Show with Stephen Colbert has been the biggest critic of the Trump White House. Everyone knew Colbert would address the shootings and President Trump’s subsequent press conference. The comedian delivered with a monologue that added the right level of humor to a demand for action.

Stephen Colbert isn’t buying the idea that violent video games are responsible for the increase in mass shootings. For one thing, there are no studies linking the two. Second, every other country in the world has video games but only in the U.S. are mass shootings so common. Colbert also dismisses Mick Mulvaney’s point that Americans have had guns for hundreds of years but shootings are a relatively new problem.

Instead, Colbert places much of the blame on President Trump and Senator Mitch McConnell. It is Trump’s rhetoric that stirs white nationalists and it is McConnell’s inaction in the Senate that prevents sensible laws from being passed.

It has been a tough few months for McConnell. First, he was called out by former The Daily Show host Jon Stewart for failing to act on the 9/11 first responders bill. Then he was dubbed “Moscow Mitch” on social media for not addressing legislation to protect U.S. elections. Now Colbert and others are pointing at the Kentucky senator as the reason laws on background check for gun purchases haven’t been passed.

Whether you agree with the views or not, it is clear that Stephen Colbert represents the voices of a lot of Americans. No, not everyone wants President Trump out of office or even disagrees with Trump’s rhetoric. But for those who do, Colbert has been able to distill their anger, sadness, and every other emotion in to his monologue night after night.

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The “keep politics out of late night” argument is over at this point. There are late night shows that don’t talk about politics but those like The Late Show with Stephen Colbert are not going to ignore what is going on with the country’s leaders. And it’s also clear at this point that millions of people wouldn’t have it any other way.