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Kimmel explains why there wasn’t good people on both sides, and then eventually talks about making Trump the first King of America. Seriously, just go watch the clip.

Revisiting Jimmy Kimmel’s proposal to offer Trump “King of America”

Rob Lanphier
Nov 8, 2017 · 6 min read

Shortly after the alt-right white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Jimmy Kimmel had a wonderful monologue on his show that I keep referring back to in conversations. It seems to perfectly capture the thinking of many of the 62 million people that voted for the current POTUS. A simple Youtube link is good enough for many contexts, but here’s my attempt to summarize for those that haven’t taken the time.

The first few minutes of the monologue he spends aghast at the press conference held on August 15. In the preceding days, Trump had made a weak attempt to denounce the Neo-Nazis whose recklessness resulted in one of them killing Heather Heyer, and led to the death of two police officers.

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Trump speaking about “very fine people on both sides”

On August 15, Trump instead doubled down, defending the Neo-Nazis. As Kimmel puts it: “. If you haven’t seen it, Vox provides the transcript, and C-SPAN has the video.

Around the 5:47 mark in Kimmel’s monolog, he gets to my favorite part:

I’m pretty sure this captures the rationalization that a lot of folks made when they made this vote. They don’t love or even like Trump, but disrespect government just as much, and basically figure Trump and big government deserve each other. Kimmel continues:

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Frederick Douglass in 1855, during the administration of our 14th president. Douglass lived to see many presidential administrations, but sadly, William McKinley (our 25th president) outlived Douglass by a few years. Our 45th president appreciates Douglass’ most recent work.

Kimmel then rattles off the list of things that Trump has screwed up that even supporters have to acknowledge, talking how Trump did the following:

And then Kimmel concedes that’s just a partial list, pointing out that Trump screws up royally every day (and sometimes more often). It’s hard to keep up with, which he notes. But, back inside the head of the Trump voter:

Kimmel then says “”, and makes the proposal: offer to crown him the first King of America. Make it as powerful as the Queen of England is. Give him a scepter. Build him a castle in Florida, let him play golf and watch TV all day.

I love this monologue. Kimmel implores people to watch Trump’s press conference (the whole thing). I’ll recommend the same thing about Kimmel’s monologue: go on Youtube and watch the whole 12 minutes of “Jimmy Kimmel’s Plan to Save Us From Trump”. The whole thing is astonishing (in a good way), and a better use of time than watching Mike Tyson biting Evander Holyfield’s ear off.

Kimmel has been getting well-deserved praise for his political style (see New York Times “Colbert, Kimmel and the Politics of Late Night”, also Paste Magazine noting Kimmel passing Fallon in ratings). So much of what has happened recently has had tragic personal relevance (between the health struggles of his newborn son to his long connection to Las Vegas), causing Kimmel to be an unlikely hero in 2017. Kimmel’s rise has been a product of rising in awful circumstances, and Kimmel himself is probably as surprised at anyone that his political voice is so strong now.

And yet, Kimmel’s post-Charlotte monologue was empathetic genius which isn’t forced by his personal circumstances. This clip provides a wonderful mental model to think about Trump voters which is funny, but doesn’t fall into the trap of being mean to the people that voted for him.

As I was finishing this, I realized that someone else probably had a more serious writeup of this by now. So I searched. Yup: Chris Cillizza, CNN Editor-at-large wrote: “If you missed Jimmy Kimmel’s monologue on Trump, you shouldn’t”. Emily Yahr published a transcript of the last half in the Washington Post. So, you could go read that. Or look for yet another. Or you could just watch the clip.

Seriously, just go watch the clip.

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