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As one of this year’s honorees for GQ Magazine’s 22nd annual Men of the Year issue, Stephen Colbert addressed his thoughts on Donald Trump’s presidency and what he considers a “worse” “mistake” in U.S. history.
“America has made mistakes before this — I would say the Dred Scott decision’s still worse than what we have going on right now,” Colbert says.
Notorious for ridiculing and criticizing Trump in his broadcasts, Colbert admits that while it’s a “low bar to shuffle over,” Dred Scott is a faulty American decision that takes the crown over Trump.
“Trump is better than the Dred Scott decision,” Colbert tells the magazine. “Trump’s election is a stone thrown into the pond that just will never stop rippling. I think it’s going to be generations before we recover from whatever it is he’s doing.”
Unsure as to whether the nation will truly recover from a Trump presidency, the late-night host emphasizes that the “moral philosophy” of the country has been “completely abandoned.”
“I hope that we will. I don’t know how. I don’t know how we recover from choosing that man to be the leader of this country,” Colbert explains. “I don’t know how we recover our ethical or moral standing in the world, because this is an abdication of an American moral philosophy. We’ve completely abandoned it.”
He adds, “Seeing Donald Trump represent the United States is like hearing little children say filthy words. It shocks you and makes you wonder how this came about,” Colbert says.
Colbert also reflects on his 2015 interview with the man who would be president, calling Trump a “boring guest.”
“Trump is actually kind of a boring guest,” Colbert says. “He put his hands in his lap like a little boy, and he was very, very safe. Obviously, there’s an element of fear of making a mistake — what’s he going to get out of the interview if he’s too entertaining?”
Colbert’s Late Show may be politically centered but the host hopes to find “community” through his show.
“I want to give people the benefit of the doubt. Even the president! When he started, I said, “Give him a chance, but not an inch,” Colbert says.
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