Brow Beat

Jon Stewart Turns a Late Show Bit About Trump’s Executive Orders Into a Rousing Call to Action

Just 12 days into the Trump administration, the president has already demonstrated a fondness for executive orders, issuing them to begin the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, reinstitute the anti-abortion “global gag rule,” and establishing a ban on immigrants from Muslim-majority countries, among others. Perhaps sensing our intense need for a laugh right about now, Jon Stewart once again emerged from the cabin in the woods where he’s been hiding to join buddy Stephen Colbert on The Late Show. There, Stewart read some alternative executive orders we might expect from the commander in chief in the weeks and months and (heaven help us) years to come.

The segment started out as a riff on Trump’s policy incoherence, with Stewart-as-Trump’s first order a demand that “to secure our border, China shall immediately, and without hesitation, send us their wall.” And he even has a plan to make Mexico pay for it: “When the wall arrives at the Southern border, we shut the lights and we pretend we’re not home.” Order No. 2 was in the same vein, establishing an official language for the United States. (And no, it isn’t English.)

But executive order No. 3 took a more serious turn, with Stewart turning it into a passionate call for resistance:

I, Donald J. Trump, do declare by executive order that I, Donald J. Trump, am exhausting. It has been 11 days, Stephen. 11 fucking days. Eleven! The presidency is supposed to age the president, not the public.

The reason I, Donald J. Trump, am exhausting is that every instinct and fiber of my pathological self-regard calls me to abuse of power. I, Donald J. Trump, want—no, deserve—not just your respect but your adoration. Parades with the tanks and the synchronized dancing, and why can’t they train 10,000 doves to spell out TRUMP in the clouds? How hard can it be? They’re already flying.

I, Donald J. Trump, am exhausting because it is going to take relentless stamina, vigilance and every institutional check and balance this great country can muster to keep me, Donald J. Trump, from going full Palpatine, with the lightning coming out of the fingertips and “fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate.”

We have never faced this before: purposeful, vindictive chaos. But perhaps therein lies the saving grace of my, Donald J. Trump’s, presidency. No one action will be adequate. All actions will be necessary. And if we do not allow Donald Trump to exhaust our fight and somehow come through this presidency calamity-less and constitutionally partially intact, then I, Donald J. Trump, will have demonstrated the greatness of America.

Just not the way I thought I was gonna.

Now we just need to sit back and await the anti-Semitic tweetstorm that will surely follow.