Election Subversion: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver | Transcript

With midterm elections approaching, John Oliver discusses what happens after the votes are in, how some elected officials might try to negate legitimate election results, and which teletubby would taste best.
Election Subversion: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
Season 9 Episode 28
Aired on November 6, 2022

Main segment: Election conspiracy theories and attempts to overturn the 2020 and 2022 United States elections
Other segment: Acquisition of Twitter by Elon Musk
Guest: Nick Offerman (as a parody of Mike Collins)

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[Cheers and applause]

John: Welcome, welcome, welcome, I’m John Oliver thank you so much for joining us, it has been a busy week which started in spectacular fashion with Heidi Klum delivering this masterpiece of a Halloween costume.

Hey, Heidi, how are you?

I’m great. How are you?

Just hanging around or laying around?

You know, just laying around. Just worming around, you know.

John: Spectacular. Just very good. From the level of detail, to the response “just worming around”, to the fact that she was later filmed dancing in the worm costume. And it’s both impressive and depressing that she’s a better dancer in that suit than I am completely unencumbered. It’s a good lesson for all of us: try and be as good at anything in your life as Heidi Klum is at Halloween. Obviously, though, there was other news this week, from Lula defeating Bolsonaro in Brazil’s runoff election, to Elon Musk making big moves as he starts running twitter, and potentially into the ground. Advertisers are already stepping away from the platform, and half of the company’s work force was reportedly eliminated, with some painting a pretty bleak picture of what it’s like inside the company.

So the most important thing that twitter employees want to stress is that the company is a nightmare right now and you cannot work there. And the website is built on sticks and it might fall apart.

John: Wow. “It’s a nightmare built on sticks and the whole thing might fall apart.” That sounds less like the description of a vital communication platform, and more like two of the little pigs talking shit about their middle brother’s house. But we’re actually going to dive straight in to our main story tonight, which concerns a voting. Practice that was once sold to youth with the slogan, vote or die, and given the state of politics right now, for the first time, I’m requesting more information on the second option. Specifically, with the midterms now just two days away, we wanted to focus on a dangerous trend among republican candidates — denying the legitimacy of the last election.

The fake news, big tech and blue state liberals stole the election from president Trump.

The 2020 election was a totally rigged election.

In fact, quite frankly, every election since I think George Washington, there’s been some kind of a defect in the system.

You could say Biden won the presidency kind of like O.J. is innocent. It’s the same kind of-

John: I’ll say this — those people are ridiculous, but they’re having a really good time! Check out this guy! I’ve never been as happy as he is hearing an O.J. Simpson joke in 2021. And I have two children. And the thing is, those people are not alone — a majority of republican nominees for house, senate, or key statewide offices this year deny or question the 2020 election results. And some, like this guy, deny it while trying to add a bit of spectacle:

Hey, Mike Collins, here, your pro-Trump America first trucker, running for congress here in Georgia ten. Well, I understand Joe Biden was in town yesterday to talk about our elections. It seems that he and Kamala Harris called anyone who disagree with the federal hijacking of this election “a racist.’ Well, Joe, I got some news for you. Let me tell you what Georgians really believe. See, Georgians are sick and tired of weak-kneed, spineless politicians who won’t fight for Trump, get to the bottom of 2020, and fix our elections. Well, if they won’t do it, Mike Collins will. Send me to Washington. [The explosion]

John: Okay, too many things to get into there. Your brain wants to focus on “pro-Trump America first trucker but then wonders, “why is he dressed like the world’s angriest target employee? Before noticing, “wait, is that a garbage can labeled “voting machine?” Then also labeled “cast ballot’, as if they knew the first label wasn’t convincing anyone, but thought the second one might? Then it takes a minute to focus on the subtle but unmistakable edit point before the explosion, breaking the illusion that was shot in a single take, then finally your brain says, “hey, he opened with “Joe Biden and Kamala Harris think I’m a racist;’ did he ever close that loop or nah?” And brain? Anyway, that man’s completely ridiculous, and given the district where he’s running, he’s almost certainly going to win on Tuesday. But it’s worth dwelling on the promise that he, and those other candidates, are making — that they’re going to “fix our elections.” Because that speaks to a real problem, which is that a troubling number of election deniers are running for jobs that can play key roles in administering elections in their states. In fact, over half the country has an election denier running to oversee their elections, and many of them are expected to win. And look: we’ve talked before about voter suppression on this show, whether that’s through voter id laws, felony disenfranchisement, gerrymandering, or restrictions on mail-in voting. But those tactics all take place before you cast your ballot. Tonight, we’re going to focus on election subversion — which typically happens after the votes are in. It’s a strategy to negate legitimate election results by simply refusing to accept them. Trump famously tried to subvert the last election. And some current candidates are promising, if elected, they’ll be able to guarantee a certain result in the future.

Jim Marchant.

America first secretary of state coalition. And if they win, he’s been pretty clear about what that would mean.

When my coalition of secretary of state candidates get elected, we’re gonna fix the whole country and president Trump is going to be president again in 2024!

John: Yeah, no wonder Trump likes that message. Also it probably doesn’t hurt that it’s coming from a guy who looks like a smaller, paler version of him. Look at that man. He looks like the Pokémon that Trump evolves from. So if the plan is this overt, and with potential consequences this dire for this election and beyond, tonight, let’s talk about election subversion. And to understand what we’re facing, let’s revisit — briefly — some of the chaos following the last election. As you undoubtedly remember, after Trump’s loss, he tried a lot of tactics to swing things back in his favor, including calling Brad Raffensperger, the secretary of state of Georgia, to ask him for one small favor.

So look, all I want to do is this. I just want to find, uh, 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have because we won the state.

John: It’s still incredible to hear that, and a cold chill ran down my urethra merely hearing his voice again, seemingly forgetting, at one point, both how many votes he needs, and the word “votes.” It’s amazing to listen to someone attempt a coup with the same focused energy of a dad struggling to remember his family’s McDonald’s order. “Yeah, um, can I get a spicy. Crispy, “crunchy?” Chicken and uuuuh. Two. Do you have something called “son of baconator’ here? Are you the whopper place or are you the other one? Yeah, I’m in the wrong place, okay got it, fuck me.” Now, thankfully, Raffensperger declined Trump’s request, which left him to fight his battles in the courts — where he lost over sixty lawsuits challenging the election results. He then famously tried at the last minute, to bully mike pence into refusing to certify Biden’s win, including a phone call where Trump called him a wimp, and “the p word.” Which I know is supposed to be pussy but to be honest, “the p word sounds like the phrase Geppetto’s therapist uses to talk about Pinocchio. And while I’m sure you remember all that, there were also smaller, much lesser-known incidents where people further down the chain also tried thumbing the scale — like in Wayne County, Michigan, where Trump supporters raised bullshit claims about voting irregularities in Detroit, and a republican member of the county board of canvassers there proposed this simple solution.

I would be open to a motion to- to certify communities other than the city of Detroit.

That move outraged the democrats on the board, and speaker after speaker on the board’s public zoom meeting.

You have extracted a black city out of a county, and you have said the only ones that are at issue is the city of Detroit, where 80% of the people who reside here are African-American.

John: I understand why he’s upset. Generally, when a white person says “I have a compromise and starts doing electoral fractions that count black people less, those haven’t been great moments for democracy. Now she later claimed that she merely wanted more investigation of those Detroit votes before she’d agree to certify them. And while, after pushback from Michigan’s governor and secretary of state, she ultimately voted to certify Biden’s win, after Trump called her and a fellow republican board member, they both tried — unsuccessfully — to rescind their votes. Meanwhile, a few days later, at Michigan’s state canvassing board, there was a similar stalemate. Its four members were evenly split between democrats and republicans, one of whom refused to certify Biden’s win. Which meant it was all on this guy to do the right thing, which, thankfully, he did, with this little speech.

As John Adams once said, we are a government of law, not men. And this board needs to adhere to that principle here today. This board must do its part to uphold the rule of law and comply with our legal duty to certify this election. I will be supporting the motion. And that was it. A boring guy with glasses quoting John Adams to uphold democracy. I’m just saying — get Bradley Whitford in there and some stirring music, you’ve got the kind of scene that would make Aaron Sorkin cum until he passed out. And the thing is, those are clearly just two very local examples. But in state after state, we were very lucky that a small group of individuals in key positions stood firm. Arizona’s republican governor Doug Ducey was literally in the middle of certifying his state’s win for Biden, when he got a phone call from Trump, but put his phone aside, and continued signing the paperwork. I have to say: watching someone screen your call is one of the most devastating things a human being can possibly experience and I’m so glad it happened to Donald Trump. So to recap: the guardrails that protect our democracy were heavily tested in 2020, and while some major weaknesses were exposed, they thankfully held. But since then, there’s been a concerted effort to attack the people and institutions that got in Trump’s way, shifting the landscape in ways that could make future subversion attempts even more dangerous. For one thing, the fervor around election fraud has been stubbornly persistent, with a recent poll showing sixty-one percent of republicans believe Joe Biden only won due to voter fraud. Which is just ridiculous, given that — again — there’s no evidence of that. Multiple states had exhaustive recounts. This has been litigated. This just isn’t one of those unknowable things that will never get resolved like which one of the Teletubbies — when cooked properly — would taste best. That we’ll never know! I know what you’re thinking, because it’s what I’m thinking, too. Should we all say it at once? Po. Exactly. Of course it’s po. Every one of us is pretty sure that on a rainy day in January absolutely nothing would taste better than some braised po over rice. With some ginger? With some wine?! Of course everyone’s pretty sure that a po that simmers for an hour and a half after getting properly blanched and caramelized would melt in your mouth on that January Sunday, yum. But pretty sure isn’t sure, is it? We’ll never definitively know because you can’t eat Teletubbies — there are laws, apparently — so all we’re left with is gut instinct. Unlike election results, which are actually verified. Sleep with one eye open, you tasty plump clown, or I’ll have your thick salted thighs for my Christmas feast. But the thing is, if you’re not a regular consumer of conservative media, you may not realize the extent to which “Biden stole the election” has taken hold, and on the basis of incredibly flimsy evidence — perhaps best exemplified by 2000 Mules, a “documentary from conservative bullshit artist Dinesh D’Souza, which is wall to wall nonsense.

The 2020 elections were one of the most corrupt in history. See the proof for yourself.

We tracked 2,000 mules making multiple ballot drops.

2000 Mules — the shocking new movie from Dinesh D’Souza.

Philadelphia alone, we’ve identified more than 1100 mules.

What is a mule?

A person picking up ballots and running them to the drop boxes.

This is not grandma out walking her dog. Bad background, bad reputations.

John: Ooh, so intense! Mysterious hand-offs in dark alleys, people with bad reputations — it’s nice that we finally have an answer to the question “what if the wire was created by virgins?” The central idea of the movie is the claim there were vote mules who repeatedly visited ballot boxes and deposited suspect ballots — and that Dinesh and his friends have identified them, using cellphone data. It’d take the rest of this show to debunk the movie’s claims point by point, but very quickly: there is no way by just using cellphone data to know whether someone visited a drop box or was just in the vicinity of one, particularly since those boxes were installed in high-traffic areas. Meanwhile, the only map that seems to show someone driving around dumping ballots is fake, and another map supposedly showing a drop box site is actually a stock photo of Moscow, with a third one just the same Moscow map again but rotated ninety degrees. And finally, the whole theory rests on these mules repeatedly going to multiple drop boxes, but while they show lots of footage of drop boxes within the movie, none of them show the same person more than once. Instead, the filmmakers breathlessly scrutinize footage for clues they claim — with zero proof — are evidence of crime, including voters wearing gloves — y’know, during a pandemic — or taking photos as they deposit their ballot. I’m going to show you a full minute from the movie where they work themselves up over absolutely nothing.

Okay, the next one.

Yeah. Let me show you dog guy. So dog guy. Middle of the day. This is actually at a polling place. So the people in line are waiting to go in and vote early. They’re doing it the right way. Okay, now-now you’ve got some other people gonna walk up. This lady doesn’t care. But this guy, this next guy cared. He’s watching the whole thing. That guy looks and talks to him.

He’s got the ballots under his arm already, now he’s got the rest that he pulled out of the bag.

And he’s going to get his camera ready to take the pictures as he puts them in there. If you consider the brazenness of this, right, this is the middle of the day. There’s people sitting there watching you cheat. People that are doing it the right way.

But it’s difficult for them to know what to do except observe and maybe say what’s going on? What did I just see?

They wonder, what does this all even mean? If this is happening in broad daylight and nobody is doing anything to stop it?

John: But that’s not damning evidence. That is fully not anything. It is just someone voting. And we need to be absolutely clear on something, the guy in line that they’re talking about? Who’s supposedly shocked about the voter fraud he’s witnessing? He’s looking at the dog. As anyone would. The only reason I can focus on what’s going on there right now is because they, thankfully, blurred the dog, otherwise I, like him, would be gawking at it and asking who’s a good boy until the polls closed. This movie is astonishingly dumb, but has a real following. Fifty candidates have promoted or cited it. And it — and conspiracy theories like it — have whipped up a sea of pervasive distrust. With deniers now channeling that fever to burrow in to every level of the election process. Take the very lowest one, precincts — small, neighborhood-level units centered around polling places. Political parties organize in precincts, and local governments hire and recruit poll workers there. Trump’s allies have been working hard to make sure they’re well-represented at that level — particularly Steve Bannon, pictured here — drowned — who has made his precinct strategy a constant refrain:

What we need right now the way the republican party is structured is that you can go to a precinct become a precinct committeeman and then you’ve got real- then you’ve got real standing.

We’re building an army of the awakened and we are taking over precinct strategies, we’re taking over election boards, canvassing boards we’re flooding the zone with poll workers, poll watchers, election judges, people in the room. It’s going to be MAGA in the room, counting the votes, because only MAGA can count fair.

John: Okay, set aside “only MAGA can count fair” — just spare a moment for his room décor, which features an actual sign reading “there are no conspiracies, but there are no coincidences” a quote attributed to Stephen K. Bannon. And while you might think there’s nothing douchier than quoting yourself, it turns out, you’re wrong — it’s doing that while also slyly trying to give your name a fancy makeover. “Stephen K. Bannon”? Please, Steve. No one’s buying that. Plus, we looked and the k is for Kevin. You’re just making your name even sadder. But Bannon’s strategy seems to have paid off. Propublica found last year that, in 41 key battleground counties, there were at least 8500 new republican precinct officers or equivalent officials, with no similar surge from the democrats. Bannon and other republicans have also been encouraging people to take on jobs in polling stations, while issuing some troubling advice. At one training session for poll workers and watchers in Michigan, run by a republican activist group, participants were told to call 911 and contact sheriffs to involve law enforcement in any election-related complaints. Which isn’t great. You should clearly only call 9-1-1 with an actual emergency, like a car accident or a break-in or when someone takes off their shoes “and socks on a plane. “Hi, yes, I know we’re in the sky, but I’m asking you to get a police helicopter and shoot. Us. Down.” And if you’re thinking election supervisors won’t stand for shenanigans like that, you should know — many have been driven away. One investigation found that in five highly contested battleground states, roughly one in three top election administrators left the job after the 2020 election. And when you consider the kind of personal messages some received last time, you do understand why they might not want to do it again.

This election is f-ing rigged. You all know it. And you are complicit as f.

You lied. You’re a traitor. Perhaps cuts and bullets will soon arrive. Gave my address.

Hey, rick. 234 Years ago, the founding caucasian fathers of america gave us the second amendment. Time’s running out, richard. We’re coming after you and every motherfucker that stole this election with our second amendment, subpoenas be damned. You’re going to be served lead, you fucking-fucking enimal-enemy communist —

John: Holy shit, those are horrifying. And founding Caucasian fathers is a hell of a phrase. Because it either comes from the mouth of a racist, or someone with strong opinions on the casting decisions in “Hamilton”, because they are racist. Reuters actually identified more than 900 threats made against election administrators since the last election. So it’s no wonder so many qualified people are leaving. And their replacements are sometimes troubling. Take Nye County, Nevada, where their top county election official was replaced by this guy, Mark Kampf, who’s not only said he believes Trump won the 2020 election, he’s also promoted “2000 mules”, and has amplified some of the baseless hysteria around dominion voting machines. And look — we’ve addressed voting machines before on this show. They do have some vulnerabilities. But importantly, those vulnerabilities can be counteracted by having a physical paper trail, and doing risk-limiting audits after the fact. Also there’s no proof that any machines have ever been compromised in a U.S. election. But Kampf defends election deniers — and won’t budge on it when pressed.

If you don’t believe the system was legitimate in 2020 and created an error where 30,000-plus votes were not counted in the state correctly, isn’t that problematic?

I don’t see as being problematic at all, because I’m trying to increase voter confidence in the election.

In the election space, the machines that count go through multiple layers of security. They are not connected to the internet. And this is regulated throughout the country.

That’s-that’s a perspective. There are a lot of people-again, the voters in this county don’t believe that. And whether it’s true or not, their perception is their reality.

John: Wow. Whether it’s true or not, their perception is their reality. I gotta say, that’s a risky stance for a guy whose name is almost Mein Kampf. Again, it’s literally not, but I’ve seen his name written down hundreds of times while working on this piece and every time, my brain autocorrects it to Mein Kampf and, eventually, my perception will become reality. I’m just saying, if my last name were Kampf, I definitely wouldn’t give my baby a four letter name that starts with an m. It’d be like meeting someone named earl harbor. It feels like their parents went out of their way to fuck with them and all of us. Kampf has suggested that all ballots should now be hand-counted. But experts will tell you that, while hand counting is an important tool in recounts and audits, as a way of verifying the machine count, tallying entire elections by hand would cause chaos and make results less accurate, not more. And sure enough, early voting in that county has been a spectacular mess, with the A.P. people spending about three hours each counting 50 ballots, with mismatched tallies leading to recounts, and occasionally more recounts, and one volunteer lamenting, “I can’t believe it’s taking two hours to get through 25 ballots.” Yeah — if only there was a machine that could help you guys with that. And that’s just one election denier at a low level wreaking havoc. We could be in for a lot worse. Arizona, a state Biden won by an extremely narrow margin, but thanks to their then-governor doing one of the most brutal call-screenings of all time, things proceeded smoothly. But he’s on his way out now, and the republican nominee to replace him is running ads like this.

Hi, Arizona, I’m Kari Lake, the Trump-endorsed candidate for governor. If you’re watching this ad right now, it means you’re in the middle of watching a fake news program. You know how to know it’s fake? Because they won’t even cover the biggest story out there, the rigged election of 2020.

John: Okay, except every bit of that is wrong. The election wasn’t rigged, and the news did cover both the recounts and the lawsuits. Plus, if you just saw that ad for the first time on this show, you’re clearly not watching it on a fake news program, you’re watching it because you left the tv on after white lotus. That is what is happening right now! And that ad — which includes footage from “2000 mules by the way — is actually tame compared to some of the other things Lake’s said. Because she’s called for the imprisonment of the current secretary of state, and said that, if she didn’t win her primary, it’d be because “there’s some cheating going on.” And then after winning it it’s because her supporters simply “out-voted the fraud.” Which is basically, “if I lose it’s rigged, if I win it’s fine.” Meaning she’s approaching elections with the same objectivity and nuance of a five-year-old inventing a game in real time. “The rules are simple; whoever has the most tokens wins, unless you have the most tokens, then it’s who can hold their breath the longest, unless you can, then it’s a jumping contest.” But it gets worse for arizona, because the republican nominee for secretary of state is mark finchem — who, as you can see, wakes up every day to cosplay as a cowboy accountant. And he seems pretty unlikely to willingly certify a democratic win in his state, given that he’s said this.

Would you ever accept that a democrat could win arizona, or would you just not think that’s possible?

I have a hard time believing that’s possible. Everywhere I go, the vast majority of people still show support for president Trump.

But that might just be because you are going to places where there are supporters of donald Trump. Is there any chance a democratic candidate for president can win arizona in 2024?

No, no, no.

John: I genuinely don’t know what’s more annoying there, the fact that he answered a legitimate question with a prop, or that he apparently tells people no so often he needed a special button for it. Although between that, his talking Trump doll and his novelty desk sign, it’s slightly heartwarming to know that a spencer’s gifts in arizona is staying afloat thanks to the compulsive purchases of one supremely weird individual. But the thing is, quiet earp over there has openly told supporters in a fundraising email that, if he had been in power in 2020, “we would have won. Plain and simple.'” And in a debate, even brainstormed one scenario of how that could’ve happened.

Knowing what we know today, there are certain counties that should have been set aside as irredeemably compromised. Maricopa county was one of them. Yuma county was one of them. We have so many votes outside of the law. That it begs the question, what do we do with an election where we have votes that are in the stream but should not be counted? If you can’t find the individual who is engaged in that behavior, perhaps that county has had a defective election.

John: yeah — he just laid his plan out. Step one: identify two large counties which, if removed from the count, would hand the election to Trump. Step two: remove them from the count. Now, is that a conspiracy to steal the election? Well, as we now know, there are no conspiracies, but there are also no coincidences, in the famous words of one stephen kevin bannon. And here’s the thing: any one of the people you’ve seen so far would be bad in the wake of an election, but in combination, things could get “rough.” Because there “are protections against one rogue official refusing to sign off on an election. They could be sued, and if they refuse, they could be held in contempt of court. But experts warn that the ability of a governor or secretary of state to reject certification are significantly enhanced if others up and down the chain are of a similar mind. And to understand a potential worst-case scenario, let’s put some of the people you’ve seen tonight into a chain. Let’s start with partisan poll workers, inspired by steve bannon, deciding they’ve seen something fishy, and calling 9-1-1. They then kick their claims up to a county clerk like this guy — who’s maybe willing to amplify a perception that’s not a reality. That raises enough of a stink that people at the county board of canvassers or the state board refuse to sign off on the results. And then, the secretary of state takes their side — refusing to certify the results, or even arguing that the results from certain counties are so flawed that the county’s election has “failed”, and therefore can not be counted. In that scenario, experts say, a republican state legislature could point to supposed “irregularities in the conduct of the election, and choose their own slate of electors, to deliver a different result. And at this point, the law is a little fuzzy on what could happen next. Because, under the electoral count act of 1887, if the state sends two rival slates of electors and the house and senate disagree on which one is valid, the ones sent by the state’s governor gets counted. Which could be this person. Now, there would undoubtedly be lawsuits, and maybe the supreme court would step in, but also y’know, seeing as one of the justices has a wife who was part of the last attempted coup, maybe not. And I know this all sounds dramatic, and I don’t want to be too alarmist. I don’t mean to sound like chicken little here. I mean, I don’t mean to look like him either, but some things are out of our hands. Because the odds of Kari Lake unilaterally picking our next president are thankfully slim. But the odds of her, and others like her, being able to create a complete mess, are significantly higher. Because everything we’ve talked about tonight has the capacity to overwhelm our system, making it harder to certify elections quickly, leading to confusion, which sows doubt in the process, which in turn causes absolute chaos. Which is worrying, given that we’ve all seen what confused but motivated people are capable of doing when they think the process is broken. And we may not have to wait until 2024 to see that chaos unfold, as the midterms themselves are turning into a clusterfuck. Vigilantes are already turning up as unofficial poll watchers at voting drop boxes. Meanwhile, some very prominent voices on the right have been priming people to contest any result on tuesday that’s not a republican win.

The democratic party has such contempt for voters and for democracy itself and so much confidence in its ownership of the media and of big tech that it no longer has to try to win your votes. They can even run mentally defective candidates who can barely speak and not only expect them to win but expect you to accept the outcome, no matter how transparently absurd it is.

John: I get that Tucker Carlson is basically Cocomelon for bigots, but that’s gross even for him. From calling a stroke victim mentally defective, to putting “win” in heavy quotation marks — and for the record, one of the big clues that these conspiracy theories are bullshit is that so many of them are predicated on the belief that the democratic party is well-organized. Who on earth is stupid enough to buy that bullshit? So: what can we do here? Well, there are some obvious steps that we could take. On the federal level, we have to fix the electoral count act — the law whose vagueness allows for a lot of the fuckery I’ve just described. Both the house and the senate actually have bills that have bipartisan support and would, among other things, close the failed election loophole that might allow a partisan governor or state legislature to send whatever electors they choose.

Mitch McConnell’s supported the senate version, so it actually might have a chance to pass. That’s the one piece of good news in this entire piece, so I suggest you savor it. But that’s clearly not enough. Long term, we still need comprehensive voting rights reform. Which is something we need to prioritize and fight for. But the first step, and I know this is going to be infuriating to hear, is for you to vote. We’ve talked a lot about how part of the reason Biden’s victory wasn’t stolen from him was thanks to the diligent work of a few people in key positions. But don’t forget the first part of why that was possible — a lot of people fucking voted. And I get how ludicrous it sounds for someone to say “fix the significant roadblocks keeping your vote from counting, by voting.” I hear it, I promise I do. Particularly if you’re a member of one of the many communities — like black voters, the disabled, the formerly incarcerated, and low-income communities — who’ve long been sounding the alarm about this shit. And voting’s not going to be enough on its own. At every level of the process, we need people to show the same level of enthusiasm for preserving our democracy that others are demonstrating for dismantling it. And I’m not saying it’s going to be easy to match the energy of people fueled by bullshit documentaries, flat-out lies, and the occasional exploding trashcan. But it is really important to try. And to that end, we have a message that we’d like you to hear.

♪ ♪

Hey, nick offerman here. Actor, author, woodworker, and a man who can actually pull off a short sleeve polo shirt without looking like my mommy picked it out for me. And this is a trash can. I’ve labeled it trash can because it is a trash can. I actually labeled it twice so there won’t be any mixups but obviously that’s unnecessary because we are all adults who do know the difference between a trash can and a goddamn damn voting machine. Republican extremists have been running their dry mouths claiming any election in which they receive less votes in the opposition must be rigged to. I’ve got some news for you. Actual patriots are sick and tired of shameless opportunistic charlatans who invent dangerous conspiracies, peddled mendacious propaganda, and worse sensor good, good dogs. If you are afraid to show a dog’s face, by god I’m not. There. Who’s a good boy? You can’t stop us from showing dogs just like you can’t stop us from voting. We are going to do it not because it’s fun, because it’s not really fun, but because it’s the right thing to do, america. And guess what? We are going to look at one fuck a lot better than you while we do it. One shot, cuts.

[The explosion]

[cheers and applause]

Vote! That’s our show, thanks for watching — see you next week. Good night.

♪ ♪

Sweet boy. You beautiful guy.


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