Jon Stewart thinks Democrats hold some level of responsibility for the rise of Donald Trump to his current status as the presumptive Republican nominee.
Stewart sat down to discuss the presidential race and American politics with former Obama senior adviser David Axelrod for a taping of “The Axe Files” podcast Monday at the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics.
He held back little while lambasting “man-baby” Trump, Republicans who stoked the flames that led to his candidacy, and network executives who he also partially blamed for the Manhattan billionaire’s rise.
In criticizing most facets of the political system, the former host of “The Daily Show” also reserved some choice words for Democrats, who he said hadn’t backed up their party’s message.
“What’s incumbent on those who believe government can make a difference in people’s lives is to try and make it more efficient,” he said. “And I think that’s where the Democrats fail in an enormous way. In their world, if you believe government can make a difference in people’s lives, well then, make the bureaucracies work more efficiently.”
Stewart questioned why President Barack Obama could sign an executive order to “kill an American citizen” in a drone strike, for instance, but couldn’t sign a similar executive order to reevaluate the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs.
“It doesn’t wash,” Stewart said. “And at some level, and I’ll lay the blame then on the Democrats. The door is open to an asshole like Donald Trump because the Democrats haven’t done enough to show to people that government that can be effective for people, can be efficient for people.”
“And if you can’t do that, then you’ve lost the right to make that change, and someone is going to come in and demagogue you,” he continued. “And that’s what happens.”
He and Axelrod engaged in a spirited discussion, with Axelrod attempting to explain that the federal government simply doesn’t work as easily as Stewart would like.