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'Last Week Tonight' And America's Obsession With Desperate, Mediocre White Men

By Emily Cutler | Last Week Tonight | September 11, 2017 |

By Emily Cutler | Last Week Tonight | September 11, 2017 |

There have been plenty of jokes about how Donald Trump’s parents should actually be blamed for our current political situation. If only they’d shown him the love and validation he so clearly craves, or maybe if they’d allowed him to face the consequences of his actions unmitigated by their wealth and power, we might not be here. And while the elder Trumps might be responsible for raising an ego-maniacal child with no understanding of his own limitations and an unquenchable thirst to have people love him, they sure as shit aren’t responsible for the sixty-million or so votes that put him into office.

So what we have as a country is a bigger question: why are we currently so obsessed with mediocre white men who are desperate for validation and fame? I ask this question now because Jesus Christ, Joe Arpaio, the stink of need coming off you is overwhelming.

He had a reality show? Really? With its own catchphrase? Because simply subjecting inmates to inhumane treatment on a daily basis isn’t enough? We have to make it into sport now?

How did this guy even get elected as sheriff? He’s bad at doing his job and is awkward and off-putting? Sign me up! Seriously, Joe, why the singing? I sing about as well as you do, but if forced to sing on camera, I’d like to imagine I’d play it up a bit. Then again, I suppose we can’t all have the state presence of a fresh-faced William Hung.

Now despite my personal opinions on Joe Arpaio (he’s a goddamn monster), I’m not really here to take cracks at him. I’m here to ask, what the hell are we thinking? Is our investment in white supremacy so deep that we’re willing to accept this? A man whose desires clearly dwarf his abilities to such an extent that he made a career based on being an asshole? And we went along with it? Because believing that telling an inarticulate, charismatic white guy asshole that he simply doesn’t have the ability to reach the levels of fame and adoration he desires is more unjust than torturing people of color for crimes they haven’t yet been convicted of? This is what we’re doing now? Seriously?

Oh, wait, right. Yeah, Trump is president. Clearly this is what we’re doing now.