In medieval life, jesters held a place of importance among the ruling class. They provided levity and entertainment to those who held the job of making difficult decisions. They were also given more leeway to speak their mind through the use of satire and through their position as buffoon.
In this crazy election cycle, it would be easy to take ourselves too seriously. You may argue the merits of one candidate or the other to the point of blows, and indeed, there are people who demand that their candidate get the position he or she deserves, otherwise they will go to “the bullet box.” Our settings have defaulted to sensitive. Make that extreme sensitive. All of a sudden, this is our “last election,” depending on the choice we make, and both sides are telling us the same thing. What are we to do?
Enter the jesters.
While we don’t have the jesters of old, we do have our comedy news teams. They are having a field day with this election cycle. The fact that we have two distasteful candidates provides them with plenty of fodder, and their satirical take on the state of the country and the world should give us a chance to step back and put things in perspective, or at least gives us one last laugh as it all goes up in flames.
During this election, Stephen Colbert has given us the Hungry for Power Games and reintroduced a version of his previous persona, much to the delight of his audience. Seth Meyers gives the candidates and their platforms A Closer Look. Samantha Bee covered both conventions and had so much material that she uploaded much of it as extra web content. Trevor Noah and John Oliver point out inconsistencies across the board and the absurd nature of the world in 2016. Heck, even John Stewart came out of retirement for this.
So while the country burns and we continue the attempt at a bucket brigade, let’s look to our jesters for respite.
But when it comes time to cast your vote, please remember… this is not a joke.