John Oliver's Favorite Part Of Voting Is Waiting In Line
The midterm elections are upon us, and, though countless millions of us don our “I Voted!” stickers and hold our breath while creeping waves of existential dread fill our souls, Last Week Tonight host John Oliver has a surprisingly optimistic takeaway from today’s exercise in democracy.
These midterm elections are the first in which Oliver is eligible to cast his vote, and, during his appearance last night on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, he earnestly expressed his feeling that, “As an immigrant who has relatively recently become an American citizen, the act of voting still means a lot to me.” The fourteen-time Emmy winner and British-born satirist got touchingly romantic about his favorite part of participating in the electoral process – waiting his turn. That must be the English patience we hear so much about.
“I did not want to vote early. I wanted to vote tomorrow when there was a queue,” Oliver told his host before Colbert quickly corrected the Britishism by reminding the dual citizen that on this side of the Atlantic, we say “line.”
Said Oliver on the experience of waiting to cast a ballot, “There are moments when you feel validated as an American, and voting is one of those moments.” In the midst of political turmoil that threatens to ruin even the most devoted idealist, hearing an immigrant’s perspective on the democratic process does inspire a degree of patriotic optimism, even when that immigrant’s own show, Last Week Tonight, gives us new reasons to panic over the state of our affairs every Sunday.
As a dual citizen, Oliver will also get to vote in the next United Kingdom general election. Colbert expressed his opinion that the privilege to hold citizenship in two countries feels unfair, to which Oliver replied with a bit of perspective, “In the days of the British Empire, it was a lot more than two, so be thankful that it’s gone down to this.”
The results of the midterm elections will start to come in this evening, and we’ll likely know which party will control Congress by the next episode of Last Week Tonight when Oliver can tell us exactly how horrific today’s events were for the future of democracy. But, just for today, Oliver and the rest of us can find respite from constant terror in the long lines at our local polling stations.
Remember, John, stay in line even if the polls close before you get to cast a vote – you wouldn’t want to miss a single moment of your precious “queue.”