John Oliver on What He Sees as the Most Dangerous Part of the RNC

John Oliver
The "Last Week Tonight" host took a few weeks off, but returned just in time to skewer the RNC. YouTube

Last week's Republican National Convention has been mercilessly picked apart by pundits and comedians alike—including Jon Stewart—but even though a few days have passed since Donald Trump's 75-minute closing speech (which included 24 minutes of applause), John Oliver still felt there was something left to consider. As he put it Sunday night, "It might be worth taking a few extra minutes to try and figure out what the fuck just happened."

For insight, he turned to Antonio Sabato Jr.

"I don't believe [Obama] is a Christian," the former soap opera star told ABC after delivering his speech on Monday. "I don't believe he follows the god that I love and the Jesus that I love."

"That's what I believe," he continued. "I have the right to believe that, and you have the right to go against it, but I believe it."

Oliver, meanwhile, believes the theme of this year's Republican National Convention was that believing something to be true is as good as it being true. Facts have taken a backseat to feelings, he says, or, if you will, facts have been stuff into a dog carrier that's bungee-corded to the roof.

He says people feel like Obama has "kicked them to the curb." People feel like the country is in "a bad spot." The economy feels "stuck." Americans feel unsafe. Antonio Sabato Jr. feels like Obama worships a different, lesser Jesus than that of Antonio Sabato Jr.

The most striking example of feeling trumping fact that Oliver chose to highlight was an interview with Newt Gingrich. After being told that violent crime in America is, in fact, down, the former speaker of the House scoffed, "The average American doesn't think crime is down, and does not think they are safer."

"But we are safer, and it is down."

"No, that's your view," Gingrich responded.

"These are facts."

"But what I said is also a fact," Gingrich concluded with a smile.

Of course, this isn't actually a fact. As Oliver puts it, "It's only a fact that that is a feeling people have."

Do Americans actually feel these things, though? If they do, is it because of their own experiences, or is it because Donald Trump has been telling them for the past 13 months they feel these things? It's hard to say, but we do know that some people feel this is how Trump operates: Sucker people in by creating an illusion, get what you want, and get out of the way when reality can no longer be averted and the whole thing collapses on itself.