This year’s election features two of the most unpopular presidential candidates ever. Given that, it’s natural to look for a viable alternative, like third-party candidates Gary Johnson and Jill Stein. When you look a little bit closer at both of these candidates, though, things begin to fall apart, as John Oliver pointed out on last night’s Last Week Tonight.
After going through some minor candidates, including Joe Exotic, who claims to run the largest private zoo for tigers, and is also, according to Exotic himself, “broke as sh—,” Oliver took on Stein and Johnson. Looking first at Stein, Oliver points out that while she claims to be the only candidate who wants to write off student debt, she doesn’t really have any understanding of the laws in place, which do not give her the power to do that.
“The president does not have that authority,” said Oliver. “You don’t want to give presidents the power to create money whenever they want to. Think about it like this: if Joe Exotic is elected, you don’t want him to be able to order the Fed to create money for the most lavish tiger-themed orgy the nation has ever seen.”
Johnson’s campaign is characterized by similar moments of misunderstanding. After Oliver slammed Johnson for his confusing and bizarrely sexual metaphor about climbing Mt. Everest, he looked at Johnson’s proposals. In looking at his plan for limited government, Oliver discovered what Johnson means by “limited.” If elected, he would eliminate the departments of education, housing and urban development and commerce, and he’s just getting started.
“Whoa there,” Oliver said. “He’s giving up government agencies left and right. This is Sophie’s Choice if she hated all of her children.” As Oliver points out, those agencies do some pretty important work, and Johnson doesn’t seem to know exactly what it is.
Oliver understands the impulse to vote for a third-party candidate, but he believes you have to have clear eyes about every candidate in the race, whether they’ve violated Mt. Everest or not. Check out the full clip above.