Saturday Night Live (SNL) is not just a comedy show. With more than 40+ years of iconic history, it also taps into the zeitgeist of American society in ways that reveal the deeper nature of current thinking. While a bitterly divided political system, and a media apparatus that keeps the public unhealthily addicted to a range of bait to keep people enraged is alive, well and thoroughly effective, there are moments of clarity that reveal connective underlying values and beliefs among the general populace.
This point was made poignantly (and hilariously) in one of last week’s SNL skits, where special guest, Tom Hanks appears on Black Jeopardy. Playing a character that many would associate as a typical, white male, blue collar Donal Trump supporter, the stage is set for an uncomfortable exchange. What we see is how these two distinctly different demographics have more in common than they think. One mutual belief that really stuck out was that both sides firmly distrust the U.S. system of government. Two such examples included A) The feeling that big business provides too much personal information to the U.S. government (thumb prints that unlock the iPhone) and B) That voting in presidential elections doesn’t matter because the system has already predetermined who will win. The latter is relevant, and on full display in this election cycle, with Trump supporters (and many Bernie Sanders supporters as well, after serious shenanigans were present during the Democratic primaries) vocally claiming the system is “rigged”, and minority voters continuing to feel disenfranchised and disconnected.
This SNL skit is highly funny while reminding us that we face a common struggle where trust in our government is at an all-time low. If we can find and strengthen these connective tissues, a powerful movement to change a system that only works for a few is indeed possible. Enjoy the video, and of course share this article!