Seth Meyers Decries Mix of Incompetence, Authoritarianism, and Heartlessness in “Muslim Ban”


If you were paying attention to the news this weekend — and it’s likely that you did, given the chaos, cruelty, and ensuing protest following Donald Trump’s circuitous “Muslim Ban” of an executive order — much of what’s shared in Seth Meyers’ “a closer look” from last night will come as a recap of things you already know.

But for those who were somehow tuned out or overwhelmed, Meyers and his team provide a pretty thorough step-by-step analysis of the events of that began Friday, and continued through the weekend.

On Late Night, Meyers decried the executive order as “not only cruel and unnecessary, but also very poorly thought out.” He began by unpacking the sheer heartlessness of the ban, which led to the detention of over 100 people, including green card carrying U.S. residents. He spoke of Donald Trump’s unsettling, repeated emphasis on how “big” his “heart” is — noting that this is something most people do not have to repeat. Meyers then got into the hastiness and seeming sloppiness of the order (which was reportedly crafted by Islamophobe Stephen Miller and white nationalist Steve Bannon):

He read it aloud, like he was seeing it for the very first time. Hey man, it’s not comforting to us when you seem shocked by the stuff you’re signing. That’s the way people look before they sign the injury waiver on American Ninja Warrior.

Meyers summed it up, saying the “Trump administration has already revealed itself to be a government of incompetent authoritarians with nothing but contempt for many of the very basic constitutional principals this country has cherished since its founding.” This last bit, and really much of what Meyers is getting at, is a sentiment that seems apt, though there’s growing debate over whether the “incompetence” is part of a nefarious plan to destabilize us, is mere foolishness, or a little but of both. This first idea takes into consideration the timing of the appointment of Bannon to the National Security Council on the same weekend that everyone’s attention was turned elsewhere, and the purge of opposition within the State Department.

Michael Moore has also emphasized this possibility, tweeting:

Again, whether it’s a matter of hateful incompetence or sinister calculation, or, you know, hateful, sinister incompetence and calculation, it’s undeniable that this order is indicative of the scary activation of fear and ignorance in the Trump administration’s only week-old brand of policymaking.

Watch Meyers’ clip: