After a short Emmys hiatus, John Oliver's Last Week Tonight returned on Sunday night to address the happenings of the week immediately following the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. In the episode, Oliver didn't mince words while talking about everything from Amy Coney Barrett, Trump's new conservative SCOTUS nominee, to the electoral college, all in effort to address two very valid questions: "How the f--- we got here, and what the f--- we can do next."
Oliver typically approaches the terrible happenings of the world with jokes and big hand gestures, but this week he was uninterested in making light of the political situation America is in. While he couldn't resist calling Mitch McConnell "the only thing to come out of Kentucky more shameless than the KFC menu" or writing a Seussian poem for Texas Senator Ted Cruz ("I do not like that man Ted Cruz, I do not like his backward views"), he was adamant that in order to begin fixing the "deeply un-democratic" institutions in place, Democrats would have to "be willing to fight tirelessly, and with every tool and tactic at our disposal."
That said, John Oliver wouldn't be John Oliver if he didn't present some solutions. In the event Democrats take control of the presidency and both chambers of congress in the upcoming election, Oliver warned them, "There's no point getting power unless you're willing to be bold enough to use it to make significant structural change."
To begin repairing the damage that has been done by the largely white male Republican power structures, he argued in favor of abolishing both the electoral college and the filibuster, granting statehood to Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico, and setting term limits for Supreme Court justices. "The point here is, it is past time for big change," Oliver concluded.
At the end of his monologue, Oliver presented a sobering battle cry to his audience. "We're at the end of a generational battle, and the heartbreaking thing is, we lost," he said. "But the next battle has to start right now, and it will be long. We didn't get here overnight, and we won't get out of here overnight."
Last Week Tonight airs Sundays at 11/10c on HBO.