Jimmy Kimmel is a comedian. That means he tells jokes for a living. Recently, however, the late night talk show host has ventured outside the realms of comedy and television. Now, he’s entering the realm of public policy–and we’re all worse off for it.
Making Politics Personal
It started back in May, when Kimmel used his platform to argue against repealing Obamacare. He argued that, if not for Obamacare, his son would not have gotten the surgery required to fix his heart defect. Kimmel’s story, while certainly heartbreaking, was very short on facts.
Fast forward to September, when Senate Republicans were trying to get the Graham-Cassidy bill passed. Kimmel became the face of the loyal opposition, again used his platform to rail against Republican healthcare proposals. This time, he did so in a way that was again not only short on facts, but also deeply personal. He went after Louisiana Senator John Kennedy, calling him an “inbred,” and threatened Fox News host Brian Kilmeade:
I don’t get anything out of this, Brian, you phony little creep. Oh, I’ll pound you when I see you. That is my blurb—that would be my blurb for your next book: “Brian Kilmeade is a phony little creep.”
Throughout this process he relied on talking points given to him by Chuck Schumer.
The laws of politics say you can require insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions and keep costs down, but the laws of economics do not. The bigger the government gets in health care the more power it has over the patient, which also lessens the freedom of the patient or patient’s family. These are just two arguments against greater government involvement in healthcare.
However, Jimmy Kimmel does not care. He is unwilling to admit that he could be wrong. Disagree with him, and you are in favor of his son dying.
Turning to Las Vegas
Then Kimmel turned his attention to another topic he does not understand: guns. In the aftermath of the Las Vegas mass shooting, Kimmel again went after Republicans. After using some colorful language to describe the NRA, he went after congressional Republicans saying, “They should be praying for God to forgive them for letting the gun lobby run this country.” Kimmel should now tell the abortion lobby to pray to God for forgiveness for letting them run the country, but that is another story.
He also claimed the ability to know what is in the hearts of those who disagree,
[D]eep down inside you know in your heart, you know you bear some responsibility for the fact that almost anyone can get any weapon they want and now you want to cover yourself until the storm of outrage passes.
Kimmel’s reaction to Las Vegas was common. People didn’t know the right questions to ask, but they know the answer is more gun control. Any hesitance on your part to agree is a clear sign of evil. If you oppose passing redundant or unconstitutional laws, you are an accomplice to mass murder. Do you insist on getting the facts of the case, or ask for more precise verbiage around so-called assault weapons? Or, do you simply support the Second Amendment? Same thing.
A Polarization Problem
Nobody close to Kimmel appears willing to confront him on his behavior. Kimmel has convinced himself of the righteousness of his cause; anyone who dares to challenge him, therefore, is unrighteous.
If people want to know why politics seems more divided or hyper-partisan, it is because of people like Jimmy Kimmel. Kimmel and his ilk do not know what they are talking about, but have convinced themselves that they alone are bearers of all that is good.