John Oliver: Americans Are Ignoring Critical Elections
Candidates are running in thousands of counties across the country for an office that affects our daily lives. If you’re wondering what that office is, that’s part of the problem, according to “Last Week Tonight” host John Oliver. The comedian dedicated a segment on Sunday’s episode to explain why county sheriffs, who are elected officials who often run uncontested and are practically impossible to depose between elections, have such a huge impact on communities. And yet, Oliver notes, most Americans probably have no clue who their local sheriff is.
Among several problematic figures, the comedian invokes the most famous American sheriff, Joe Arpaio, to whom Oliver dedicated a segment several years ago. The notorious racist was charged with racially profiling people he believed to be undocumented and was pardoned by President Trump in 2017. But Arpaio is hardly the only sheriff to abuse his office, with some officials using funds meant for feeding prisoners to enrich themselves, and others deciding to disallow officers from saving overdose victims.
“Right now we have sheriffs with a tremendous amount of authority, with low accountability,” concludes Oliver, “and that is always a recipe for disaster.”
He then pleads with his audience: “If there is sheriff’s race in your county this year, now would be an excellent time to start googling. ‘Who the fuck is my sheriff?’ “
Watch the full segment in the media player below.
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