SNL unifies divided nation with political sketch

By Breanne Williams, Columnist
On November 6, 2016

Kate McKinnon and Alec Baldwin, posing as Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump respectively, ditched divisive political jargon to embrace strangers and bring a dose of levity to the toxic campaign. SPECIAL TO THE ORACLE

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump chose to forgo their normal bickering and join hands for a night of harmony and celebration in Times Square — Well, their doppelgangers on Saturday Night Live did, three days before results from Election Day. 

Thankfully, this virulent election season is almost over. In fewer than 48 hours, the country will begin planning for a four years under a new leader. Tensions are high, and the media has been milking the divide for months, with SNL setting the stage for how to properly utilize political satire.

However, the sketch comedy show took a stand Saturday fighting — with copious amounts of humor — for a unified country free of the hate and toxicity that has plagued both the primaries and the general election. 

The sketch began with the normal mud slinging between the candidates with Kate McKinnon’s Clinton stating, “Donald Trump has single-handedly ruined so much of what we American’s hold dear: Kindness, decency, Tic Tacs, Skittles, taco bowls, father-daughter dances, bright red heats, the word ‘great,’ the color orange, men.”

And per the usual, Alec Baldwin’s Trump retaliated in kind, examining the corruption and deceitfulness following the democratic nominee. Suddenly, Baldwin broke character, apologizing to McKinnon for having to lob such vicious comments her way each week and asking the audience if they feel “gross all the time about this?”

Not surprisingly, the response was a unanimous “yes.” A poll by CBS in September found 80 percent of those backing Trump claimed to be scared of Clinton. Likewise, 62 percent of Clinton supporters said they were scared of Trump.

The millions of people flocking to the polls are not doing so out of love for a candidate, like in 2008 during Barack Obama’s run for office. Instead, people are motivated purely out of fear and hatred for the opposing nominee. 

The absence of genuine admiration and devotion has created an atmosphere saturated in trepidation, causing many to long for Nov. 9, which will mark the end of this bizarre election.

SNL once again picked up on the unspoken sentiment and gave the nation what it didn’t even know it needed: a moment of solidarity and joy. 

Still fully clad as the nominees, McKinnon and Baldwin linked hands and ran off the stage out into what is notoriously one of the most diverse cities in the U.S. 

Surrounded by people of every race, religion and age, the actors began hugging strangers wearing the opposing candidate’s campaign shirts, giving each other piggyback rides, sharing pretzels and cotton candy, and practically singing Kumbaya in a circle in Times Square.

It was light-hearted and reminded citizens that regardless of who is elected Tuesday, the world will continue to turn and we will all continue to fight toward achieving the “American dream.” 

The fate of our country is in voters’ hands, but realistically no apocalypse will follow either candidate’s reign. 

McKinnon closed the sketch with a final piece of advise for voters while locked in an embrace with Baldwin. 

“We can’t tell you who to vote for, but on Tuesday, we all get a chance to choose what kind of country we want to live in,” said McKinnon. 


Breanne Williams is a senior majoring in mass communications. 

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