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Andy Borowitz is a Bright Light in Dark Times

My conversation with the satirical icon
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is a satirical genius whose hilarious headlines alone are enough to help us survive all of the MAGA madness. He’s a best-selling author, a comedian, a musician, and he just started his own Substack. I highly recommend you get to know more about this American hero.

There’s something special about comedy in times like these. It helps bring folks together to take a breath of fresh air.  And few people do it as well as Andy. He’s smart, funny, and relentless in his effort to call out the absurdity of Trump world through scholarly wit. That’s why I was thrilled to host him for my very first Substack interview. I hope you’ll watch and enjoy it as much as I did.

In our lighthearted and genuine conversation, Borowitz provided a clear way forward for all of us—not just to survive this election cycle, but to thrive. You might not hear a ton of jokes, but you will hear a lot of sage wisdom.

I asked Andy what he thought about the recent violent political rhetoric and the MAGA culture today. As he covers in hilarious but frightening detail in his bestselling book Profiles in Ignorance, he said, “Trump is not smart. Trump is a very ignorant, poorly informed, stupid person. However, he's very talented…he is very good at reading the thirst for violence, and the anger and the revenge, the desire for retribution, and playing off of that.”

He continued, “That's the thing that people have taken a long time to figure out. A lot of his followers like him because of how horrible he is.”

One bit of our conversation that really stuck with me is when Andy explained how the current political environment has impacted how he approaches comedy.

“Trump did change the calculus…And I think that's why I dispute people who think that Trump has been great for comedy. I think Trump's made comedy harder, because it's hard to make fun of a clown.” He explained, “So I kind of changed my approach a little bit. And rather than try to outdo Trump, I would try to take Trump's logic to its extreme and just work it out.”

I also asked Andy what his thoughts are on Trump being the GOP nominee again, despite all the reasons they had to nominate anyone else.

“What's really interesting, in recent history, you have to go back to the 1950s with Adlai Stevenson where a party has re-nominated somebody who lost,” Andy told me. “But we're not dealing with a political party anymore. We're dealing with a cult and a cult or religion really ignores facts.”

Borowitz is absolutely right. Trump is a cult leader. And defeating him is going to require every bit of energy we have from now until November. And this work is exhausting. That’s why I’m glad we have folks like Andy and interviews like these to help us refocus and recharge for the campaign ahead.

Finally, speaking of the campaign ahead—I asked Andy what advice he has for our readers to stay positive and energized despite the constant onslaught of negativity in the news and on social media. His insight is powerful:

“Even though I'm online, I'm telling people to get offline. All the evidence shows that the more we're on social media, the more we're on our phones, the unhappier we'll be,” Borowitz said.

“Another piece of advice is if you're an activist or prone to be an activist, and you want to make the world a better place, for example, you want to reelect President Biden because he believes in democracy...If that's important to you, stop being an observer, stop being an audience member, be a participant.”

Andy explained how he now serves on his local library’s board, to do his part and be a participant. He put his sage wisdom into practice, and that’s something I hope we all can try to do.

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Weekly news brief and commentary from Scott Dworkin. No fluff, all straight to the point. Features interviews with change-makers, politicians and celebs.