Sriteja Yedhara unpacks how the power of political satirists is much more influential that most of us would think.

This is why we see Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert as symbols, rather than comedians. Their ability to mock politicians, newscasters, and the common people elevates them to a level of power contributing to a system of elitism. The voice of the satirist used to be used represent the voice, and grievances, of the people, but now satire only represents the voices of the few public figures lucky enough to use the platform to share their ideas. Now, their voice is heard in place of, or over, that of the common person.

Modern day satirists promote the idea of the idiot common person; the satirists are elevated above their audiences. These relationships reinforce societal ideas and political structures, like the Electoral College; essentially a buffer to keep the common people quiet under the guise that their voices are being funneled into an organized system more powerful than any single voice or alternative combination of voices.

When satirists have the power, the people do not. This phenomenon is so deeply ingrained into our social systems, we hardly recognize it.

Make your voice heard, or the #JokesOnYou




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