Howard Stern says there’s no greater issue in Tuesday’s midterm elections than “saving democracy.”
“I love this country. I love what it stands for. I know the history of the world. I’ve seen what happens when people who are authoritarians — who want to control the vote, fix the vote, and then eventually eliminate the vote — I know what that means and I know the kind of society you’d be in,” the SiriusXM radio host told listeners of his eponymous show on Monday.
“I would love to tell the people out there who think that’s not a big issue: The sad fact is you’ve never lived under an authoritarian regime,” Stern said.
“To me, there’s no more important issue on the table for these elections than saving democracy,” he added on the eve of Election Day.
“You have no idea what you have ‘til it’s gone,” Stern said as he took aim at election deniers who support former President Trump’s false claims that the 2020 presidential election was stolen amid voter fraud following his loss to Joe Biden.
Candidates categorized by States United Action as election deniers will appear on the ballot for nearly half of the country’s secretary of state races and one-third of the attorney general races, according to data from the pro-democracy nonprofit.
“I’m going to suggest to you that the things you enjoy about this country, the freedoms, they will all be gone when you elect someone who says, ‘I don’t believe the vote. F— you. We’re going and we’re taking over.’ That’s how Hitler came to power,” Stern, 68, said.
“I never thought I’d be saying this on the radio. I never thought that this would be in jeopardy,” the former “America’s Got Talent” judge said.
“Like waking up and seeing the sun shining, I always just assume [in] America, we all are in agreement that we cherish free elections.”
“As soon as someone says, ‘I believe that the… 2020 election was stolen,’ as soon as they say that — and they have no proof except they feel like it was stolen — you can’t vote for that person,” Stern said.
“I don’t care if they’re a Democrat or Republican,” said Stern, who ran as a libertarian in New York’s gubernatorial race in 1994, before dropping out after the state’s Supreme Court upheld a requirement that he would have to disclose his personal finances as a political candidate.
“This is the Republican rap now. I used to believe in the Republican Party. I had many, many candidates that I enjoyed, who I knew personally, that I can’t go along with this nonsense,” Stern said.
“You don’t hear from any mainstream Republicans anymore. And I don’t think there’s a more important issue on the table,” he said.
“I happen to think [President] Biden’s doing a good job. Do we have problems? Yeah, of course we do,” Stern said, citing Russia’s war with Ukraine, oil prices and the global economy.
“We struggle as a nation all the time with certain issues, but lo and behold, the one thing we got is our freedom — to elect assholes and kick assholes out of office. That’s the most important thing.”
“So-called evidence” and accusations of 2020 election fraud played out in court, Stern said, and judges across the country found that “everything seems to be on the up and up.”
Election deniers, Stern said, “Still go, ‘Well, we feel that they were stolen somehow.’ And yet we don’t feel the election was stolen when we win. You can’t have it both ways. So you accept your win, but you don’t accept your loss.”
“I like waking up in an America where I know that the United States senators, people in Congress and the president all believe in America — not in a dictatorship. And that’s it,” Stern said.
“That’s the only f—ing issue on the table.”