Purely Political, By James Buckley
Looks to me that Bill Maher’s exasperation with what liberalism has become could be the start of something good.
When we look back to the beginning of the end of the era of cancel culture, politically correct boycotts, preferred personal pronouns, hi-tech censorship, safe spaces, snowflakes, trigger words, speech codes, gender dysphoria, microaggressions, critical race theory, white fragility, white privilege, the holy trinity of “Equity!” “Diversity!” and “Inclusion!” along with the belittlement and harassment of everyone and everything conservative, late-night TV host Bill Maher’s recent polemic against Cancel Culture and Wokeness in general will be seen as, if not the actual turning point, but perhaps as a signal that it’s now time to fight back and to fight back vigorously.
He could be our victory at Saratoga, the acknowledged turning point in America’s Revolutionary War.
His show, called “Real Time with Bill Maher,” airs Friday nights at 10 pm on HBO. His previous talk show, called “Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher,” was anything but. Mr. Maher had become a leading spokesman for the politically correct crowd.
However, his closing monologue on last week’s “Real Time” was a “die is cast” moment for the veteran jokester. He said everything but “men can’t really become women” and offended his woke audience with one outrage after another in a tirade of absolutely incorrect language.
For example, he calls higher education in America “a racket that sells you a very expensive ticket to the upper-middle class.”
“I know that free college is a leftwing thing,” he opines, “but is it really liberal for someone who doesn’t go to college and makes less money, to pay for people who do go and who make more?”
He calls colleges “giant luxury daycare centers.”
Wondering out loud why China is “kicking our ass,” he suggests it is because “we’ve issued more undergrad degrees in visual and performing arts than in computer and information science or math.”
He holds up a chart that shows how over the past 40 years, the price of a college education has gone up many times the rate of inflation, having risen 500% since 1985, doubling every nine years. He scoffs at how the number of “A’s” given out by professors and universities has also risen, seemingly in line with cost inflation.
“Say what you want about Lori Loughlin,” he intones. “At least she understood that one good scam deserves another.”
He likens the quest — and the “need” — for advanced degrees, to Scientology, which requires students to “keep taking courses to move up to ‘The Bridge of Total Freedom.’”
He concludes his monologue by suggesting that “The answer isn’t to make college free; the answer is to make it more unnecessary, which it is for most jobs.”
In another monologue on a different evening, he castigates The Rock, Caitlyn Jenner, Matthew McConaughey and Randy Quaid for considering running for political office. He suggests in fairness that they do “have what it takes” to become president or governor or whatever: What they all have, he says, is “malignant narcissism.”
A few more of his most recent statements unveil even more unease with the liberal crowd he has tethered his career to:
“Cancel culture (which he calls ‘Stalinesque’) is real,” he says, “it’s insane, it’s growing exponentially, and it’s coming to a neighborhood near you.”
“Once upon a time,” he quips, “the right were the ones offended by everything. They were the party of speech codes and blacklists and moral panics … Well, now that’s us; we’re the fun-suckers. We suck the fun out of everything: Halloween, the Oscars, childhood, Twitter, comedy. It’s like woke kids on campus decided to be all the worst parts of a Southern Baptist.”
He ended up by calling cancel culture “McCarthyism in reverse.”
Generally speaking, a turning point is that exact moment in time when the tide begins to ebb against what was seen until then as an inevitable wave about to crash and wash up on shore: something no one could prevent, stop, slow down or resist.
What’s happening as we sleep may not be as significant as the 1805 battle of Trafalgar, in which Admiral Nelson’s fleet soundly defeated the combined French and Spanish fleets, setting up nearly 150 years of dominance of the sea for England. The June 6, 1944 landings in Normandy were certainly a turning point for the Allies, for Nazi Germany and for the rest of the world. While Bill Maher’s monologues don’t reach the heights of those turning points, his unlikely dissembling of everything woke has touched off something seriously vital to our future.
Has Bill Maher turned into a raging conservative or, gasp, an actual Republican?
But what he has done has pricked the balloon of invincibility that every liberal politician and/or idea seems to have around him or her.
I’ll close with this observation: When a deeply religious friend of mine who supported Donald Trump for president was asked why Donald Trump would be chosen to bring the U.S. back from the brink of what they saw as a disastrous Hillary Clinton presidency, my friend of the cloth responded that “God doesn’t always choose the most righteous to deliver his message.”
So the smug, condescending, arrogant uber-liberal Bill Maher, of all people, may lead us out of the current wilderness.
And not a moment too soon.