Bill Maher’s ‘prickstarter’ campaign to oust Trump shows what liberal comedians think of the average American
It’s a peculiar phenomenon of the Trump era that cable news hosts and late-night comedians have become interchangeable, with the former abandoning objectivity for snark, and the latter abandoning laughs for anti-Trump sermons.
Bill Maher is no different, and his studio audience in Los Angeles seem to lap it up. After Maher declared that Trump is “A BIG LIAR” on his Friday night HBO show, the crowd burst into whoops and cheers. Ditto when Maher accused Trump of corruption, compared him to an orangutan, and bragged about defeating a 2013 lawsuit from the then-reality TV star.
Maher then outlined an ingenious scheme to remove Trump from office: Round up a bunch of his celebrity pals – Madonna, Eminem, Jay Z, Bono, Oprah, etc. – and have them chip in a million dollars each to buy his resignation. The scheme’s name? “Prickstarter.”
“You love money, and we hate you,” Maher said, addressing Trump, to more cheers. “Singers, actors, athletes, everyone f**king hates you... and let us not forget the millions and millions of not-so-rich people who despise you too.”
But who exactly is Maher talking to? Liberals so bent on Trump-hate that they think a cadre of the mega-rich bribing the president out of office would be both desirable and hilarious? Or the average Amerian watching at home?
This average American likely doesn’t live in Los Angeles or New York, bastions of both fabulous wealth and Democratic Party support. Instead, they probably live in one of more than 2,600 counties that voted for Trump in 2016, compared to less than 500 that voted for Hillary. Sure, population matters, but the United States is a vast republic of individual states, some of whose citizens have nothing in common with the liberal multi-millionaire lecturing them on live television.
Many of these citizens live in counties and states significantly poorer than Los Angeles. They’re the same voters that chose Trump in 2016, believing he’d stand a better chance of bringing manufacturing jobs back to the US and ending the opioid crisis ravaging their communities. Though America’s addiction crisis rages on, no amount of liberal snark can undo the record low unemployment figures of the Trump era.
Though Maher is a comedian, it’s hard to imagine a group of Pennsylvania steelworkers laughing when he declared last year: “Bring on the recession” if a “crashing economy” meant the defeat of Trump. It’s hard to care about Mueller reports, scandalous tweets and impeachment inquiries when you live paycheck to paycheck.Also on rt.com Public angry after comedian Maher says 'bring on recession' even 'if it hurts people' to oust Trump
There’s only so many variations of ‘orange man bad’ that late-night hosts can repeat before the shtick wears thin. Doubly so when they’re delivered in anger and not in jest. Triply so when they have a legacy like Maher’s.
A liberal icon, Maher’s left-wing comedy was a breath of fresh air in the 1990s and early 2000s, when calls for censorship and political correctness came from those on the right. Skewering the blindly patriotic GOP in post-9/11 America was a risky game, and Maher never shied away from controversy and offense – recall his description of the 9/11 hijackers as “not cowardly.” And all the while Maher never embraced the zero-sum partisanship of the modern left. He talked with and connected with people from across the aisle, sometimes on a deeply personal level (check out any of his interviews with Ann Coulter and tell me that nothing sexual was going on).
Trump-bashing is utterly predictable, and should be the preserve of the #Resistance on Twitter and the likes of Stephen Colbert and Trevor Noah. Not Bill Maher. He’s better than this.
By Graham Dockery, RT.
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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.