Bill Maher offered a pretty solid critique of wokeness on his show last week. If you missed that 8-minute segment you can watch it here. Today, Variety published an interview with Maher in which he was asked about some of these topics, starting with free speech.
You’ve had some pretty provocative guests on “Real Time” over the years, like Milo Yiannopoulos and Ann Coulter. Many argue that these people have dangerous opinions, and that it’s irresponsible to give them a platform on your show. How do you respond to that?
I don’t agree with it. Platforming… It’s a form of censorship. It’s a form of clamping down on free speech. I don’t think we teach civics or history anymore. So I don’t think a lot of people, especially the younger generation, even understand free speech or why it’s so important. What they have been steeped in is sensitivity and not having to endure too many moments where they encounter something that they don’t already agree with, or that makes them uncomfortable. That is not what college should be. It’s not what the free press should be.
Eventually, the interviewer asks him about the next presidential election.
What do you view as the Democrats’ biggest problem heading into 2024?
The biggest problem with the Democrats is their woke baggage. I think the Democrats could easily win every election if they didn’t do the kind of things that make people go, “Oh my god, this is the party of no common sense.” Stop talking about pregnant men and stuff that makes people go, “Who are these f**king people? What are they talking about? Men don’t get pregnant.” It’s the stuff that makes them very vulnerable because it’s very close to home. The environment is an issue, and democracy is an issue, but those are rather vague in a lot of people’s minds. [Imitating the average American parent] But when my kids come home from school and they’re telling me things that are going on in the school that I don’t agree with, or the teachers think that they have more say in my child’s life than I do as the parent… that kind of stuff that’s going on in this country. Stuff about race and gender and personal stuff. That’s very up close to people.
Not only is he probably right, he’s basically repeating the advice elected Democrats have been giving their own party for some time already. Back in March of this year Democrats held a strategy retreat at which Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney of the DCCC offered some advice.
“Talk like real people.” Don’t “sound like a jerk.” And “be a human being in relation to your voters.” Or put more simply: Be “real people.”
The advice about not sounding like a jerk was a reaction to private polling which found that’s how a lot of voters feel Democrats often sound.
Democrats’ own research shows that some battleground voters think the party is “preachy,” “judgmental” and “focused on culture wars,” according to documents obtained by POLITICO.
And of course the voters are right. Democrats can’t talk about the economy because that’s not going well so they talk about culture war issues like “pregnant people” or Roe v Wade or whatever other culture war issue they can put before voters to sidestep inflation and a looming recession.
It looked for a while this summer like those issues might turn the 2022 election around for Democrats. They started doing better in polling and even President Biden’s numbers started climbing out of the crater they’ve been in. But it looks like they may have peaked too early. Anything can happen of course but there’s at least some evidence that the GOP is still going to take the House and the Senate. But the left always has an answer for that. Any win for Democrats is taken as proof that the country is eager for leftist intervention and any loss is taken as proof they were too moderate. It’s quite a racket but I’m not sure it’s going to work this November.