According to Bill Maher, Republicans and conservatives are “not bad people, but they have trouble empathizing with people who are not like them.” Now normally most of the ideas of the “Republicans and conservatives,” to the extent that there are such things at all, sicken me. But this, coming from Maher, is a compliment. Because Maher is the most cynical person I have ever seen in all my life. He has the empathy of an anvil. Or is it all an act? Maybe he stumbled on a comedic goldmine; unlike every other performer or political commentator, he thought he would be openly cynical and get good laughs for that. Or maybe he has to be cynical, maybe it’s in his contract with HBO.

But Maher cannot be accused of looking down on the “ignorant” Republicans, the “hillbillies,” etc. He can reply that he (from his point of view) is not tolerating the intolerant, and that’s a defensible position. We need more “politically incorrect” humor. At the same time, surely, everyone is dog tired by now of the race and group politics. I mean, blacks vs. Latinos vs. gays vs. whatever other “oppressed” group is in the spotlight vs. the evil white men, who cares about this nonsense anymore? If Maher had started on it in the 80s, then that would have made sense. Right now he is 25 years too late to the game.


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