I idolize Bill Maher. Depending on your political affiliation, this may endear me to you, or make you hate me immediately. I sat in the living room last night, watching his show “Real Time” on HBO, and just marveled at how icily cynical he can be, all the while backing it up with facts. I’ve known about him for years; I was once a 11 year old kid staying up every night until midnight to watch “Politically Incorrect” (until it got yanked off ABC for being a little too politically incorrect), and I’ve agreed with him every step of the way.
He used to claim that he was a libertarian back then; I liked this, because so did I. I was a young kid back then, and didn’t really know my ass from my elbow with politics although I followed them very closely (I was an oddball, I know). However, even in my middle school haze I realized that I hated the government, and didn’t think that they should have very much say over what I do. I never agreed with banning all drugs, mostly because of the inherent hypocrisy of the War on Drugs: you’re allowed to make money off of cigarettes and booze, which kill people, but not off coke and heroin, which also kill people. Apparently, some drugs are more moral than others, and selling death is better if it’s a tradition to sell death, as tobacco is. I also never really agreed with things like seatbelt laws, motorcycle helmet laws, abortion laws, or really any other kind of law that I felt was not in the American spirit of “freedom”. Murder, rape, theft; these were crimes that were punishable, sometimes by death if the crime was inhuman enough. I was never much for organized religion, as a group of people in a room, chanting, singing, and swearing that they were right about everything just seemed a little strange to me; it reminded me of the old movies where you see druids in the middle of the night standing around a fire, sacrificing things to appease their pagan gods.
For a little kid, I was incredibly skeptical of anything and everything. If you combine this with not only my political views, but the cynicism that seems to be an integral part of my personality, than you can understand why I looked at Maher as role model of sorts. He was interesting, callous, tough, funny, and all the while, you could tell that he was incredibly smart.
I stopped watching Politically Incorrect for a while in high school when I was going my personal dark ages. I’d turned away from books and learning and got into that high school mentality of being half –retarded and dopily apathetic. That wasn’t to last long though.
Eventually, I got back into politics, and when I did, it was with a bang. I realized that the government in the United States was fucked, and by fucked I mean “six-ways to Sunday, right up the ass” fucked, and that libertarians’ beliefs were partly to cause for this. What I thought had been a noble ideal of how America should be (kind of like I had thought of Republicans) had turned into the realization that everything they did actually took the power out of the hands of the people and put it right into the hands of rich CEOs and multinational corporations. I couldn’t call myself a Communist, although I read a lot about that at one time or another, and still can’t call myself a socialist, as I believe in private property and most tenets of free enterprise.
But when I came back to politics sometime around 2001, Bill Maher was still there, ranting and raving about all the things that pissed him off. And scarily enough, I still agreed with him. He seems now to have traded in his libertarian overcoat for a new vest made of liberalism in a classic sense, just as I have. I don’t classify myself as a Democrat, because I don’t believe everything they say, especially when they talk about gun control and the death penalty. Of course, if you talk to me for any amount of time, you can tell I’m certainly not a Republican, and I’m not in the “swing voter” section either. I know what I like, and I don’t have to agree with either party bout it.
Last night, Maher was literally yelling about the Democrats, and how they have become pussies in all senses of the word. They have given up talking about the environment, they have backed down to Bush in all kinds of ways, and they should be ashamed of themselves as a party. He said that he was ashamed that the Republicans have literally destroyed core issues in favor of one that only a retard could care about- boys kissing and immigrants coming over? That’s what we care about? Above helping the poor, saving the environment, and keeping the planet from falling apart?
Call me bleeding heart, but I’m not. I’m about as bleeding heart as Maher himself is, and if you’ve watched the show, you know that isn’t much. Someone with liberal views does not have to be soft, and does not have to be a career carpetbagging politician (read: Hillary Clinton). They can be tough, strong, and have varying viewpoints on many issues, all the while making sure that humanity is progressing forward, not falling backwards.
Maher is not a political lackey, or party faithful. He’s a freethinking man who doesn’t have to espouse a party line to make himself seem intelligent, and never holds himself back for fear of reprisals. He’ll go balls to the wall for what he thinks is right- would Hillary do that? Would Rush Limbaugh? Have they ever stood for anything in their lives that someone hasn’t told them that they should?
In roughly a thousand days, when the election comes back up, I’m going to write in Bill Maher’s name for president (I’d do my own, but I still drink too much to run the free world). I’d rather vote for someone who stands for something and who thinks for himself than some politician only interested in getting power, and then keeping it. Maher won't stop breaking the government's balls no matter what party takes power...and that is something that I can respect.
Welcome to America, where freethinking men go to die…or have their shows canceled.
CALLER: "Hi. Well, my question is, the Lord spoke to me approximately three years ago, and if the Lord spoke to you [Maher], I was wondering if you'd become a believer."
MAHER: "No, I'd check into Bellevue, which is what you should do..."