Bill Maher offers some constructive criticism to Democrats

“The Democrats are to political courage as Velveeta is to cheese.”
—Bill Maher

In this segment of Bill Maher’s latest show, he calls out Democrats for their lack of courage.  To a large extent I agree with him. Americans are in favor of more gun control, want reasonable controls on immigration, and yet the Democrats are timorous on these issues. To listen to Democratic politicians, you’d almost think they favor completely open borders, something that’s insupportable.

And Democrats allow Republicans, and much of the country, to characterize Nancy Pelosi as a liability despite her remarkable effectiveness as both Speaker of the House and Minority Leader. It’s the Democrats’ fault that they haven’t defended Pelosi more vigorously, and, in truth, I don’t know why (I refuse to believe it’s because she’s a woman, for that would make me deeply ashamed of my party).

At any rate, does anybody really want to call Maher an “alt-righter” after a tirade like this?

85 Comments

  1. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted March 17, 2018 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    I just discovered if you have an iPhone you can get his podcast which from what I can tell is his show – so you don’t need to plant yourself in front of the “tube”, or buy HBO, you get the free podcast…

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted March 17, 2018 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

      If you do plant yourself in front of a tube you can get the show free the next day, Saturday.

      • ThyroidPlanet
        Posted March 17, 2018 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

        Last I played this game, you had to get there fast before HBO took it down.

        • Randall Schenck
          Posted March 17, 2018 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

          Maybe but I have been getting it pretty regularly on Saturday or Sunday. I think his show is Friday evening.

          • jaxkayaker
            Posted March 17, 2018 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

            HBO and the show post official clips on YouTube, but not the complete show. These aren’t removed.

            If you have AT&T cell phone service with unlimited data, you can get access to HBO for free as a benefit through DirecTV (i.e. free limited DirecTV membership).

            • ThyroidPlanet
              Posted March 17, 2018 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

              Thanks

              The podcast I “found” appears to be the whole show plus there overtime Parts, and a sort of jokes during a break or something…

              The good thing is I don’t need to use my vision to catch the show anymore

  2. Randall Schenck
    Posted March 17, 2018 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    New Rules is always the best part of his show. Whether the democrats are going to find respectable new leaders, I have no idea but all of them need to get with it and start hitting Trump very hard. Something like retired general Barry McCaffrey did yesterday when he called Trump a serious threat to the U.S. national security. He is refusing to protect vital U.S. interests from active Russian attacks. It is apparent that he is for some reason under the sway of Mr. Putin.

    Better speak to the real problem before it is too late. I would also recommend reading Russian Roulette if you want to catch up.

  3. Historian
    Posted March 17, 2018 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

    I have been saying for years that Democrats are lousy politicians. They have let the Republicans set the agenda and have been reluctant to proudly enunciate liberal or progressive positions. The Clintons and Obama are partially to blame. The Clintons with their neoliberalism and “triangulation” turned the Democratic Party into Republicans lite. For most of his administration Obama functioned under the delusion that he could somehow get the Republicans to cooperate with him. The electoral disaster of 2010 was the fruit of his misunderstanding of American politics and the radicalization of the Republican Party.

    Some pundits have predicted a “blue wave” in the November elections. I hope this comes to pass but the Democrats need a positive message in addition to the hope that disgust with Trump will sweep them to power in the House of Representatives and in many state elections. To accomplish this the old guard of Clinton and Obama loyalists needs to be swept away from the leadership of the party. A new and younger generation of Democrats needs to take control of the party apparatus. If the party can present economic policies that help middle class people as well as minorities, a big victory in November is quite possible. Nor should the Democrats be overly concerned about the dangers of identity politics that “helpful” Republicans and Clinton era Democrats advise against. Flipping a small segment of whites that vote Republican as well as getting to the polls the great numbers who don’t vote at all is a winning strategy. Maher is correct. A new progressive Democratic party that has rejected the timidity of the past must arise from the ashes created by the Clintons and Obama.

    • alexandra Moffat
      Posted March 17, 2018 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

      hear! Hear! Seconded!

      I am ancient but am convinced that we need new progressive thinking, and policies-

    • Posted March 18, 2018 at 10:28 am | Permalink

      I most agree but not with the part about identity politics.

    • Posted March 19, 2018 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

      I don’t know if this the correct diagnosis. I’ve always seen the Democratic *party* (not their supporters) as having very similar views officially as the Republicans. Hence my name for the parties: plutocratic and theocratic plutocratic.

      (In order to see if someone is successful, make sure one understands the goal first. :))

  4. Posted March 17, 2018 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    I suspect they don’t defend Nancy Pelosi because Republicans attack her, and they are scared of Republicans. But I assume Republicans attack her because she’s a woman.

    • BJ
      Posted March 17, 2018 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

      If I would assume Republicans attack her because she has been one of the most prominent leaders of the Democratic party for many, many years. Are you suggesting Republicans don’t also attack men on the Dem side?

      • Diane G.
        Posted March 17, 2018 at 10:45 pm | Permalink

        Oh, but they’re especially vicious with women, with all kinds of appearance insulting language. Pelosi is commonly called a hag & similar on right-wing radio.

        • BJ
          Posted March 17, 2018 at 11:13 pm | Permalink

          Chris Christie is often called a fat slob on the left, and Trump is called all sorts of terrible things when it comes to his physical appearance.

          Ted Cruz was said to look like a smarmy, creepy murderer, Mitch McConnell is said to look like a turtle, and on and on. People often mock the physical appearances of politicians they don’t like. Those that don’t have much about their appearance to mock don’t get that treatment, just as Elizabeth Warren and Kirsten Gillibrand don’t. Like the other politicians I’ve listed who do get mocked for physical appearance, Pelosi definitely does have some characteristics that put her at risk for it. Mostly the enormous amount of plastic surgery she’s had.

        • Merilee
          Posted March 17, 2018 at 11:59 pm | Permalink

          I think thst Nancy Pelosi always looks very well put-together and elegant, with none of the FOX news/Kelly Ann C/Trump women bleached blonde bimbo look.

  5. Posted March 17, 2018 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

    Hey, what’s wrong with Velveeta? The stuff is indestructible.

    • alexandra Moffat
      Posted March 17, 2018 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

      FUNNY! Not the cheese, your comment-

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted March 17, 2018 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

        I dunno, Velveeta’s pretty funny, too.

    • Christopher
      Posted March 17, 2018 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

      I’m pretty sure at least 5 lbs of my fat is the direct result of rotel and velveeta. What would we have eaten at parties without it?!

      I’m not proud. But I’m not sorry either.

  6. dd
    Posted March 17, 2018 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    Question for everyone:

    Are open borders compatible with a welfare state? (meaning Medicare, Social Security, CHIP, etc….)

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted March 17, 2018 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

      Your question just raises additional questions to me. Does open boarder get someone who crosses it any benefits? I mean, do they hand out social security numbers at the boarder?

      I also do not know why one would think social security is welfare. Don’t know about you but all my working life I paid into social security as did the company I worked for. Same is true for medicare so I believe you are not on the subject you seem to be talking about.

      • yazikus
        Posted March 17, 2018 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

        I mean, do they hand out social security numbers at the boarder?

        No. But undocumented workers using a SSN do pay their payroll taxes which they will never be able to collect. They are contributing to the SS & MC pool, but cannot draw from it.

      • dd
        Posted March 17, 2018 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

        Welfare state means all the benefits that come from the state to the individual.

        BTW, you are aware that Social Security and Medicare are not private accounts. So the amount you contribute may be far less than what is taken out and vice versa.

        In terms of what benefits a person who crosses borders get, you may want to see about California. Or for that matter EU countries

        • Randall Schenck
          Posted March 17, 2018 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

          And by the way, it is almost always republicans who refer to such things at social security as welfare. If you die early you get much less than you ever paid in. We pay in as a society for the benefit of all. That is kind of the way insurance works too and I do not hear any one call insurance, welfare. You may need to rethink your terms. The idea that social security is welfare is a total lack of understanding what welfare is. Food stamps is welfare and a pretty smart one since everyone needs to eat.

      • Posted March 17, 2018 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

        On entitlements like Social Security and Medicare where someone has to contribute for ten years to get benefits, not so much. For programs where you can just show up and claim benefits, open borders are a big problem. Also, it depends what you mean by open borders. The EU maintains extensive welfare programs by opening borders to guest workers who have limited ability to claim benefits.

        • Randall Schenck
          Posted March 17, 2018 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

          You can also just concentrate on one side of the problem of people who come into another country. Do you also consider the thousands who come in and do good things, contribute to the society and in fact, become better citizens than some who are born here. That my friend, is American whether you like it or not.

        • Posted March 17, 2018 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

          The immigrants to the UK contribute more to the government coffers in net terms than the natives (per capita). This is because they are more likely to be young fit economically active adults.

          Open borders aren’t really a problem at all.

          • Posted March 17, 2018 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

            Except there are no open borders, so the evidence you cite is not relevant to the question. Most immigrants presently allowed in to the UK do not have access to publuc fund programs.

            • BJ
              Posted March 17, 2018 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

              Moreover, most of those immigrants are from other EU countries, and thus easily assimilated in just about every way, including employment. It’s not the best comparison to the US. Canada is a good comparison and, as I noted below, Canada is far more restrictive than the US in its immigration policy.

            • Posted March 18, 2018 at 6:39 am | Permalink

              Of course it’s relevant. Your claim is that people who come into a country are a burden on the country. The UK experience shows this is not always the case. And our borders are currently completely open as far as the 550 million people who live in the EU are concerned. And most of our benefits are available to legal immigrants of all stripes.

              • BJ
                Posted March 18, 2018 at 9:11 am | Permalink

                People from the EU coming to the UK really is not the issue we’re discussing here. It’s like pointing to people who immigrate from Canada to the US and saying it shows what all other immigrants to the US will be like if we open our borders.

              • Posted March 19, 2018 at 7:28 am | Permalink

                @BJ No the issue is whether immigrants are a drain on resources when they show up and “claim benefits”. I’m just saying that this does not appear to be the case judging from the UK’s experience.

    • Posted March 17, 2018 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

      Open borders is incompatible with environmental protection or curtailing sprawl. Something the Greens devote massive amounts of dissonance-dampening brain power to avoid.

    • Posted March 18, 2018 at 10:30 am | Permalink

      Moot point since no one is for open borders.

      • Posted March 23, 2018 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

        To me, those who are against deportation of illegal immigrants are for open borders.

        • Posted March 23, 2018 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

          Maybe to you but not to anyone else. Open means we let anyone in. I have not heard anyone advocate for that. But what to do with the 11M illegal immigrants that have been in the country for years? There are many more sane and moral options than to deport them all.

  7. rom
    Posted March 17, 2018 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

    https://www.politicalcompass.org/uselection2016

    This is an interesting website. Not sure how accurately it actually depicts politicians and their positions. Just wonder what others think of it. The FAQ tries to answer the criticisms we may have. The UK election is interesting as the page shows how the website thinks the parties have shifted over time. The Labour party moving sharply too the left last year.

    Typically I score -4.5, -4.5, interesting to see how others here score?

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted March 17, 2018 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

      Check it out here.

    • Martin X
      Posted March 18, 2018 at 2:06 am | Permalink

      I was about the same, but I noted that I moved left from where I was 7 or 8 years ago. My revulsion of the right is probably partially to blame.

  8. alexandra Moffat
    Posted March 17, 2018 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

    I sent that mahrer quote to my NH senators, for whom I have voted but am disgusted with them, they both voted for the pentagon budget and for banks & Wall St and are same old same old democrats. Not that it will do any good. But we keep trying!

  9. BJ
    Posted March 17, 2018 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

    Democrats really need to take people’s concerns about immigration seriously, rather than calling anyone who disagrees with enormous immigration “racist.” This country has a more open immigration system than nearly all the countries considered more “progressive.” Let’s take Canada as an example. Canada has a points system that decides who gets to immigrate based on a points system (aside from those who are admitted for humanitarian reasons). The points are calculated based on the following factors: Language skills, education, experience, age, arranged employment in Canada, and adaptability. This makes sense. It’s a system which ensures that those admitted will assimilate well and will contribute to society.

    Additionally, Canada’s system does not allow every family member to immigrate when one member already has. Family of an immigrant already present must be related in the following ways: spouses and common-law partners, parents and grandparents, and dependent children.

    So, when we look at the proposals Trump has made across these lines, to call Trump’s proposals in this area somehow racist or evil is absurd. The US, like most other countries, should have a merit-based system (in addition to immigration for persecution and other serious humanitarian reasons). Trump has proposed a similar points system and cutting down on “chain migration” by families to the levels Canada (and many other first world nations) uses.

    If one looks at Australia, immigration there is even more restrictive, and they are far more proactive when it comes to stopping illegal immigration, as are other first world nations.

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted March 17, 2018 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

      You have a very short memory. Let me take you back to the trump garbage about Mexico sending us mostly rapist and bad guys. That is simply not true. What he did to cause the DACA situation. Deporting perfectly good people who have done nothing. He is a racist and a white supremacist and has a long history to show this. His own attorney general should tell you what he is, without question. Same for Bannon.

      • BJ
        Posted March 17, 2018 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

        This does not in any way answer anything I brought up. All you have done is brought up irrelevant statements that have nothing to do with the actually policies I discussed, and then pretended I have either ignored or forgotten a bunch of statements that have no relevance to whether or not the policies I discussed are feasible and should be considered.

        If you wish to address the points I actually made about taking the public’s concerns about immigration seriously and considering the merit-based points system and refining of the chain migration rules, please do.

        • Randall Schenck
          Posted March 17, 2018 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

          You are right, I am not here to address and solve the immigration in this country. You can have all the points you want but the congress in this country is no closer to solving any of it or creating a system that they can agree on. They are so far apart there is no connection, just like with me and you. But good old racist Trump says one thing today and another tomorrow and no one can deal with that.

          • BJ
            Posted March 17, 2018 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

            I’m with you: Trump is a detestable human being and an embarrassment as President. But, if we’re to try and ensure that someone like him doesn’t get into office again, we need Democrats who will take seriously the concerns of people worried about things like immigration, and be willing to talk about sensible reforms rather than dismissing the notion of discussion itself as racist. I think Democrats (and a lot of their supporters) feel as if talking about changing to even a slightly more restrictive immigration system (like ones of countries we like to consider better and more progressive) is somehow horribly racist and cannot be allowed — and, by extension, anyone who does talk about it, or mentions concern about immigration in general, is racist.

            If we want to keep future Trumps out of office, we need to convince people that we actually do understand and want to address their concerns, and we’re willing to discuss alternatives and solutions to the current system, which is clearly broken. Not just on immigration, but many issues.

  10. Merilee
    Posted March 17, 2018 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

    Great rant!

  11. Ken Kukec
    Posted March 17, 2018 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

    I’m all for the Democrats getting some lead in their pencils. And it’s ridiculous to buy into the GOP’s paranoid characterization of the gentlewoman from San Francisco — politically, Pelosi’s a middle-of-the-road Democrat, with an ADA voting record of 80%, and she’s been an effective leader in the House. On the other hand, the Democratic Party’s sclerotic leadership is in need of fresh blood and bold ideas.

    And on the other other hand, Democratic candidates running in red congressional districts, the way Conor Lamb successfully did this week in PA, should be free to tailor their message to fit their constituency. The Democratic Party has traditionally been the big tent, and should remain true to those roots. It’s crucial that the Dems regain control of at least one branch of government, or at the very least one chamber of the legislative branch. Otherwise, Trump may do lasting damage to this nation before we get to the bottom of whatever compromising material the Russians have on him.

  12. Posted March 17, 2018 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

    Pelosi’s voting record is barely a shade left of centrist, yet her demagoguery is far left and divisive. Her leadership prowess is limited to retaining power, while her ability to adapt to changes is non-existent. Above & beyond all that, Pelosi has become an icon for what people dislike about the Dems. She’s a liability and must go ASAP.

    • nicky
      Posted March 18, 2018 at 2:41 am | Permalink

      I dunno, she is quite centrist indeed, but I guess that makes her quite leftish in the US.
      At any rate, she’ll be 78 this month, so I guess she will go in the not so far future anyway.

  13. Jon Gallant
    Posted March 17, 2018 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

    I am puzzled by Democratic complaints about the terrible misdeeds of Clinton and Obama. The Democratic Party has favored a national health system since the Truman presidency, or perhaps earlier. The first Clinton administration made a serious effort to enact one in 1993, and failed. The Obama administration then SUCCEEDED in doing so, after 70 years, and it wasn’t easy. It wasn’t perfect, or utopian, but then again the Social Security Act of 1935 wasn’t either.

    Let’s give some credit where credit is due.
    And bear in mind that the US isn’t Canada. In fact, as one poster explained in regard to immigration policy, Canada also isn’t quite Canada, or the sentimental image some on the US Left have of Canada.

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted March 17, 2018 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

      You have to forgive Americans. They only like winners and cannot tolerate losers. Clinton is now a loser so they have to go. Sooner or later this country will have health care with a single payer system for everyone, just like Medicare. We are very slow to the party.

    • BJ
      Posted March 17, 2018 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

      The problem with Obama’s system is that’s it’s not a national healthcare system, and he spent an enormous amount of not only his political capital, but that of the Democratic Party, on getting it passed. It turned out to be disastrous in some areas and, in the few areas it helped, it didn’t help much.

      The result of Obamacare is not only the loss of political capital regarding this issue for the Democrats for years to come, but also even greater distrust of the government to handle healthcare in any way. Obama’s health legislation has not been a victory because it has made a real national health system likely impossible to be implemented for many years to come, and it has completely failed to address the greatest issues: enormous year-over-year growth of healthcare costs (which will soon reach unsustainable levels); lack of a public option; and the ability of people to actually afford their health insurance (and not have it go up every year).

      • Martin X
        Posted March 18, 2018 at 2:11 am | Permalink

        ACA did slow the increase in health care costs, so it didn’t “completely fail” as you say. Also, some 20 million people got some type of insurance, and bankruptcy due to medical bills dropped sharply. So it did help some people very much.

        It’s very unlikely that anything better could have passed at the time. Now, however, ObamaCare is fairly popular since the Rs tried to take it away, and there seems to be some momentum building for single-payer.

        • BJ
          Posted March 18, 2018 at 9:22 am | Permalink

          You can see from these charts that the growth of medical expenditures relative to GDP has continued to grow since the ACA, along with other excellent information relevant to any discussion of ACA’s potentially positive effects: https://www.cms.gov/Research-Statistics-Data-and-Systems/Statistics-Trends-and-Reports/NationalHealthExpendData/NationalHealthAccountsHistorical.html

          It’s not just unlikely that nothing better than ACA could have been passed at the time, it’s just plain true. I wasn’t discussing whether or not passing something better was possible; instead, I was pointing out that the Dems passed something that has had little overall effect on the serious issues, created other negative effects, and used political capital that won’t be recovered for at least a decade to do it.

    • nicky
      Posted March 18, 2018 at 2:44 am | Permalink

      I personally find Mr Clinton’s role in the Rwanda genocide in ’94 his greatest misdeed.
      IIRC he did admit he had been very wrong there, although in view of the enormity of genocide that hardly is a mitigating circumstance.

    • Posted March 18, 2018 at 10:39 am | Permalink

      I agree. All Dem presidents have mostly pushed what they think they can get Congress and the public to accept. Looking back at this can make them seem gutless but it is easy to forget how the Republicans and a large part of the country would demonize any more progressive or radical proposals. In the case of Obama, you have the Republicans in Congress refusing to cooperate on (racist) principle and with half the country having no problem with that. Then there’s the “communism” and “socialism” labels. Even on the west coast where I live, there are plenty of the general public who continue to apply those labels to progressive ideas.

  14. kelskye
    Posted March 17, 2018 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

    An “alt-righter” to the left (at least what I can gather from my Facebook feed) is anyone opposed to their particular brand of social justice that doesn’t fit into a more traditional conservative view.

    When you’re so far left-wing, everyone looks like they are on the right. Same goes for those far-right wingers who describe anything that isn’t far right-wing as some form of leftism.

  15. Posted March 17, 2018 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

    The Democrat Party in the last few decades has devolved into cobbled identity politics, victimization, and anger at white men, capitalism and Western values. It is definitely not the party of or for white men.

  16. Diane G.
    Posted March 17, 2018 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

    sub

  17. Posted March 18, 2018 at 2:28 am | Permalink

    Can someone please remind why we use a one dimensional measure (right/left) to describe a multidimensional subject (politics)? TIA.

    • nicky
      Posted March 18, 2018 at 2:49 am | Permalink

      Well, that ‘test’ had 2 axes: one economical and one social authoritarian/libertarian. Admittedly far from perfect, but better than one-dimensional.

    • Tim Harris
      Posted March 18, 2018 at 2:51 am | Permalink

      I think it is because people prefer not to think, and epithets like the ‘alt right’ or the ‘regressive left’ provide a convenient way of avoiding thought and genuinely addressing reality.

      • Tim Harris
        Posted March 18, 2018 at 3:36 am | Permalink

        Incidentally, who on earth calls Bill Maher an ‘alt-righter’?

        • nicky
          Posted March 18, 2018 at 5:09 am | Permalink

          A Ctrl-leftist.

          • ThyroidPlanet
            Posted March 18, 2018 at 10:21 am | Permalink

            Good one!

    • kelskye
      Posted March 18, 2018 at 5:37 am | Permalink

      For the most part, it works.

    • ThyroidPlanet
      Posted March 18, 2018 at 7:54 am | Permalink

      I think it is analogous to why the inches system (which Newton used in his book Optiks, by the way) is still used. It is better than nothing, and is easy.

      specifically, it is easy to divide something in half *by eye*.

      … so – better than nothing, and easy, and it helps. imagine not making any distinctions among political activities …. hmmm….

      • Posted March 18, 2018 at 9:54 am | Permalink

        While it’s necessary to filter out some information to make a model more manageable, it can be taken too far. If you only think and measure in one dimension you’ll never understand a three dimensional object. I would say that politics has as many dimensions as there are issues. Of course there’s no way to accommodate all of the axes, but it seems logical that a useful model would include more than one dimension.

        • ThyroidPlanet
          Posted March 18, 2018 at 10:14 am | Permalink

          Yes of course

          But there’s nothing lost by dividing in half. You aren’t throwing out further dimensions when you’re just trying to get somewhere in the first place. you are applying one dimension where none was before.

          What exactly are you proposing – that every citizen get on board with a multidimensional … multidimensional … what?

        • ThyroidPlanet
          Posted March 18, 2018 at 10:19 am | Permalink

          “Can someone please remind why we use a one dimensional measure (right/left) to describe a multidimensional subject (politics)? TIA.

          Because we are trying to find a starting point in the public square, I’d also say.

          Are you proposing that dysfunctional is a consequence of this divide-in-half operation? And therefore we must abandon it?

          So every time someone goes “so, what’s your political orientation?” You produce a multi-page document with parameters, constants, heat maps, and calibration benchmarks?

          Or you could say “oh I’m more on the left” and get on to the discussion?

          • Posted March 18, 2018 at 11:08 am | Permalink

            Why start with political orientation? Why not start the conversation with an actual issue and go from there? Starting with political orientation sets up expectations, triggers preconceptions, the kind of thinking that seems to make people more prone to manipulation.

            • ThyroidPlanet
              Posted March 18, 2018 at 11:31 am | Permalink

              “start the conversation with an actual issue and go from there? Starting with political orientation sets up expectations, triggers preconceptions, the kind of thinking that seems to make people more prone to manipulation.”

              I’m getting lost here.

              I don’t think anyone – from Steven Pinker to Mush Limburger – is really expecting a whole lot from broad generalizations like left or right. And before that is even over, they usually move to the discussion, which is the destination anyway. I don’t see left/right it as a discussion-ending distinction.

              And I’ll bite : what does the concept of “preconceived notions” have to do with this?

              • ThyroidPlanet
                Posted March 18, 2018 at 11:33 am | Permalink

                Missed “Why start with political orientation? Why not ” part of quote, apologies….

                Also a reminder to myself : this is a post on a Bill Maher editorial.

              • Posted March 18, 2018 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

                As soon as you indicate you’re more right or left of center all kinds of assumptions are made about what you believe and why, and you end up spending time trying to correct misconceptions rather than addressing an issue. We all have a lot more in common than we realize. In-group vs. out-group psychology is a minefield. I’d rather start by assuming Maslow’s hierarchy applies to the person I’m interacting with as much as it does to me and go from there.

              • ThyroidPlanet
                Posted March 18, 2018 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

                let me get this straight :

                terms like “left” and “right” damage, do nothing, or something else?

                So we should never use “left” and “right” ever.

              • Posted March 18, 2018 at 11:04 pm | Permalink

                We have a badly polarized society. I’m proposing that we need more subtle and nuanced thinking and communication habits that build connections instead of walls.

              • ThyroidPlanet
                Posted March 19, 2018 at 8:00 am | Permalink

                Let me go on if only because I’ve found this amusing:

                The proposal: eliminate the words “left” and “right”. Apply Maslow’s Hierarchy (I have no idea what this is but let’s move on).

                The expected outcomes:
                1. no more correcting for misconceptions.
                2. No more triggering (… triggering?.. yes.. very well..) of preconceptions.
                3. No more walls will be formed between us all
                4. More connections will be formed between us all

                Do I have that right? Anything else to fill in?

  18. nicky
    Posted March 18, 2018 at 2:46 am | Permalink

    Some good points by Maher. The Dems really need to show some more backbone, can’t but agree there.

  19. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted March 18, 2018 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    ah – listened (actually watched, go ahead, give me a hard time about it) just now.

    very clear point.


One Trackback/Pingback

  1. […] via Bill Maher offers some constructive criticism to Democrats — Why Evolution Is True […]

%d bloggers like this: