Q&A with Bill Maher
Political personality and comedian discusses Trump and upcoming Buffalo show
Bill Maher is no stranger to stirring the pot.
The host of HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher” and stand-up comedian will continue his stream of political anecdotes and observations, playing downtown at Shea’s Performing Arts Center on Nov. 12.
On Tuesday, Maher spoke with The Spectrum regarding President Trump, the political divide in the country and his thoughts on the role of young men and women in politics.
Q: In light of the indictments making headlines over the last few days, where do you see the FBI investigation going? Is Robert Mueller more relentless than James Comey, or will this news be tossed to the side?
A: Well, the big picture is I don’t think they’ll ever get Trump. I don’t see the Republicans losing their grip on power. We’ve had a number of special elections this year after Trump was elected when we were supposed to have this huge backlash. The Republicans keep winning them. The Democrats have been asleep at the switch for the last 10-20 years. They have let the
When Trump was running, the one thing you heard constantly was “it’s rigged! The system is rigged!” The system is
The other Republicans plainly are not going to do that. The only Republicans who have come out against Trump are the ones who are retiring, or who are unwell like John McCain. No sitting Republican is really against Trump the way Bob Corker, Jeff
Q: So, in your opinion, are the Democrats beyond saving?
A: I hope the Democrats aren’t beyond help, but they don’t seem to be in any hurry to correct themselves. They can do a lot better by listening to me, but they don’t seem to want to do that. It’s funny, after the 2012 election the Republicans did what they call an autopsy. They had lost again and needed to find out why. Of course, their prescription that they came up with is not what they did. What they said was, “well, we’ve got to expand the party, we’ve got to be nicer to minorities!” Of course, they went in the exact opposite direction with Trump and won. Now, the people who should be doing an autopsy are the Democrats. I know Hilary got more votes, but they still lost. That’s what matters.
They should be looking very hard in the mirror as to why they lost. And you know, part of it is because they're constantly picking gutless, chicken sh*t fights among themselves. They have no sense of going for the jugular. They don’t fight the way the Republicans fight. They don’t go there. The Republicans go there. Neil Gorsuch is sitting on the Supreme Court because Mitch McConnell said to himself, “I can do what no one has ever done, which is deny the sitting president for an entire year his Supreme Court pick. Try to stop me. You
Q: In colleges and universities across the country, there are clubs and institutions geared toward harboring either conservative or democratic
A: That’s been going on for a while but it has certainly gotten worse under Trump. Trump has changed the entire Republican Party. The Republican Party is now Donald Trump’s party. I know it looks to the liberals, especially if you watch MSNBC all day, you think Trump is losing. Trump isn’t losing. His approval rating is in the toilet but he doesn’t care. He has state TV in the form of Fox News, just like the Russians used to have. That’s more valuable than any single branch of government could be when it keeps your base from knowing anything bad about you. When you talk about Russia, the people who watch Fox News just shrug. They don’t hear anything. The story doesn’t exist in their world. [Fox News] is still covering Hillary, the focus is still on her emails and Benghazi. [Trump] can go on like this indefinitely. No matter what he does, they will stick with him. He is their boy. Talking about the demographics last time and the autopsy, the conventional view was “oh, we have to be nicer to minorities because the white population is dwindling and it's only 70% of the country.” To Trump’s credit, the wily bastard that he is said “oh, you mean the country is still 70% white people? I bet I could make something out of that.” Damned if he didn’t go after the worst instincts in the white population and win an election.
Q: What advice
A: First of all, read a newspaper. Get off of your f*cking phone. Get off of your f*cking Facebook. Stop getting your news from whatever the other morons in your circle are sending around. Read The New York Times every day. Find out what is actually going on in the world. Because, you know what, I’ve had my fun with the planet. It’s your future. You’re the ones who are going to be inheriting some sort of a hellscape if we don’t do something about the environment. Of
Q: What are your feelings towards your show in Buffalo? What are you looking forward to the most?
A: I love Buffalo. I’m at the point in my life where I don’t have to do this at all. I have nothing to prove and I don’t need any more money. I travel because I like it. I do it because people out there tell me that no one skewers Trump quite the way that you do and I think that’s true. There’s a reason that he sued me. I am meaner to this guy than anybody and that’s what he deserves. That’s what the country needs to hear. When I hear people tell me to keep going and not be deterred, from both the left and right trying to stop me, I’m not going to let them stop me. What I’m saying is I don’t have to do it, I do it because I want to do it, because I love it and I love the audience. I love the connection that we have and I feel like, especially right now, we need to band together. It feels good to commune with people who basically think the way I do.
As far as Buffalo specifically, I used to travel to as many different cities as I could. In recent years, I kind of cut that down. Just to about the 20 or 25 cities I have really enjoyed the most over the years. I mean, I’m glad I went to Fargo, North Dakota. I’m glad I went to Boise, Idaho. I’m glad I did Fort Wayne, Indiana. I’m glad I went to Appleton, Wisconsin. They’re all fine cities and I can name
Brian Evans is a staff writer and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.