Bill Maher celebrated St. Patrick’s Day on Friday during his real time on HBO – or, as he called it, “Alcoholic Christmas” – explores the dangerous parallels between the religious hatred that fueled Irish politics in the last century and the unrest between Democrats and Republicans in the United States today.
“You can’t think of the Irish without thinking of partition,” Maher said, referring to the violent uprisings that created a fractured society there. Now there is the same intensity brewing between Democrats and Republicans, he noted. “We have always prayed for the nation. Now each side prays that the other side will not destroy the nation.
Using excerpts from a speech former President Donald Trump gave at the recent CPAC conference, Maher noted how it reflects an almost biblical level of intensity when it comes to defeating the other side. It was “bragging talk from a man who can’t even shut up his girlfriends,” Maher joked, but then noted, “Here we are.” Your fellow citizens are not only wrong. They are heretics who must be destroyed.”
Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene recently called for a national separation between red and blue states. “She plays on the kind of fire that made Northern Ireland hell,” Maher said. However, he also cited statistics showing that a third of voters agree with her and want a national divorce.
“It’s dangerous just to express that idea,” Maher said. “It reinforces the idea that you can’t talk to ‘these people’.”
The problem is that an easy divorce is not that easy. There are conservatives who support abortion and liberals who oppose police defunding, and there are many other examples of positions that do not fit into the neat boxes that would belong in ideologically manipulated states.
“It looks like we need a lot more new countries,” Maher said. “Or we can just stick with it.”
You can’t be a patriot and not for the whole “United” part of “United States,” he emphasized. He suggested using a phrase often used on St. Patrick’s Day audience is too changed to say that everyone is Irish on that day. How about a motto that says, “We’re all Americans, every day,” he said.
Earlier in the show, Maher interviewed Noa Tishby, the Israeli actress, producer and author of the book Israel: A Simple Guide to the Most Misunderstood Country on Earth.
Tishby spoke about Israeli politics and defended Israeli actions in Gaza, which she called “institutionalized terrorism.”
Maher noted that polls among liberals show that Israel’s actions against Palestine are losing momentum.
“If you spent a day in Gaza, you would see what liberalism is not,” countered Tishby.
The panel discussion included Forward Party founder and former presidential candidate Andrew Yang and D-Michigan Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin.
Yang touted the benefits of his universal basic income plan as he and Slotkin tried to explain the mess caused by several bank collapses last week.
In a humorous moment, Maher brought up San Francisco repairs that would net the descendants of enslaved Black Americans $5 million, along with a host of other benefits. “Even I didn’t go that far!” Yang said laughing.
Mary Crossley is an author at “The Fashion Vibes”. She is a seasoned journalist who is dedicated to delivering the latest news to her readers. With a keen sense of what’s important, Mary covers a wide range of topics, from politics to lifestyle and everything in between.