I have never watched many of the politics based programming on television because it wasn’t having the kind of conversations that I want to see, but HBO seems to know me. Edit: There is an error with this theme for my Wordpress where contractions in the first word apparently fuck the whole post up.
“Last Week Tonight” and “Real Time with Bill Maher” have become mainstays of my weekend shows. I tend to watch them back to back late Sunday night after everyone else is in bed. I genuinely agree with most everything Jon Oliver says, and let me tell you he had a hard sells for me. I thought I was always see him in Jon Stewart’s shadow because of his years on the “Daily Show”. After the time that he filled in for Stewart proved that he had what it took, I still remained skeptical. I mean, a big part of the show was the writing staff.
His move to HBO did him some justice though and he surpassed the “Daily Show” in my mind almost immediately.
Real Time is a different beast all together. I was the show because the guests are people that I want to see discuss things. I skipped an episode once (the one with Milo Yiannopoulos) because I felt that even giving that kind of person a platform to reach more people was in bad taste, but the more I hear about the episode the more that I think I should have watched it.
There’s a phenomena in the liberal community that seemed to be at its height right after the election. The idea at its best is that social issues are less important and that we should concentrate on the big things and at its worse there are those who are only able to care about the issues that affect them directly.
Marijuana legalization would be a pretty big deal considering the number of people locked up for such a minor drug, but when that’s the only thing you’re considering important in a world with out of control pay inequality and where people are literally dying while the government could do something about then there’s something seriously wrong.
And let me just say that social issues do mean a lot. Maybe you’re not gay or black or hispanic or a woman, but a hell of a lot of people are and these issues are their day to day lives. Bill Maher brings legalization pretty often and he treats the whole thing with a sort of reverence. This past week when comments Bill O’Reilly made about Rep. Maxine Waters’s hair came up on Maher’s show her immediately shot the whole story down and say liberals sweat the small stuff. Let’s try to remember that the guy shot down a valid point she made about Trump by saying “I didn’t hear a word she said. I was looking at the James Brown wig.”
There’s layers of hypocrisy to the statement itself, especially when O’Reilly is defending a man who has the hair that Trump does. But then add to that how Maher handles the statement by dismissing the whole thing too.
Maher is one of the only ones I see on the airwaves doing this kind of thing, but he represents a swath of the liberal population that seems to be unconcerned with real gender and racial equality and treat it like one of those things that we’ll get to after all of the other things are done.
So what party is left for the rest of us? We’ve got one that openly vilifies us and another that thinks of us as an afterthought or votes in their pocket to be drummed up every four years when they need us, but forgotten any other time.
I got into liberalism because I felt that it was the ideology that served the People with a capital “P”. I was pretty conservative for years and I grew up going to Catholic school and thought abortion was wrong and that we had to be patriotic and stand by our President no matter what things he did. I found those policies didn’t work for me slowly over time and I grew up and learned what was important to me.
If liberalism doesn’t represent the people and work for the good of everyone, what good is it to us? Liberalism that doesn’t do that doesn’t even seem like liberalism at all.