Left-wing comedian Bill Maher’s name was on conservative commentators’ lips again this weekend after the TV host suggested some children claim to be the opposite sex because “it’s trendy.”
“If we can admit that in certain enclaves there is some level of trendiness to the idea of being anything other than straight, then this is not a serious science-based discussion,” Maher said on his show Friday. “We’re literally experimenting on children,” he added.
National Review cheered Maher’s comments, figuring that “Bill Maher is still a Democrat, but he’s become the kind of Democrat who posts NR headlines on Real Time and makes points that echo the ones we make all the time here. In other words, he’s a National Review kind of Democrat. Welcome, Bill.”
Maher’s candid observation was certainly not wrong, and even sounded refreshingly sensible compared with his fellow leftists’ refusal to listen to medical caution, psychological concerns, or rational debate amid their push to fill kids with puberty blockers and lop off their genitals. Conservatives should be glad to let Maher join the politically diverse coalition of people who think such treatment of minors likely amounts to abuse. That said, opposing such abuse is a very, very low bar.
If a lifelong practitioner of left-wing thought popped into the conversation to say that murder is bad, that parents shouldn’t beat or starve their children, or that we shouldn’t march the Marines to Ottawa and pillage cities in their path, he would hardly deserve applause. (Saying that mothers shouldn’t be able to kill and dismember their unborn children, or that we shouldn’t be marching so flippantly toward nuclear war, should be equally obvious, but those are points for another day.)
So of course Maher’s comments from the weekend were right. They even sound smart if you compare them to the looney agendas the Democrat Party has latched onto.
But just because he’s foolish enough to still associate with the Democrat Party doesn’t make Maher uniquely deserving of accolades for stumbling upon a basic statement of common sense. The fact that most of his political ilk are crazy enough to oppose that common sense doesn’t make Maher suddenly astute, either.
Plenty of smart people on the right and in the center of the political aisle have been saying exactly what Maher did (and far more), for far longer, in the face of relentless criticism, cancellation threats, prosecution, and worse. In fact, Maher’s pretty late to the reality party.
Parents have spoken out after their children were taken from them or driven to suicide by radical trans ideology. Eighth-grade kids in Wisconsin are being subjected to a Title IX sexual harassment investigation for using pronouns other than “they” and “them” to refer to a female student. A Loudoun County father was infamously arrested after he showed up at a school board meeting incensed that the district had covered up the rape of his daughter in a school bathroom so the board could push through a transgender bathroom policy.
That’s not to say someone has to suffer what these families have before participating in the conversation. But when parents, children, and families have endured so much and received so much hate (from Maher’s own side), is Bill Maher really the most deserving recipient of sympathies and accolades for taking far less of a stand than they have? People on the right shouldn’t be such a cheap date for those who work to destroy our constitutional order.
Maher is by no means a red-pilled conservative convert who is willing to acknowledge reality or limits on leftism even when it hurts his image. He was a Bernie bro in 2016 before throwing his support behind Democrat presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. He’s called the Second Amendment “bullsh-t” and insisted “The problem with Obamacare isn’t too much socialism, it’s still too much capitalism.”
On abortion, he said just this month that “I never thought life itself was particularly precious.”
“I really don’t. I’m serious. I think life is for the living,” he continued. “Until you’re born you’re not living. We wouldn’t miss you if you’re not born.”
In March, he parroted the talking point that Republicans are racist and “would be thrilled to have no black seats on the court,” despite the fact that conservative hero Justice Clarence Thomas is a black man. And last April, he assured us that doddering Joe Biden would be “the right man for this moment” who was “getting things done on wealth inequality, in Afghanistan, racial justice and climate change.”
So no, Bill Maher is not your new conservative BFF. It’s well and good to acknowledge leftists when they call out their own side’s insanity (as he has), or when they reject their philosophical framework that created the insanity to begin with (as he has not). Someone doesn’t have to agree with you on everything to join forces in pursuit of a particular cause. But leftists like Maher call out their own party when they see the party doing things that are bad for the party.
Like blue-state emigrants who resettle in red states to escape their decaying governance and then vote for the same decadent policies, they complain about the ridiculous ends of their own beliefs while refusing to reconsider their allegiances. Their ultimate goal is still a stronger but still very far-left Democrat Party, not a rejection of the party’s dangerous and failed fundamental tenets. And the right has far better things to do than celebrate that.