Bill Maher opened on Friday Real time with a round of applause for “a semi-peaceful transition of power”. Maher also applauded the arrival of a new administration and the comedic possibilities it presents. To celebrate, he spent the first 90 seconds of his monologue on Joe Biden before returning to Donald Trump’s jokes. The show as a whole, however, was short on jokes and long on substance.
“It feels like the whole Trump administration has kind of vanished, like we’ve been living a feverish dream,” Vanity Fair contributing writer Peter Hamby said during the mid-show panel discussion. Maher agreed, comparing the current situation to the episode “Who Shot JR” of Dallas where the whole ordeal was a dream.
Trevor Noah on Day One of Joe Biden and Why He’s Gonna Rip Your Nipples
Guest Kamele Foster, co-host of the Fifth Column podcast, did not share those sentiments – or put the blame for the recent American carnage entirely at Trump’s feet.
“I just want to try to put it in another context,” Foster said, “that what we’ve seen here over the last 10 to 12 months, let’s say, has actually fallen apart a bit; this escalation of political violence which is not limited to the right, but which also existed on the left.
“We have seen $ 2 billion in damage inflicted over the course of several months. We have seen days of civil unrest on the streets. We saw federal buildings surrounded, held under siege for days at a time, ”he continued. “We are in the United States of America and we are seeing a steady increase in the regularity of political violence in this country.
“And if there is a larger trend, as opposed to a specific movement that is broken,” he said, “then we are talking about too narrow a problem as opposed to the right problem. This could be a really major flaw in our policy.
“There has always been an anarchist, black block gutterpunk element on the left,” Hamby replied. “But Trumpism has infected all state capitals. It’s everywhere. “
“We were promised an armed rebellion in every state capital,” Foster said, indicating that these rebellions were not widespread. “That’s why I’m afraid we’re wrong. We think: it’s Trump. Trump is the problem. We saw hundreds of people on the streets smash windows after Biden’s victory. Something is wrong. And I’m afraid we’re not talking about this the right way.
“Now we can’t blame him for everything,” Maher said of Trump.
“When people talk about Black Lives Matter, we often say, ‘Look, this is just an ethical statement. If you can’t recognize it, that’s a real problem. Black Lives Matter is a political statement and a political agenda attached to it, ”said Foster. “And a lot of people in general may not know that. The fact that it has roots in Marxism, that there are radical elements of the Black Lives Mater movement that are very reluctant to free markets and capitalism, that challenge very basic notions that I think are widely shared by Americans. Like equality before the law, for example. This pivot to fairness and a focus on racial outcomes is something fairly new, but seems to have taken the country by storm.
“Equity versus equality?” Maher asked.
“Yes,” Foster said. “Frankly speaking about racism all the time is not a solution.”