Bill Maher Explains Why the Oregon Protesters Are Not Patriots – Esquire.com
After a long holiday break, Bill Maher returned last night to take on some of this winter’s bizarre news events. Take the standoff in Oregon, for example, which Maher sums up as “redneck lives matter.” It’s been clear for a while now that the “militiamen” occupying a federal building out there don’t really know what they want. Something about the Constitution. But they know they’re angry about something, and nobody—even Maher—questions their sincerity.
Advertisement – Continue Reading Below
“You can’t doubt the passion in that video,” he says. The but comes later: “What you’re doing isn’t saving the republic. It’s more like when you’re a kid and you run away from home by hiding in the backyard.”
He then draws a comparison between the Oregon freedom fighters and some of today’s student activists, specifically on Yale’s campus. There was a hubbub there last year over Halloween costumes: The school offered guidelines on how students should dress without offending people, and a professor’s dissent was met with backlash. But Maher asks if this, like the make-believe desecration of the Constitution occurring out West, is really something we should be getting worked up about.
“[It] begs the question: If it is a microaggression, shouldn’t it just make you micro-angry? Do we have to go to DEFCON-1 for everything in this country? Where’s the perspective anymore?”
But the through-line, in his view, is about rationale as much as outsized reaction: “It’s interesting that this Yale student and this hammerhead in the woods think they’re political opposites, but really they’re the same person. Martyrs without a cause.”