HBO’s resident contrarian offered up a special message ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday specifically targeting political disputes around the dinner table.
“You’re not actually legally obliged to have an opinion.”
As a precursor to the fourth Thursday in November, increasingly distanced from a day of religious reflection in favor of secular traditions honoring parade floats and pigskins, “Real Time with Bill Maher” featured its namesake host tackling Turkey Day turmoil. Namely, he suggested that partisan bickering in politically blended families simply need not occur.
Closing out his “New Rule” segment, the comedian asserted, “There’s nothing wrong with not having an opinion on something. Especially if you don’t know what the f*ck you’re talking about.”
The screed that zeroed in on many of the woke touchstones of the year, like Bud Light, Disney and Target’s support of transgenderism, was also highlighted on social media with the caption, “This Thanksgiving, let’s be thankful that we live in a country where you’re free to express your opinion, but it’s still ok not to have one. #NoOpinion.”
— Bill Maher (@billmaher) November 18, 2023
“And if you’re getting your facts from TikTok and Instagram and Facebook, I don’t want to hear your hot take on asymmetrical warfare because there’s a term for someone who gets their news from Facebook: Mom,” Maher continued as guests, political strategist Donna Brazile and former Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), could be seen smiling, clapping and laughing along despite being guilty of many of the points the host would make.
“You know, among the worst things that social media ever did was it made everyone feel they had to weigh in on every controversial issue or breaking news story and that’s my job,” he quipped. “In the olden days, people would watch the evening news and then, well, nothing. They went on — they went on with their lives.”
“But today, everybody’s got to share their theory on everything, whether it’s trans women on the swim team or whether dwarves should play non-dwarves in the Snow White movie. But, has anyone noticed that the more time everyone spends telling everyone else their political position at every thing, the more we’ve been at each other’s throats?” asked Maher.
Suggesting a new hashtag previously mentioned, the host went on, “Here’s a trend I would love to see on Twitter: #NoOpinion, where people take issues like the debt limit and climate science and post ‘I don’t know sh*t about this.'”
“Thursday is Thanksgiving, the cherished yearly celebration when distant friends and scattered family members gather together to fight about Donald Trump, the other Butterball. But not just Trump. We’ll also argue about abortion and critical race theory and guns and prisons and schools. And this year, we’re fighting about Israel. But here’s the thing,” he reminded. “You’re not actually legally obliged to have an opinion.”
Harkening back to the Mayflower Pilgrims and the Wampanoag’s gathering that marked the seed of what would become an American holiday, Maher joked, “Do you know why the Indians and the Pilgrims were able to sit peaceably through the first Thanksgiving? Because nobody brought up politics — even though I’m sure the Indians had strong feelings about immigration.”
After digging into virtue-signaling and before signing off, the comedian opined on politicized corporations that seemingly make patronage into a partisan act by itself. So, after calling out Bud Light and Chick-fil-A as opposite ends of that spectrum, he closed, “This Thanksgiving, I’m gonna make beer can chicken with Bud Light and Chick-fil-A, and anybody who doesn’t like it can go f*ck themselves. Happy Thanksgiving, everybody!”
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