Saturday, November 12, 2022

#317 / We Had A Good Run? Is It All Over Now?


That's Bill Maher, above. Maher is a television host (among other things), and is perhaps best known for his HBO political talk show, Real Time with Bill Maher.

The video clip I have linked at the top of this blog posting, "Democracy's Deathbed," is from November 4, 2022. In that video clip, which aired four days before the final votes were cast in our recent midterm elections, Maher proclaims that "democracy is on the ballot, and unfortunately, it's going to lose." Democracy has had a good run, Maher opines, but it's all fascism, from here on out, and there is nothing we can really do about it. 
Maher's commentary is definitely "downbeat." One of the persons who posted a comment on YouTube had this to say about Maher's presentation: "'Bill Maher has the most enthusiastic audience on the planet. 'We're all doomed!' Audience claps."

Before you read what I have to say about Maher's monologue, I suggest that you watch the video clip in its entirety. Doing this will take you seven minutes and fifty-three seconds. Please watch the clip! After you hear from Maher, you can then read my comments.

My commentary is short. It will not take you anywhere near seven minutes and fifty-three seconds to read it. 
I think Bill Maher should be ashamed of himself. 
I did not love all the results of the elections held on Tuesday, and particularly with reference to some of the questions decided in our local, Santa Cruz elections. However, the "death" of democracy is not the message I take from the election results. 
Quite the contrary. 
Americans have not voted for fascism, and democracy (always "on the ballot") did not, in fact, "lose." You have probably read a good number of post-election analyses that testify to this fact. 

So, Bill Maher was wrong in his prediction about the outcome of the recent elections held across the country. 

But worse than that, I think. Maher was wrong with his suggestion about how to react to an election in which democracy "loses." Maher suggests that there is no way to recover, and to resuscitate democracy, if an election goes to the dark side, and if democracy truly does "lose" (which is certainly possible). His monologue, in other words, is intended to promote the despair of projected powerlessness. We are never powerless, no matter how dire our situation. Shame on those who would counsel us otherwise!
If you didn't read my blog posting yesterday, or if you have already forgotten the quotation from Abraham Lincoln that I highlighted, let me quote our greatest president once again: 

“I do not deny the possibility that the people may err in an election,” [Lincoln] conceded in 1861. “But if they do, the true cure is in the next election.”
Let's not forget that. 

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