The left is now looking down its noses at the working class
Comedian Bill Maher’s surprisingly classist monologue on the Friday edition of his HBO show “Real Time” wasn’t funny, but it was revealing. He unintentionally showcased his blue-state contempt for the poor and revealed the new political battle lines: white progressives versus the white working class.Democrats have come a long way from when they were the party of the working class and blue-collar voters. It should backfire on them at the polls. Insulting the voters is not smart politics.
Maher said in the monologue that America suffers from “spatial geographic inequality,” which was a multisyllabic way to say that all the smart, rich people live in just a few East and West Coast cities. Far from being a rallying cry for more economic equality — maybe what you would expect coming from liberals who constantly talk about such issues — Maher sunk his teeth into this economic disparity and revelled in it.
First, he mocked their buying power. “Maybe that has something to do with why Trump voters are obsessed with ‘owning the libs,’” he said. “Because the libs own everything else.”
He bragged that he and his “blue state” friends were having a “prosperity party,” while the rest of the nation wears cheap clothing and eat inexpensive food. Mississippi is so poor, he said, liberals should buy it and “recolonize” that state.
He said that in Wyoming, people dress in non-designer clothes, opting instead for Target. He said red-state residents don’t eat well, either. “We have chef Wolfgang Puck, they have Chef Boyardee,” he said.
Normally, bragging about how much money you have is considered impolite. However, this economic disparity is considered fair game in today’s politics. Reihan Salam wrote about this phenomenon: “It is almost as though we’re living through a strange sort of ethnogenesis, in which those who see themselves as (for lack of a better term) upper-whites are doing everything they can to disaffiliate themselves from those they’ve deemed lower-whites.”
But Maher resorted to gross stereotypes of red-state Americans even before Donald Trump was a real political player. In 2011, New York Times columnist David Carr was a Real Time guest when he said people who don’t believe in evolution, were conducting the “dance of the low, sloping foreheads, the middle places, right.” (Maher agreed, pointing out that it’s fine if red states believe this, but “don’t f–k with the smart states.”)