Dear Mr. Maher, you are the problem.
I find Bill Maher funny. I find his show funny. And yes, with Trump’s presidency, it’s even funnier. But it’s also the problem.
A few years ago, my mother in law had an old car that was giving her a hard time. A horrible car, it would break at the absolute worst moment, but also daily.
My mother in law also had the worst mechanic. The one that would take the car, keep it in the shop for a week, “working on it,” charge you a good sum, and then the day you’re back on the road is the day you’re back at the shop, because all he did was stick some gum over the hole in the oil tank, then fill it up.
Anyway, she had a bad car, bad mechanic.
She hated that car and it was making her miserable. So, what did she do? You’d think she’d replace the car. She had the means to replace the car. They were selling cars where she lived, good cars, and she had the money to buy a new car. But she didn’t. Instead, she complained. To anyone. Especially to us, her closest family. We would hear her out, and comfort her, and talk about what should happen and then we’d joke about it.
It was bad to have the car, but then complaining about it made it easy to start conversations and let others be witty and funny. Some good times could be had.
So it went on.
But then, in that case, we figured it out.
We had to, it stopped being funny. It was making her life difficult and it wasn’t safe.
So we came up with a solution. She was not allowed to cry and whine and bitch and moan about that car anymore. Not to us, anyway. We’ve heard it all, said it all, mocked it all. No, she couldn’t talk to us about the car. The car is giving you trouble? Do something about it.
So, she did.
Less than a month passed and there was a new car parking in her driveway. Guess what, for a long time the bad car, bad mechanic jokes continued to roll at our dinner table. And you know what, it felt better — instead of feeling self-deprecating and twisted, it felt like actual humor, it probably was.
So. To My actual point.
I know nothing about cars and care very little about cars, but even I could crack some really good jokes about that wicked car.
The people reading, listening, watching and retelling the wisdom of satire shows, like Bill Maher’s, get this gratifying feeling that makes it easier to sleep at night and go through the days.
What’s worse is that the politicians coming to the shows are also getting a satisfying feeling by telling a sharp Trump joke or showing us all the insanity of today’s political reality.
You can’t get better, easier material to make smart jokes about than what we have now. The freaking Russians are in the Oval office with their media telling the American people what’s what. And this is just yesterday; yesterday morning.
Just like the pre-election dealing with Trump in the media had given him the presidency, the satires, and jokes, and memes, and tweets about his presidency is what’s keeping him in office now.
I’m sorry, but it’s our morphine.
It’s time to stop. It is funny, agreed. But it is also the problem.
If the people who can do something are not doing anything, but are still getting good points, then there’s something wrong.
No. I say they are not allowed anymore.
They need a plan and they need to take action.
And that action is not to tell people to call their representatives and tell them how upset they are. Because that’s just more crying, and whining, and bitching, and moaning.
No. They have to take the steps that they can and should be taking right now. All the steps.
What is happening is not only outrageous. It is unsafe. It is wrong. And rules have been broken.
Public reps who think today’s political reality is outrageous, unsafe and wrong need to find the way to protest better — with numbers and proximity; they need to find the way to take legal action and to make the small scale mechanisms work as an ensemble. Because that’s the power they have. They are more, they are close enough to reach him, they know the system, and they have everything to lose.
I don’t have the answers. I know replacing Trump is not as easy as buying a new car. I know.
But you can’t give your public representatives good points for cracking a smart joke about the situation. You only give points for doing something to fix it. Don’t tell me what so and so said on the show. I don’t care and you shouldn’t either.
It is not safe here anymore.