UPDATE, with video Bill Maher has some advice for America before he leaves on a two-month hiatus: “Shut the f*ck up.”
“Let’s stop talking politics to each other,” Maher said on tonight’s season finale of HBO’s Real Time With Bill Maher (the series returns January 18). “Everyone these days says the way to bridge the partisan divide is to talk to each other. It never works.”
“People don’t change their politics,” he said.
With Thanksgiving less than a week away, Maher’s final New Rule of 2018 is timely, to say the least. If your relatives haven’t figured out Trump by now, he said, “they won’t change their mind over the green bean casserole.”
“We never used to fight over politics 24/7,” the HBO host said, noting that, when he was growing up, adults considered it “impolite” and “nosy” to discuss politics. “We used to have no idea how much we really hated each other, and it worked.”
With a quote he later tweeted, Maher offered up his own career as proof that political persuasion might be a losing battle. “Over the years, hundreds of people have come up to me and said, ‘I saw Religulous and now I’m an atheist.’ Nobody ever comes up to me and says, ‘I watch Real Time every week, and now I’m a liberal.’ They’ll flip on God, but not Trump. That cult is serious.”
Pulling out his copy of the 2014 book 14,000 Things To Be Happy About (no doubt author Barbara Ann Kipfer just made it to 14,001), Maher chose a few subjects at random – baking bread, Sunday naps, slumber parties. “See,” he said. “Talk about that sh*t.”
Changing someone’s politic stance? “You would have better luck trying to talk Tom Cruise out of Scientology.”
Check out the New Rules segment in the video above.