Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

Bill Maher and fellow ‘progressives’ don’t know beans

  • Print

Progressives have a new Armageddon, namely income inequality, and, yes, there are some things to be worried about, not least of all what the progressives themselves will do about it. In the end, you see, many are not really egalitarian at all. They are instead condescending, disdainful, neo-aristocrats who think the ordinary Joe and Jane cannot tie their own shoes without help from Washington.

Mighty mistakes from such stunted attitudes grow. And while you might say that you’ve never heard liberal politicians talk like that, large numbers of them definitely act like that even as they avoid the sneering, haughty outlandishness of celebrity liberals seeking attention instead of votes.

Michael Moore, the maker of doltish documentaries lucky to get a single fact straight, once said we were "the dumbest people on the planet," that our "stupidity is embarrassing" and even wrote a book called Stupid White Men ... And Other Sorry Excuses for the State of the Nation. Actually, the book did prove that some slow-witted folks are out there. It made the best-seller list.

Then you come to Bill Maher, the TV comedian who doesn’t rattle on just a little about American stupidity, but rattles on to the point of inanity about American stupidity. I happen to agree that a great many Americans are ill-informed, but I also think they are often the ones that vote for left-wing Democrats and that just as big a threat are ideologues who don’t know beans about the real world. Maher is one of those who would like to see something like Medicare for everyone without apparently understanding that Medicare is one of the most frightening fiscal threats this country now has. Would he treat obesity with more sugar in the diet?

On his TV show, Maher does not indulge his bigotry single-handedly, sometimes calling on small-name celebrities to chip in. One was guest David Carr, a liberal New York Times columnist who used the phrase "low-sloping foreheads" to refer to Midwesterners. Any number of writers have that kind of fun. Consider a journalism professor named Stephen Bloom. In an Atlantic magazine article about folks in Iowa, he called them, among other things, "an assortment of waste-oids and meth addicts with pale skin and rotted teeth."

Progressive politicians would never use such language, obviously, but many of them do endorse policies that assume vast incompetence among the inferior, unreliable, hopeless masses. If they did not think like that, they would not employ command-and-control measures that clearly aim to make not just a few decisions for a few of us, but endless decisions for just about everyone of us. Not infrequently, the liberty-shrinking measures are more hindrance than help.

To address income inequality — and forgetting about equal rights, equal human worth and equality in the way we regard each other — many progressives are gearing up to intervene hurtfully all over again, aiming, for instance, to tell businesses how much they can afford to pay employees when they cannot possibly know and thereby costing many of those employees working hours if not their jobs.

A real problem making us less equal in outcome is fatherless homes that contribute mightily to more school dropouts, more crime, more poverty. Its in part a matter of welfare programs that put wrong incentives in place but is also a sociocultural issue that calls for moral leadership, and here I would like to say that, despite my criticisms, I do recognize some special liberals out there, including one with a well-known name: Oprah Winfrey

I caught her on a TV show with the pastor T.D. Jakes making powerful pleas for fathers to do the right thing by their children. We need more of that sort of thing.


Jay Ambrose is the former director of editorial policy for Scripps Howard Newspapers, and was editor of The Rocky Mountain News in Denver and the El Paso-Herald Post.


—McClatchy-Tribune Services



Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes


  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.


Make text: Larger | Smaller


Spring fashion trends

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • PHIL.HOSSACK@FREEPRESS.MB.CA 101130-Winnipeg Free Press Columns of light reach skyward to the stars above Sanford Mb Tuesday night. The effect is produced by streetlights refracting through ice crystals suspended in the air on humid winter nights. Stand Up.....
  • The sun peers through the fog to illuminate a tree covered in hoar frost near Headingley, Manitoba Thursday- Standup photo- February 02, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos


What are you most looking forward to this Easter weekend?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google