Bill Maher has attacked Paul Ryan and Rand Paul, accusing the two politicians of “ruining Libertarianism” by being “intellectually stuck in their teen years.”
The comedian used the final “New Rule” section of this week’s Real Time to tackle conservatives who he believes have hijacked and distorted Libertarianism for their own ends. Maher has previously been vocal about his Libertarian leanings, but argued the movement has lost much of its original meaning. Speaking of his days as a professed Libertarian, Maher quipped:
“Back then, [Libertarianism] meant I didn’t want Big Government in my bedroom, or my medicine chest, and especially not in the second drawer of the nightstand on the left side of my bed. And I still believe that, but somewhere along the way Libertarianism morphed into this creepy obsession with free-market capitalism based on an Ayn Rand novel called Atlas Shrugged.”
Commenting that Libertarianism “sounds deep when you’re 19,” Maher continued:
“And one day, you realize that your copy of Atlas Shrugged belongs in the same milk crate as your beer helmet and the t-shirt that looks like a tuxedo, and you move on. Unless you’re Paul Ryan or Rand Paul.”
Maher has spoken out in the past against government intervention, but now argues opposition to government involvement has been taken to an extreme. He said:
“To everyone who keeps trying to shame me about abandoning my Libertarian moorings, my message is this: I didn’t go nuts, this movement did. Like when you see a stop light, your reaction should be: ‘Great, an easy way to ensure we don’t all crash into each other,’ not, ‘How dare the government tell me when I can and cannot go! Seatbelts? I refuse to live in a nanny state! I’m an individual and I want to soar free as an eagle, right through the windshield.’ ”
You can watch the whole segment below. Do you think Bill Maher is correct in saying the original meaning of Libertarianism has been repurposed by politicians like Ryan and Paul?