Bill Maher, the host of HBO’s Real Time, appeared on CNN’s Fareed Zakaria GPS today where the two discussed the turmoil surrounding the 2016 presidential race, particularly the continually worsening political situation for Republican candidate Donald Trump.
The Zakaria-Maher Trump discussion began with the CNN host introducing the HBO host as “one of the most astute political observers of our time” and noting that both CNN and HBO are owned by Time Warner.
Zakaria questioned Maher as to how Donald Trump has “erupted” into the political spotlight and been accepted by such a wide swath of the American public.
Maher glumly reflected on how “depressing” it is to share a nation with “so many people who you share nothing with.” He described many Americans being “vulgar, tacky, racist people” and Trump of being a “reflection” of this. The comedian also expressed that he was surprised by the amount of support the GOP nominee has received.
Bill Maher suggested that many of the solutions being offered at Trump rallies are “constitutionally impossible” and spoke about disappointment with an internet that was purported to “make us smarter.”
Maher noted how, decades ago, members of the far right John Birch Society would have to put considerable effort into going door to door to spread their message, while today, people who want to consume the rhetoric of such organizations, or even interact with members, need only log into the appropriate chat room.
“There’s lots of people, who, that’s what they want to hear, and what they want to believe, and so they do.”
“It’s reality versus alternative reality,” Maher intently continued with Zakaria.
The Real Time host then discussed honesty among politicians, noting that “bold faced” lying is no longer a “deal breaker.”
Zakaria asked about how Trump’s “celebrity” and his following on Twitter had become a surprising source of support.
“Well, celebrity is everything in this country,” Maher considered Zakaria’s question thoughtfully.
Bill Maher stated a belief that, 100 years ago, celebrity was viewed as being “gauche” and that, in the time of William Shakespeare, publicly recognizable actors were seen as the “lowest form of life.”
The comedian spoke about his experience with U.S. children holding aspirations of becoming models, sports stars, and musicians. He noted that some children he encounters hold aspirations of joining Doctors Without Borders, but that there was too much emphasis on fame.
“American Idol, let’s get to the part where I’m an idol,” Maher spoke about what he sees as the ambition of many children.
“There’s no distinction between fame, notoriety, and celebrity. It’s all the same,” Fareed Zakaria offered.
Talk then turned to the potential for a Bill Maher-presidential run. Fareed Zakaria noted that Maher had million of Twitter followers and possesses a comparable amount of status as a celebrity to Donald Trump.
“I think religion is bad and drugs are good,” Maher joked, pointing out why feels his point-of-view would never satisfy enough U.S. voters to justify a presidential bid. He noted that he could make such a bid “more reasonably” than he could have a decade ago.
Maher remarked that polls have shown that Americans will vote for “anyone but an atheist” and that he had no presidential aspirations.
Talk then turned more dark as Zakaria asked what was in store for Donald Trump after the “probable defeat” in November.
“Not good things. I worry about that,” Maher stated seriously. “I think a lot of people do.”
The comedian described Trump as having his “knuckle-draggers all riled up” over allegations that the election is going to be “rigged.”
Maher cited polls indicating that “65 percent” of the Republican candidate’s followers believe the 2016 U.S. presidential election is “rigged” and that many support jailing Hillary Clinton.
“This is dangerous talk,” Bill Maher stated.
He compared Donald Trump to “Caesar crossing the Rubicon,” questioned how he might direct his “army” should he lose the election, and repeated rumors that the Republican nominee secretly doesn’t really want to be president and has plans to start a media company, as previously reported by The Inquisitr.
“They already talk about things like Second Amendment solutions,” Maher became slightly emotional describing some of the baffling statements made by the candidate about Hillary Clinton, as reported by The Inquisitr.
Zakaria noted that Trump had previously been a Democrat and asked Bill Maher if he thought that the candidate “really believed any of this.”
Maher replied that he thought that Donald Trump has “always been a racist,” noting a 1973 discrimination lawsuit relating to the treatment of tenants at a property owned by his father, his “birther” comments with regard to President Barack Obama, and his insistence in maintaining that a case exists, despite the existence of DNA evidence and a confession, against five exonerated New York City youths known as the Central Park Five, as previously reported by The Inquisitr.
Maher and Zakaria agreed that Trump has a talent for “sensing the crowd,” which they speculated may have fueled not only his rise, but his “ideology.”
The Maher-Zakaria interview then turned to the challenges faced by the media covering Donald Trump, as he has no qualms about lying directly to the face of journalists.
Maher stated a belief that, with “exceptions,” the media is in a declining state and that some outlets appear to confuse “fair and balanced” with “false equivalency.”
Bill Maher explained that Donald Trump lies more often that Hillary Clinton, citing research with PolitiFact. He stated that Hillary Clinton lies “less than most politicians” and that Donald Trump lies “like a five-year-old.”
The Real Time host stated that he thought it was the place of the media to “point that out” when Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, or any candidate lies.
Maher continued that there was “nothing there” with regard to the uproar surrounding Hillary Clinton’s private email server, the WikiLeaks dump of Clinton campaign emails, and the Clinton Foundation.
The late-night comedian expressed concern that some voters may equate the unprecedentedly extensive and growing number of accusations and questionable behavior associated with Donald Trump with manufactured outrage over Clinton’s emails being put out by the GOP and conclude that the race is a “wash” and either not vote, or vote for the Republican.
[Featured Image by Michael Buckner/Getty Images]