Comedian Bill Maher came under fire last week for suggesting that an economic recession would be preferable to President Donald Trump winning in 2020.
As The Washington Examiner reported, Maher told his guest, conservative Trump critic Tom Nichols, that he “should wish for a recession” if he wants to see Trump lose re-election.
The guest pushed back against the host’s assertion, but Maher continued insisting that the United States is perfectly capable of surviving an economic collapse, but incapable of surviving four more years of Trump in the White House.
Many took issue with Maher’s remarks, including the president himself. In a series of Twitter messages, Trump insulted and ridiculed the comedian, vowing to win in 2020.
Progressive news and opinion outlet The Nation criticized Maher as well, writing that his rooting for an economic crash is “dangerous,” and noting that the comedian is a multi-millionaire who would not really feel the effects of an economic downturn, like millions of ordinary Americans would.
The publication also suggested that Democrats in general should refrain from cheering on the recession, arguing that history has shown that economic crises tend to make Americans more racist and more likely to look for scapegoats in disadvantaged people and communities.
Instead of viewing recession as an “electoral opportunity,” according to The Nation, Democratic politicians should view it as a “political problem,” because an economic crisis can easily make the public more receptive to reactionary politics, and shift the entire country to the right.
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) August 16, 2019
On Friday, despite backlash, Maher doubled down on his claims.
During the latest edition of his popular HBO show, the comedian suggested once again that a recession would be preferable to Trump winning re-election, Mediaite reports.
Maher pointed to the Trump administration’s decision to gut the Endangered Species Act, arguing that a recession would be easier to handle than the extermination of endangered species of animals.
“I’m just saying we can survive a recession. They don’t last forever. You know what lasts forever? Wiping out species!”
The host then dismissed those who “get mad” at him for hoping for a recession, ridiculing Fox News host Sean Hannity’s remarks about the previous episode of his show.
The host continued to call for a recession, stating that Trump is going to do “what any evil villain would do” to threatened species, also pointing to the growing crisis over lead contamination in drinking water in Newark.
“Yes, a recession would be very worth getting rid of Donald Trump and these kinds of policies,” the comedian reaffirmed.
— Raw Story (@RawStory) August 17, 2019
A recession could indeed be around the corner, data suggests. As Reuters reported, earlier this week, the yield curve — a strong and reliable predictor of recession — inverted for the first time since 2007.