Bestselling author Jordan Peterson was the only person not interested in bashing President Donald Trump on Bill Maher’s panel Friday night, where he used the opportunity to educate Maher, his panel and viewers why Trump won in the 2016 election.
What did he say?
Jordan began by noting that a large percentage of Americans have aligned themselves with Trump, so he questioned — with all of the Trump bashing happening at the table — what would happen to an already divided nation if Trump’s political opponents oust him from office.
“It looks to me, from an outsider’s perspective, your country is polarizing in a way that’s not good and that, you know, people are going after Trump and I understand that…but there’s all these people that elected him and are identified with him and they’re not taking this well,” Peterson said.
Without respecting those who support Trump, liberals are participating in the destruction of the republic, Peterson said before issuing a stern instruction.
“You might not think they’re very bright and all of that…but you know, you need to have respect for the rest of your citizens and if your country is going to pull itself apart and as you really see this happening from an outsider’s perspective,” he explained.
What was the reaction?
Maher didn’t chide Peterson, but pushed back against his assertions. Maher claimed Trump “isn’t a regular Republican president” therefore liberals are free to attack him as they see fit, alleging that Trump attacks institutions that liberals champion.
Frank Bruni, a New York Times columnist, sort of agreed with Peterson. He said Trump’s critics should be free to criticize him, but they shouldn’t attack his supporters.
Alex Wagner, however, challenged Peterson, who is famous for his critiques of American liberals, namely over the left’s use of identity politics. Peterson clarified his current criticism was of the dialogue surrounding Trump, most of it coming from Trump’s opponents, “pulling people farther and farther apart.”