Late-night talk show host Bill Maher says that America is falling behind in the world because its people are far too focused on a "never-ending woke competition."
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During HBO's "Real Time with Bill Maher" on Friday, the comedian argued that China is winning the race to dominate the world stage while the United States is busy focusing on who can be more woke.
"[Y]ou're not going to win the battle for the 21st century if you are a silly people and Americans are a silly people," Maher said, taking a cue from "Lawrence of Arabia," a 1962 British film.
"That's the classic phrase from 'Lawrence of Arabia when Lawrence tells his Bedouin allies that as long as they stay a bunch of squabbling tribes, they will remain a silly people. Well, we're the silly people now," he continued. "You know who doesn't care that there's a stereotype of a Chinese man in a Dr. Seuss book? China. All 1.4 billion of them could give a crouching tiger flying f***."
"In two generations, China has built 500 entire cities from scratch, moved the majority of their huge population from poverty to the middle class, and mostly cornered the market in 5G and pharmaceuticals," he said. "Oh, and they bought Africa. Their New Silk Road initiative is the biggest infrastructure project in history, indebting not just that continent, but large parts of Asia, Europe, and the Middle East to the people who built their roads, bridges, and ports."
"If anything, they are not a silly people," he later added. "They are as serious as a prison fight."
Maher explained that China is pulling far ahead of the United States on the world stage, and America continues to chase its tail because "half the country's having a never-ending woke competition deciding whether Mr. Potato Head has a d**k while others believe in conspiracy theories."
He said that the United States simply can't unite — a problem that will cause a ripple effect for generations to come.
"We see a problem and we ignore it, lie about it, fight about it, endlessly litigate it, sunset clause it, kick it down the road, and then write a bill where a half-assed solution doesn't kick in for 10 years," Maher said. "China sees a problem and they fix it. They build a dam — we debate what to rename it."
Pointing to how China immediately handled the COVID-19 crisis — when the severity of the crippling pandemic was brought to light, anyway — Maher added, "When COVID hit Wuhan, the city built a quarantine center with 4,000 rooms in 10 days, and they barely had to use it because they quickly arrested the spread of the disease. They were back to throwing raves in swimming pools while we were stuck at home surfing the dark web for black market Charmin [toilet paper]."
"We're not losing to China — we lost," he added.
He also pointed to education as another sector in which the United States is failing.
"There is a progressive trend now to sacrifice merit for equity, colleges are chucking the SAT and ACT test and in New York Mayor de Blasio announced merit would no longer decide who gets into the schools for advanced learners, but rather a lottery system," he added. “You think China's doing that? Letting political correctness get in the way of nurturing their best and brightest? You think Chinese colleges are offering courses in the philosophy of 'Star Trek,' the sociology of 'Seinfeld,' and Surviving the Coming Zombie Apocalypse? Those are real, and so is China and they are eating our lunch. And believe me in an hour, though, they'll be hungry again."
Content warning: rough language
New Rule: Losing to China | Real Time with Bill Maher (HBO) www.youtube.com