Why is there no conservative version of Bill Maher? Why is there no show led by a conservative that uses satire and humor to talk about politics and the big issues of the day in an open and honest way? I’ve looked for such a show and the only show on tv that I know of that fits that description is Real Time with Bill Maher, even if it has a crazy liberal bias. Don’t get me wrong, I’m no fan of Maher or his ideas. However, I do think the conservative movement needs its own Bill Maher because his show influences the culture and the only way to change our policies is to first change the culture, since politics is downstream from culture. We need someone who starts a debate about things that matter, things that are important to conservatives, the way Maher started the debate about the illiberalism of Islam on his show with Ben Affleck. We need someone who mocks liberal ideas and public figures and points out their flaws while at the same time calling out the hypocrisy on our side when it needs to be called out.
I believe this is why conservatives keep losing in politics, we haven’t realized that we can’t run and hide from the secular culture that is antagonistic to us, we have to infiltrate it and even shape or influence it to the vision of what we want it to be, as liberals have successfully done for the past 30 years. We have to be able to intellectually defend our values, ideas, and beliefs in a smart but funny way while also showing why the liberal versions of those are wrong and illogical. We also have to embrace debate and be eager to honestly answer questions about our values and beliefs, and even raise questions about those values and beliefs from time to time since neither side is 100% right all the time.
But this can only be done in a friendly environment where we’re in control, not a hostile one dominated by liberals where we’re in the minority and are constantly in the minority and on the defensive. We have to fight the culture wars on our terms and on our playing field, not on theirs. The problem is we’ve addressed this need by creating bubbles to shield ourselves just like liberals have, and surround ourselves with fellow conservatives. This only adds to the perception that we’re afraid to engage the culture and have our beliefs challenged by people who completely disagree with us. When the conservative movement has its own version of Bill Maher, then I’ll know we’re making progress, and political victories will follow.