Maher: US ‘lost’ to China, too focused on ‘woke competition’ and ‘lizard people’

Comedian and late-night host Bill Maher said the United States has “lost” to China in the “battle for the 21st century.” 

During “Real Time with Bill Maher” on Friday, Maher argued that China was becoming more dominant on the world stage as the U.S. argues over “culture wars.”

“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—,” Maher said, referencing the controversy surrounding six of Seuss’s books that were pulled by Dr. Seuss Enterprises over racist imagery. 

“If anything, they are not a silly people. They are as serious as a prison fight,” he said.

Maher criticized China’s authoritarian government over controversies surrounding Hong Kong’s autonomy and the nation’s treatment of Uyghur Muslims. However, the host went on to argue that China is able to quickly develop and solve problems as the U.S. debates partisan issues.

“On a national level, we’ve been having infrastructure week every week since 2009, but we never do anything,” Maher said.  “Half the county is having a never-ending woke competition deciding whether Mr. Potato Head has a d—, and the other half believes that we have to stop the lizard people because they’re eating babies.”

Controversy erupted on Twitter following toy maker Hasbro’s suggestion that the company could move to a more gender-neutral name. 

“Kids want to be able to represent their own experiences. The way the brand currently exists — with the ‘Mr.’ and ‘Mrs.’ — is limiting when it comes to both gender identity and family structure,” Hasbro Senior Vice President Kimberly Boyd told Fast Company in an interview published in late February. 

Maher also compared China’s ability to develop its infrastructure quickly compared with U.S., noting that it took 16 years for the Big Dig in Boston to be completed.

“China once put up a 57-story skyscraper in 19 days. They demolished and rebuilt the Sanyuan Bridge in Beijing in 43 hours,” Maher said. “We binge-watch. They binge-build.”

Maher hailed China’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, pointing out that it built a massive quarantine center in 10 days early in the pandemic that was hardly used.

“They were back to throwing raves in swimming pools while we were stuck at home surfing the dark web for black-market Charmin,” he said.

“We’re not losing to China. We lost,” Maher said. “The returns just haven’t all come in yet.”

Maher’s comments come after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Friday kick-started a debate on an infrastructure overhaul, asking committees to draft bold legislation. Her push came just days after the House and Senate passed the American Rescue Plan without Republican support. 

Following President Biden’s signing of the $1.9 trillion plan, Democrats have indicated that they do not intend to slow down and plan use their slim majority in both chambers of Congress. Pelosi urged lawmakers to reach across the aisle and work with GOP counterparts on infrastructure, something both Republicans and Democrats support. 

Tags Bill Maher China Joe Biden Nancy Pelosi Real Time with Bill Maher United States

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