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Bill Maher for Biden's 'Minister of Truth'

Bill Maher for Biden's 'Minister of Truth'
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When any new president and administration come into power, the inclination for the political staff supporting that president is to push policy as far as possible toward the ideology of the incoming team.

President TrumpDonald TrumpHarry Reid reacts to Boehner book excerpt: 'We didn't mince words' Man arrested for allegedly threatening to stab undercover Asian officer in NYC Trump says GOP will take White House in 2024 in prepared speech MORE and his advisers put their thumbs on the right side of the scale and tipped it toward as many Republican or conservative principles as possible. Now that President BidenJoe BidenBiden eyes bigger US role in global vaccination efforts Trump says GOP will take White House in 2024 in prepared speech Kemp: Pulling All-Star game out of Atlanta will hurt business owners of color MORE and his team are in power, they seem to be putting their entire hands on the scale to tip it as far back to the left as fast as humanly possible.

This is generally interpreted as “politics as usual.” But when our entire nation is almost evenly divided in terms of party, ideology and blaming the “other side” for everything bad, “politics as usual” will never be a winning formula.

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So, what to do? I propose that President Biden bring on — or at least consult with — a “Minister of Truth.”

Because Biden is a Democrat and apparently a proud progressive (disguised as a moderate), he would want someone who checks those boxes. That being the case, I would nominate political commentator Bill MaherWilliam (Bill) MaherBill Maher blasts Oscar picks: Hollywood movies now are 'just depressing' Why the unhinged woke brigade is a profound threat to our freedom The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Happy anniversary to ObamaCare MORE, host of HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher,” as Biden’s Minister of Truth. 

Maher describes himself as a libertarian but is a progressive. Many see him as unflinchingly honest. He’s too honest, at times, for a number of partisans at both ends of the political spectrum and the entrenched establishments trying to cash in by utilizing fear or incendiary rhetoric.

By the nature of the job, the president of the United States is often surrounded by sycophants looking to survive and flourish in their jobs by telling the top boss whatever they think he wants to hear — as opposed to what he needs to hear.

Trump had such bootlickers, to the detriment of our nation. Biden’s are likely settling into place.

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The president — any president — must be told the truth, always, but especially in the age of a pandemic that’s crippling the lives and livelihoods of millions of Americans.

Like him or not, Maher is viewed as a truth-teller by many. His reputation in politics was created by his being “politically incorrect,” like the name of his former late-night TV series, so it is no surprise that Maher continues to offer deep-felt opinions that sometimes offend those who choose to put political correctness before sound policy.  

This has been the case especially when it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic and obesity. Maher rightfully has called out the dangers of “normalizing” obesity in the name of political correctness, saying that  “fat-shaming” needs to make a comeback.

While fat-shaming is cruel and such utterances should be condemned, the increasing medical problems associated with obesity should not be ignored in a misguided quest not to offend. To do so does put countless American lives at increased risk.

As reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics, America’s pre-pandemic obesity rate stood at a shocking 42.4 percent, up from 30.5 percent just 20 years ago. A study from Columbia University in 2013 that found that obesity was the cause of more than 20 percent of deaths among women and 15 percent among men — a percentage that equates to approximately 400,000 deaths per year.

Maher has been criticized for addressing the medical dangers of obesity. Naturally, he has ignored his politically correct critics and doubled-down on his opinions regarding obesity, given the pandemic. “America fighting COVID is like a boxer who went into the ring  out of shape and is taking a beating for it,” he said recently. “I think so many lives could have been saved at the very beginning of this crisis if the medical establishment had made a concerted effort to tell Americans … you need to do something, too. … A national campaign to get in shape would have dramatically improved our chances against this disease.”

Cue the outrage against Maher for daring to address the correlation between COVID-19 fatalities and obesity … except, a great many doctors apparently agree with him.

One is a Johns Hopkins cardiologist, Dr. David Kass, who offered three reasons why obesity can significantly worsen the negative effects of the virus: extra weight exerted upon the diaphragm during the breathing process; inflammation produced by fat cells that weakens the immunity system; and the virus more readily attaching itself to fat cells to enter the body.

So yes, we should always shut down ridicule and shaming, but we should never ignore medical facts and or toss aside medical science in the name of political correctness. In this case, we should applaud Maher for waving a warning flag.  

President Biden entered the Oval Office at a time when our nation and the world are in a surreal crisis. He needs all the honest, pragmatic advice he can get.

Whether it involves obesity, the coronavirus, or a host of other controversial subjects, Bill Maher appears to have his finger on the pulse of the nation and isn’t afraid to speak his mind. Biden and his team should tune into his program from time to time and take notes.

Douglas MacKinnon, a political and communications consultant, was a writer in the White House for Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, and former special assistant for policy and communications at the Pentagon during the last three years of the Bush administration.