By Brian Flood
Bill Maher said he’s "always trying to make the case that ‘liberal’ is a different animal than ‘woke.’" (Screenshot/HBO)
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Comedian Bill Maher said far-left progressives were comparable to the Ku Klux Klan due to their fixation on race in a new interview.
Maher appeared on "The Joe Rogan Experience" on Saturday and Rogan told the veteran comic that he was like a "90s liberal" because his ideology isn’t as extreme as modern progressives.
"You’re like liberals back when they were more reasonable before they became leftists. And now every liberal kind of has to be a leftist," Rogan said. "If you want to be on the team, you’ve got to subscribe to the most fringe ideas that the team is promoting."
Maher said he’s "always trying to make the case that ‘liberal’ is a different animal than ‘woke,’" which he feels takes things too far to the left. While the definitions of wokeness vary with their various critics, Maher has said it's about the focus on identity and political correctness rather than addressing problems.
"You can be woke, with all the nonsense that that now implies, but don’t say that somehow it’s an extension of liberalism. Because it’s most often actually an undoing of liberalism. You can have your points of view and your positions on these things but don’t try and piggyback on what I always believe. I have always believed, as liberals do for example, in a colorblind society," Maher said.
"That the goal is to not see race at all, anywhere for any reason," Maher continued. "That’s what liberals always believed all the way through Obama, going back [to] Kennedy, everybody, Martin Luther King. That’s not what the woke believe."
"They believe race is first and foremost the thing you should always see everywhere, which I find interesting because that used to be the position of the Ku Klux Klan," Maher said, invoking the White supremacist hate group. "Again, you can have that position, but don’t say that’s a liberal position. You’re doing something very different."
Earlier this month, Maher took aim at Democrat-run cities over their handling of homelessness and migrants on his "Club Random" podcast. While discussing the quality of life in American cities, Maher's guest Sharon Osbourne, who spoke about how she's moving back to England, said how London has homeless people, but it's "nothing like here" since they "cannot set up home in the streets."
"No tents?" Maher asked.
"No," Osbourne exclaimed.
"That's where it all went wrong for us," Maher reacted. "It's again the same principle as I was saying before about like the reverse of what liberalism really is. Liberalism is, ‘for the sake of humanity and compassion, can we get these people off the streets?’ And woke is, ‘How dare you ask them to move! This is their home.’ No, it's not!"
Maher has also taken shots at President Biden in recent months, saying his "competency worries me more than ideology." The left-leaning host is a sharp critic of Republicans and former President Trump, but his willingness to poke what he views as progressivism run amok has won him his derision from the left as well.