Bill Maher used the “New Rules” segment of Friday night’s episode of “Real Time” to do something even he couldn’t believe he was doing: advocating for kids.
Specifically, Maher weighed in on the ongoing wave of teachers strikes in states like Kentucky and Oklahoma, likening underfunded schools and underpaid children to neglectful parenting. “There is a revolt brewing in the teacher’s lounge these days, and it’s long overdue. #TimesUp, meet pencils down,” he said.
But of course, Maher also noted how weird this topic is for him, as he famously can’t stand kids.
“I know, me sticking up for kids? It’s like Mike Pence fighting for gay adoption,” Maher joked.
But, Maher said, he was recently struck by a social media post from a teacher in Arizona, who shared her pay stub, that went viral. “Probably because she’s one of the people we entrust with our children. And she makes $320 bucks a week.”
“How do people, even the burdened taxpayer, justify this? We were all kids, we remember early learning,” he continued. “You have those moments imprinted on your brain. A teacher was your first mentor, your first role model.”
Or, said, “if you grew up in Florida, your first lay.”
Maher noted teachers in West Virginia went on strike for a 5 percent pay raise. That’s “not a lot, but it helps when you have to pay for your own paper, your own pencils, and now, your own bullets.”
“Here’s an idea, don’t give the teachers guns, give them a living wage. They’re not asking for the world, just enough of a raise so they don’t have to drive an Uber three nights a week,” Maher said. “It isn’t supposed to be a side hustle, teaching.”
Maher then drew a comparison between taxpayer indifference to underfunded schools to the fact that it’s legal in every state — “not just the Waffle House states” — for kids to get married.
“#MeToo for Hollywood but we’re okay with this?” he asked.
He made it clear he still can’t stand kids.
“But as much as I can’t stand personally to be around them, I would rather that American children be well-educated, productive citizens,” he said. “As opposed to what they otherwise might become: useless burdens on society.”
As he said it, a photo of Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump appeared on screen.