Bill Maher said he sees hope for America in the recent engagement of Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani. On “Real Time With Bill Maher” Friday, the comedian said that the couple represents a “symbol of reconciliation” for a deeply divided nation.
“Just the fact that they’re together is almost Shakespearean, ‘Rodeo and Juliet,’ but they make it work because they see each other as more than just who they voted for,” Maher said during his “New Rules” segment. “And they say, ‘Yes, we’re different but that’s also more fun and we’re going to make that work for us.’ They see the world differently and they love each other. What a concept! I’d like to try it in America because that’s how I feel about my country!”
The couple announced their engagement last week in an Instagram post. That followed months of media speculation that the music superstars were warring behind the scenes over their supposed political divisions.
But Maher said the couple could be an example to the rest of us. As Gwen and Blake go, so goes the nation.
“If there is one thing American needs right now it is a symbol of reconciliation between red and blue America,” he said.
“I don’t want to live in a country without the red states,” Maher continued. “I like traveling there. When people talk to you in Oklahoma, they’re not scanning the room to see if there’s someone more important. … Also, they laugh like nobody’s watching. They don’t have a non-dairy, gluten-free, hypoallergenic stick up their ass. … Let’s all stop seeing each other as deplorable.”
Bill Maher: We Must Not Become the Balkans
Bill Maher believes we’re at a critical junction for the nation’s future, and we must be willing to work together to heal our divides. If not, then we could end up like the Balkans, he said.
“For decades Sarajevo, Yugoslavia, was a diverse city where Serbs, Croats, and Muslims lived together as friendly neighbors,” Maher said. “In 1984, they hosted the Olympics. Eight years later, people were getting shot by snipers when they went out for milk. Don’t tell me it can’t happen here. … It not only can happen here, it kind of is happening here.”
He pointed to how some people were afraid to put up yard signs for candidates if it was in the minority opinion in that area. “That’s like gang neighborhoods where you dare not get caught wearing the wrong color.”
‘No President Can Unite Us, We Must Unite Ourselves’
Bill Maher brought up the oft used media narrative during the campaign of “which candidate can best unite the nation?”
“No president can unite us,” he said. “We must unite ourselves.”
Which is why, he sees so much hope in Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton’s relationship.
“Now more than ever, we need an example of cross-cultural love to send a message to our broken nation that love can lift us up where we belong, like a majestic eagle soaring above the fray and sh—ing all over the haters below! And that is why for the sake of our nation, Gwen, Blake, you have to make this work!” he said. “No seriously, it would be psychologically devastating if you, our one symbol of America’s two halves coming together, s— the bed on this. So don’t! Get married, do it quickly, and make it stick forever! No pressure.”