Politics

‘Inflation Persists for a Lot of Things,’ But Biden’s Ratings Are Bad Because Many Live with ‘Head in the Toilet’

During the closing monologue of Friday’s broadcast of HBO’s “Real Time,” host Bill Maher stated that while “inflation persists for a lot of things,” “Biden’s ratings are in the toilet, not because he’s doing such a bad job, but because a lot of Americans like to live with their head in the toilet” of poor perceptions about mental health.

Maher began by saying, “[N]ew rule: Being obsessed with your mental health is bad for your mental health.”

He continued, “I’ve been thinking a lot lately about a puzzle many are struggling with, why are Biden’s approval ratings so low when things are generally pretty good? Of course, there are problems, America’s a big place, but wages are rising, unemployment is negligible, the stock market is soaring, we somehow brushed off both a Trump presidency and a pandemic. Yes, inflation persists for a lot of things, but an actual good, nice-sized TV now costs $60. Who gets credit for that? We’ve got next-day shipping, stuffed-crust pizza, legal weed, GPS, and porn on the phone, cheer the f*ck up, stop acting like life in America in 2024 is unbearable. Biden’s ratings are in the toilet, not because he’s doing such a bad job, but because a lot of Americans like to live with their head in the toilet.”

Maher then turned to the number of Americans with depression diagnoses and stated, “And while depression is, of course, a very real thing, it’s also true that earlier generations never suffered from the expectation that you’re supposed to feel good all the time. … And the kids? The newest TikTok challenge is self-diagnosis of mental problems, because what’s more of a hotbed of mental health than TikTok? … Now, without a doubt, antidepressants can be life-saving for those who need them, but here’s the thing, about three-quarters of Americans who are on them haven’t been diagnosed with depression at all, they just want a magic pill. … [T]he people who really shouldn’t be that bummed out, but are acting like it anyway, are exactly who you think, white women.”

Maher further stated, “[E]very bad feeling isn’t a disease, and Americans really need to stop pathologizing everything. No one’s just sad anymore, they’re clinically depressed. They don’t really worry, they have chronic anxiety. Do you like things neat and organized? That’s OCD. You’re bummed when it’s cold out? Seasonal depression. Hate being alone? Separation anxiety. Bored? That’s ADHD. Shy? Social Anxiety Disorder. Why, because you don’t want to go to the office party? Nobody does. … Are you moody? No, you’re bipolar. And some people are bipolar and some people are on the spectrum. But sometimes, on the spectrum is just a hall pass for being a jerk. … Yes, you are on the spectrum, but so is everyone else alive. That’s why they call it a spectrum. And it’s not noble to glom on to the soft end of it. PTSD is for people who fought in Iraq, not for people who want to bring their dog on a plane. There are people in America with real problems who deserve to feel sad. But sometimes a bad day is just a bad day. When you constantly reinforce this message that no one’s just a normal human with normal struggles, but we’re all permanently f*cked in the head, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Maybe the solution is much simpler, and you just went a week without sleep or sunlight, maybe you have problems that could be solved with vegetables or exercise.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett



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