BILL MAHER, HBO HOST: And finally, new rule, you’re not gonna win the battle for the 21st century if you are a silly people and Americans are a silly people. That’s the classic phrase from Lawrence of Arabia when Lawrence tells his Bedouin allies that as long as they stay a bunch of squabbling tribes, they will remain a silly people. Well, we’re the silly people now. You know who doesn’t care that there’s a stereotype of a Chinese man in a Dr. Seuss book? China. All 1.4 billion of them could give a Crouching Tiger flying f**k … because they’re not a silly people. If anything, they are as serious as a prison fight. Look, we all know China does bad stuff. They break promises about Hong Kong autonomy, they put Uyghurs in camps and punish dissent and we don’t want to be that, but there’s got to be something between authoritarian government that tells everyone what to do, and a representative government that can’t do anything at all.

In two generations, China has built 500 entire cities from scratch, moved the majority of their huge population from poverty to the middle class and mostly cornered the market in 5G and pharmaceuticals. Oh, and they bought Africa. Their New Silk Road initiative is the biggest infrastructure project in history, indebting not just that continent, but large parts of Asia, Europe and the Middle East to the people who built their roads, bridges and ports. If you want to go anywhere in the world these days, you better have a yen for travel. Yeah.

In China alone, they have 40,000 kilometers of high speed rail. America has none. Our fastest train is the train that goes around the zoo. California wanted to build high speed rail connecting the entire state but alas, could not, we’re 6 billion in the hole just trying to finish the track connecting the vital hubs of Bakersfield and Merced. One small step for nobody one giant leap if you’re a raisin. On a national level, we’ve been having infrastructure week every week since 2009. But we never do anything. Half the country’s having a never ending woke competition deciding whether Mr. Potato Head has a d*ck and the other half believes we have to stop the lizard people because they’re eating babies. We are a silly people. Even when we all agree on something, like getting rid of the penny, no the inertia, the a** covering, the graph, the lawyers, the cowardice, nothing ever moves in this impacted colon of a country. We see a problem and we ignore it, lie about it, fight about it, endlessly litigate it, sunset clause it, it kick it down the road and then write a bill where a half a**ed solution doesn’t kick in for 10 years.

China sees a problem and they fix it. They build a dam. We debate what to rename it. That’s why their airports look like this. And ours look like this. In San Francisco, it took 10 years just to get to bus lines through environmental review. The big dig a tunnel in Boston took 16 years and don’t get me started on my solar [inaudible].

China once put up a 57-story skyscraper in 19 days. They demolished and rebuilt the Sanyuan Bridge in Beijing in 43 hours. We binge watch, they binge build. When COVID hit Wuhan, the city built a quarantine center with 4000 rooms in 10 days, and they barely had to use it because they quickly arrested the spread of the disease. They were back to throwing raves in swimming pools. While we were stuck at home surfing the dark web for black market Charmin.

We’re not losing to China. We lost. The returns just haven’t all come in yet. They made robots that check a kid’s temperature and got their a**es back in school. Most of our kids are still pretending to take zoom classes while they watch Tik Tok and they’re brain cells slowly commit ritual suicide. As George Bush once said, ‘is our children learning.’ There is a progressive trend now to sacrifice merit for equity, colleges are chucking the SAT and ACT test and in New York Mayor de Blasio announced merit would no longer decide who gets into the schools for advanced learners, but rather a lottery system. You think China’s doing that? Letting political correctness get in the way of nurturing their best and brightest? You think Chinese colleges are offering courses in the philosophy of Star Trek, the sociology of Seinfeld, and Surviving the Coming Zombie Apocalypse? Those are real, and so is China and they are eating our lunch. And believe me in an hour, though, they’ll be hungry again.

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