Bill Maher calls for 'graciousness' toward former Trump supporters as MAGA 'fever' starts to break

Donald Trump's declining popularity among Republicans presents a "rare opportunity," according to comedian Bill Maher, and Democrats should take advantage by showing "graciousness" toward former MAGA fans.

"Finally, there are signs that the Trump fever is starting to break," Maher said during the New Rules segment of his HBO Real Time show on Friday. "Attendance is down at his rallies, and his press release brain farts don't make news like they once did with the tweets. When he brays for attention, now it feels like Madonna singing, 'B*tch, I'm Madonna.' If you have to say it, maybe you ain't 'it' anymore."

Maher pointed to poll numbers from October 2020, when 54 percent of Republicans said they were more loyal to Trump than the party, compared to 38 percent who chose the party over Trump. But now, Maher said, those numbers have essentially flipped.

"OK, this can't all be coming from the raw animal magnetism of Mitch McConnell," he said, adding that polls show Trump's support declining in key groups like "people without college degrees" and "white evangelicals."

"That is a description of the very people who made him a star in politics — men, people over 65, Jesus freaks and white guys who didn't go to college," Maher said. "But more and more even the poorly educated are looking at Trump with a mixture anger and 'what the f*ck was I thinking?' Even the QAnon shaman is now saying he was duped by Trump. "

Maher noted that two-thirds of Republicans now approve of former Vice President Mike Pence certifying the 2020 electoral votes, before playing clips of McConnell and Pence condemning the Capitol insurrection and Trump's effort to overturn the election.

"OK, something must be shifting if gutless wonders like Pence and McConnell are daring to say out loud, finally, that the emperor has no clue," Maher said.

"The question now is for Democrats, how are you going to handle that?" he said. "Trump's bond with his supporters is hatred for people they think look down on them. Now that these supporters are wavering, let's not nudge them back into Trump's embrace by showing no graciousness."

"That'll drive them right back into Trump's arms," he said. "We've all had a friend who dated a psycho, and when they come to their senses, the last thing they want to talk about is how they dated a psycho. It took Trump voters a long time to make it all the way down the MAGA rabbit hole. To jump on them the second they poke their head out would ensure many more years of political winter. Instead of saying, 'Nice work, you stupid racist sh*tkicker, maybe try, 'How you been? Welcome back to the wonderful world of reality. You got taken by a salesman, happens to all of us.' And don't talk politics at all. ... Little things that will make them think, hey, maybe Democrats don't all eat babies."

Maher pointed to positive examples from history when U.S. leaders showed grace toward defeated enemies, such as President Abraham Lincoln after the Civil War and President Harry Truman after World War II. He noted that after World War II, the U.S. staged wrestling matches in Japan between American and Japanese wrestlers, making sure to sometimes portray the American wrestler as "the bad guy." This provided a huge morale boost to the Japanese, Maher said, and indirectly led to the TV industry that made the country an economic powerhouse.

"Even though we dropped nuclear bombs on them, so much was forgotten simply by letting their wrestler kick our wrestler in the nuts," Maher said. "We need hugs, nots smugs, and if that means having to swallow the impulse of saying 'I told you so' and take a couple of fake kicks to the groin, well then I regret that I have but two nuts to give for my country."

Watch below.

Real Time with Bill Maher 02/25/2022 | Real Time with Bill Maher HBO (February 25th 2022) FULL

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