Bill Maher made an ominous prediction about Trump supporters and the 2024 election

Bill Maher described the "slow-moving coup" happening in the U.S.

We are living in weird times in far more ways than one. Not only are we coping with a global pandemic that some people still refuse to acknowledge, but we are also dealing with an ex-president who still refuses to admit that he lost the last election, whose fan base keeps spiraling deeper and deeper into kooky conspiracy theories and whose adopted party inexplicably failed to cut bait and run from Q-ville when it had the chance.

So now we're watching democracy flail and sputter because millions of Americans simply reject objective reality. It's genuinely, mind-bogglingly weird.

Such is the backdrop of Bill Maher's recent run-down of what he sees happening in the next election. Under normal circumstances, it would be far too early for such punditry from comedic political commentators, but the U.S. sailed right past normal years ago. So now, not even a year past the last election—and with no one even announcing an intention to run—we're already pondering what will happen in 2024. (Seriously, why does everything have to be so dumb?)

Maher laid out the plan that appears to be unfolding before our eyes in a segment titled "A Slow-Moving Coup," starting with the Eastman memo that basically was a blueprint for Trump overturning the results of the election he lost.



New Rule: The Slow-Moving Coup | Real Time with Bill Maher (HBO) www.youtube.com



"Here are the easiest three predictions in the world," said Maher. "Trump will run in 2024. He will get the Republican nomination. And whatever happens on election night, the next day he will announce that he won.

"I've been saying ever since he lost, he's like a shark that's not gone, just gone out to sea," continued Maher. "But actually, he's been quietly eating people this whole time. And by eating people, I mean he's been methodically purging the Republican Party of anyone who voted for his impeachment or doesn't agree that he's the rightful leader of the Seven Kingdoms."

Maher explained how the small number of Republicans who outwardly opposed Trump's attempt to overturn the 2020 election will be gone by 2024, and how state legislatures and election officials are being replaced with loyalists who will hand him the presidency whether he actually wins it or not. He predicted that Republicans would win the House in 2022.

"And yet, 2024 comes and Democrats treat it as a normal election year," he said. "They are living in a dream world where their choice of candidate matters, their policies matter, the number of votes they get matters, none of it does. I won't even predict who the Democratic nominee will be, because it doesn't matter."

Maher explained that even if the Democratic nominee wins the election, "Trump won't accept it." But this time, his conspiracy theories about election fraud "will be fully embraced by stooges he is installing right now."

The only thing that kept the U.S. from a full-blown constitutional crisis was that some Republican elected officials put their foot down and insisted on reality. What happens without people who are willing to go against pressure from their party and do the right thing?

"The ding dongs who sacked the Capitol last year? That was like when Al Qaeda tried to take down the World Trade Center the first time with a van. It was a joke. But the next time they came back with planes," Maher said.

"I hope I scared the shit out of you!" Maher said, in conclusion.

Yeah. A majority of Americans are already there, Bill.

Courtesy of Elaine Ahn

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Teens of today live in a totally different world than the one their parents grew up in. Not only do young people have access to technologies that previous generations barely dreamed of, but they're also constantly bombarded with information from the news and media.

Today’s youth are also living through a pandemic that has created an extra layer of difficulty to an already challenging age—and it has taken a toll on their mental health.

According to Mental Health America, nearly 14% of youths ages 12 to 17 experienced a major depressive episode in the past year. In a September 2020 survey of high schoolers by Active Minds, nearly 75% of respondents reported an increase in stress, anxiety, sadness and isolation during the first six months of the pandemic. And in a Pearson and Connections Academy survey of US parents, 66% said their child felt anxious or depressed during the pandemic.

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Mental Health America reports that most people who take the organization’s online mental health screening test are under 18. According to the American Psychiatric Association, about 50% of cases of mental illness begin by age 14, and the tendency to develop depression and bipolar disorder nearly doubles from age 13 to age 18.

Such statistics demand attention and action, which is why experts say destigmatizing mental health and talking about it is so important.

“Today we see more people talking about mental health openly—in a way that is more akin to physical health,” says Champion. She adds that mental health support for young people is being more widely promoted, and kids and teens have greater access to resources, from their school counselors to support organizations.

Parents are encouraging this support too. More than two-thirds of American parents believe children should be introduced to wellness and mental health awareness in primary or middle school, according to a new Global Learner Survey from Pearson. Since early intervention is key to helping young people manage their mental health, these changes are positive developments.

In addition, more and more people in the public eye are sharing their personal mental health experiences as well, which can help inspire young people to open up and seek out the help they need.

“Many celebrities and influencers have come forward with their mental health stories, which can normalize the conversation, and is helpful for younger generations to understand that they are not alone,” says Champion.

That’s one reason Connections Academy is hosting a series of virtual Emotional Fitness talks with Olympic athletes who are alums of the virtual school during Mental Health Awareness Month. These talks are free, open to the public and include relatable topics such as success and failure, leadership, empowerment and authenticity. For instance, on May 18, Olympic women’s ice hockey player Lyndsey Fry will speak on finding your own style of confidence, and on May 25, Olympic figure skater Karen Chen will share advice for keeping calm under pressure.

Family support plays a huge role as well. While the pandemic has been challenging in and of itself, it has actually helped families identify mental health struggles as they’ve spent more time together.

“Parents gained greater insight into their child’s behavior and moods, how they interact with peers and teachers,” says Champion. “For many parents this was eye-opening and revealed the need to focus on mental health.”

It’s not always easy to tell if a teen is dealing with normal emotional ups and downs or if they need extra help, but there are some warning signs caregivers can watch for.

“Being attuned to your child’s mood, affect, school performance, and relationships with friends or significant others can help you gauge whether you are dealing with teenage normalcy or something bigger,” Champion says. Depending on a child’s age, parents should be looking for the following signs, which may be co-occurring:

  • Perpetual depressed mood
  • Rocky friend relationships
  • Spending a lot of time alone and refusing to participate in daily activities
  • Too much or not enough sleep
  • Not eating a regular diet
  • Intense fear or anxiety
  • Drug or alcohol use
  • Suicidal ideation (talking about being a burden or giving away possessions) or plans

“You know your child best. If you are unsure if your child is having a rough time or if there is something more serious going on, it is best to reach out to a counselor or doctor to be sure,” says Champion. “Always err on the side of caution.”

If it appears a student does need help, what next? Talking to a school counselor can be a good first step, since they are easily accessible and free to visit.

“Just getting students to talk about their struggles with a trusted adult is huge,” says Champion. “When I meet with students and/or their families, I work with them to help identify the issues they are facing. I listen and recommend next steps, such as referring families to mental health resources in their local areas.”

Just as parents would take their child to a doctor for a sprained ankle, they shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help if a child is struggling mentally or emotionally. Parents also need to realize that they may not be able to help them on their own, no matter how much love and support they have to offer.

“That is a hard concept to accept when parents can feel solely responsible for their child’s welfare and well-being,” says Champion. “The adage still stands—it takes a village to raise a child. Be sure you are surrounding yourself and your child with a great support system to help tackle life’s many challenges.”

That village can include everyone from close family to local community members to public figures. Helping young people learn to manage their mental health is a gift we can all contribute to, one that will serve them for a lifetime.

Join athletes, Connections Academy and Upworthy for candid discussions on mental health during Mental Health Awareness Month. Learn more and find resources here.

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