[I consult and consider many sources in search of appropriate subject matter for this blog. Often I find material that is best left (mostly) untouched by me, e.g., today’s piece bounces off one of my favorite bloggers, The Rude Pundit.]
The Necessity of Michael Moore: Live Talk Edition
Last (Thursday) night, with about a day of advance notice, shambling filmmaker and … provocateur Michael Moore came to my place of work, a college, to give a talk about the current election…. I’ve been a fan of Moore’s … because, agree or disagree with him, he is sincere behind his snide attacks on stupidity, complacency, and cruelty. He believes, perhaps naively (although, at 60, it’s hard to call him that), that we can toss aside the (stuff) that divides us and we can make the country better….
Yes, we can!
Moore gave the starkest, most frightening explanation of how Donald Trump could end up winning the presidency against Hillary Clinton. For him, it all comes down to Rust Belt (mostly white, male) Americans in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin….
For them, Trump is a voice they needed to hear, Moore said, someone who isn’t afraid, someone who can say, “(screw) you” without consequences, someone who can say to Ford that he’ll put a 35% tariff on cars not made in the United States or that he’ll compel Apple to make iPhones in this country. It doesn’t matter whether or not he can do it.
He can’t! He knows it and so do we … and so does running mate Mike Pence.
The truth doesn’t matter.
What matters is that these isolated, angry white men hear this and it gives them irrational hope that they can get back some of what they’ve lost or that they’ve perceived they’ve lost, a little power and a decent amount of cash.
Is this what it means to “make America great again”? Even during the vice-presidential debate Pence could only mouth words like “that isn’t true” or “nonsense” when confronted with verbatim comments from Trump.
Voting for Trump turns Americans into “legal terrorists,” Moore said, and their votes “are Molotov cocktails thrown into a machine they want to blow up,” … Moore concluded, a few months later, they’ll understand that Trump isn’t gonna do any of (what) he said he would. Betrayed again.
We can’t take that risk.
Moore Addresses Voting 3rd Party
… “Voting that way just makes you kind of like Trump. You’re being narcissistic. You’re only voting that way because it makes you feel good to say you didn’t vote for Trump or Clinton.” Sometimes, Moore continued, “you just gotta suck it up and vote for the good of the country.”
Connection to PTSD
The first book manuscript I submitted to publishers bore the title Betrayed. [Hellgate Press asked if they could change the title to After the Storm.] I wrote this book with hostile intent, specifically aimed at former Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara who had just released In Retrospect, his memoir of the Vietnam War. Our points of view differ.
Moore claims that Trump, if elected, will betray his supporters, particularly rust belt workers who are now either unemployed or under-employed. Trump has no clue what it means for a worker to be tethered to a factory or a mine and then cut loose. All he has to offer are words–I wouldn’t call the blather he spews rhetoric.
So it is Moore’s use of the word “betrayed” that riles me. At 19-years-old, I had left college and gone to work in a factory. Poof, just like that, I was drafted (1965) to fight in a war that no one, including the SECDEF believed in.
For me, Trump eats from the same trough McNamara dined at and orally excretes the same bile.