Michael Moore: The Appropriator-in-Chief
I was once a fan of Michael Moore’s movies but not necessarily of the man himself. I bought into the image he projected of a blue-collar working man for a brief time until I realized it was a silly disguise hiding a man who craves fortune, fame, and most of all, the spotlight. I’ve often wondered why some liberals are drawn to loudmouths, like Moore, Anthony Weiner, Allan Grayson and Bernie Sanders. If a microphone were set in the middle of them, surely a bloodbath would ensue. Other than Moore with his films, none of others have accomplished anything substantial. In fact, in my opinion, they hurt liberal causes more than help them.
Michael Moore, like the others, has had dismal results as a political leader of the Left. For example, Moore endorsed Ralph Nader, whose votes may have kept Al Gore from winning Florida outright. As a result, we lost having a President who is a leader in climate change. Moore later expressed some regret for supporting Nader, who by many accounts, can be a real jerk rather than a man of principle. From Michael Moore on “Here Comes Trouble: the Left, the Wall Street protests – and Ralph Nader" posted on October 4, 2011 by Tim Shorrock:
Moore told me he wasn’t surprised by my story, and went on to describe his own dismal encounter with Nader after Moore received a big advance from Doubleday for a book he wanted to write about GM and the auto industry. That apparently didn’t sit well with Nader, who, in a fit of jealousy, confronted Moore about the advance and told him in a fit of anger to leave. ‘I never forgot that,’ Moore said.
However, his regrets about Nader didn’t seem to sharpen Moore’s political acumen. But that hasn’t stopped him from appropriating any national cause that comes along as its spokesman.
Although Occupy Wall Street claimed to have no leadership, Moore was all over U.S. media outlets and the BBC speaking for the Occupy movement. While protesters demanded the great John Lewis wait his turn to speak, I never heard any of them tell Moore he wasn’t their spokesman. When he appeared on Rachel Maddow’s show to speak for Occupy, she called him a “national treasure.” Some national treasure! We can debate the merits and impact of Occupy, but the reality is it was doomed to failure for two reasons: it wasn’t a diverse movement and it lacked the very leadership it disdained. Moore superficially filled the leadership vacuum for a while until the movement faded and likewise, so did Moore.
Moore also jumped in the effort to recall Scott Walker, even giving a fiery speech on the capitol steps in Madison, WI. If you’ll recall, the Left, like Moore and Ed Schultz, denounced the DNC, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, and Pres. Obama for not pouring money into the state and not making campaign stops there. Once again Moore’s so-called political acumen failed him. He didn’t recognize like the political “establishment” he loathes recognized that the WI Dems ran a very weak candidate against Walker. In my opinion Moore’s star status blinds him to his own vulnerabilities. People don’t like outsiders coming into their states, messing with their politics, even if they are stars like Moore. For all his bluster and speechifying, the recall was a dismal and embarrassing failure.
Next, Moore capitalized on the Flint water crisis, but only after Rachel Maddow gave it much needed and deserved air time. Moore was late to the game, and a quick Google search will not yield anything in recent months that he has done to help Flint. In fact, I’m not sure what he has done to help Flint in any concrete ways. One blog sure doesn’t. From the MichiganLiberal.Com:
Over the weekend, Michael Moore penned what can only be described as the stupidest, most obtuse, most self-serving open letter perhaps ever penned. Moore (who is from Flint in the same way that someone who grew up in Ferndale is from Detroit, and as far as any can tell doesn’t live any closer to Flint today than an apartment he lives in part-time across the state in Traverse City), who showed up last month after spending the fall and beginning of winter promoting his new film, decided that the time to provide direct assistance to the people of Flint had expired already. Now it was time to stop all that (after seeing his movie) revolt.
In his letter, Moore told people to stop sending bottled water to the residents of Flint because children were already damaged and what the people of Flint needed was a revolution.
Again from Michigan Liberal.Com:
This is the most irresponsible, stupid, exploitative piece of advice ever given on behalf of people who have befallen (manmade) catastrophe. He goes on to tell everyone that 100,000 people have been poisoned, which is simply factually untrue (we know, thanks to the Kettering letter that Bill Ballenger thought proved his case — it didn’t — that certain sections of the city were affected and others, like where Ballenger lives, were not). and that because it’ll create a waste problem (that can be recycled) that people should stop sending water.... No, what the people of Flint need right now is not for everyone to rise up in nonviolent revolution and sign Michael Moore’s petition (and add their names to his e-mail list). What they need right now is water. It’s true that the children previously exposed to lead have already suffered damage. What’s also true is that Flint’s tap water still has high concentrations of lead in it and can’t be consumed, by anyone already exposed and by anyone not previously exposed. Michael Moore’s suggestion would allow even more people to potentially be exposed to lead poisoning, die of dehydration, or have to expend a shitload of energy and money going and getting water for themselves.
It's telling that Pundifact also called him out for his half-truths about the Flint crisis.
In the meantime, Moore was telling Pres. Obama to stay out of Flint unless he brought the Army Corps of Engineers with him and blamed NAFTA and the Clintons for destroying Flint. Guess he figured this is how the black man he thought he voted for would do just that regardless of laws and policies that prohibit a black or white president from bringing aid that Congress refuses to fund and the state refuses to accept. For a so-called son of Flint, which he is not, he doesn’t seem to know that the Chrysler plant closed before NAFTA because the automakers didn’t redesign their gas guzzlers and, in fact, kept making them while Americans were buying more and more Japanese gas-efficient cars. There is still a water crisis in Flint but there’s not a Michael Moore. This was really rich for a man who once said we liberals need to quit attacking each other and save our attacks for Republicans and the 1%, of which he is one.
Now, Moore has attached himself to the Women’s March by going on MSNBC with his five points and assuming the spokesman role for the march. In a sappy piece in Salon the author declares Moore to be the leader of the Left. Naturally, she cites everything he’s done for Flint, including catching pneumonia. Moore needs to tame his out-sized ego and get out of the way of this grass-roots movement. His Five Point Plan doesn’t begin to compare with the how-to manual, Indivisible, written by former Congressional staffers and being used by thousands upon thousands forming “The Resistance.”
The truth is Michael, we don’t need you. We don’t want your leadership. You’ve never won a political battle yet. You are the one living in the bubble. Don’t lecture us about our reaction to a Trump presidency when you—a rich white man—are one of the few people who will actually be hurt by his reign of terror. The fact is you always thrive financially when our country is hurting the most. My friend on Twitter Propane Jane once characterized you as an “unreliable ally,” and I can’t think of a more accurate description. Why don’t you throw yourself into your pretend blue-collar every common man façade and take a backseat. You might learn something about successfully leading a movement.
Like what you read? Chip in, keep us going.