Michael Moore has already voted. He sent in his absentee ballot the other day. No guess who he voted for. Having previously thrown himself in the corner for Bernie Sanders, the filmmaker and political firebrand has made sure to throw his hat in for Hillary Clinton since she assumed the Democratic ticket. That’s partly because a Trump presidency is still something that scares him. Moore is so worried that he released an 11th hour movie, “Michael Moore in Trumpland,” which now plays in select theaters and is available on iTunes. It’s not your typical Moore documentary; it simply shows a live performance he gave in Wilmington, Ohio — a one-man show about the election he delivered to a crowd of mostly Trump supporters.
Moore talks to us about Friday’s Hillary email scandal, understanding Trump supporters’ anger and why he’s still hopeful for the future.
I was feeling pretty good about the election after the debates, but not so much after the email scandal Friday.
I’ve been nervous even before this. This only makes it worse. I live in Michigan, in what I call one of the Brexit states. The polling we woke up to the morning of the primary back in March showed Hillary trouncing Bernie from anywhere from 15 to 30 points. Twelve hours later she lost to Bernie. Every poll was wrong. I know my fellow Michiganders, and the Ohioans, and the Wisconsinites. There’s a lot of anger. There’s a streak of anarchy because people feel they’ve lost everything. They have jobs now, but they’re working for less money; sometimes they’re working two jobs to get by. The idea of Trump blowing up the system is a sweet thought. That doesn’t mean they’re for him, but it means they live what he’s going to do.
Do you feel the emails will have as much of an impact on the polls as some are claiming?
I don’t think it will change a single vote. I do believe two things. I believe for people who were planning on not voting, that might have been the last straw, and now they’re going to vote for Trump. The other group I’m worried about is the Hillary voter. Ten percent of her vote got depressed over the weekend. That means they’re going to vote for her but not enthusiastically. Which means they’re not going to bring anyone to the polls with them. That’s harmful. Everybody should be scared s—less about this and keep working for the next seven days.
There are the Republicans who really hate Trump and refuse to vote for him.
That’s very true. But most of the Trump supporters in my audience [in “Trumpland”], they’re people who usually vote for Democrats. I recruited them; I wanted Trump voters there, so I went to the union halls. I went to places that usually vote for Democrats.
We’re at this point were neither side really speaks to the other. What kinds of things did you notice talking to Trump supporters?
We interviewed people on the way out [of the performance]. I would say there were at least a dozen Trump supporters who were now going to think about not voting for him. One guy said to me, “You’re more optimistic about Hillary than her own campaign. How come I haven’t heard these stories about her from her campaign?” I said, “Because this is an election where on side trashes the other.” They’re scaring people to vote for Hillary because Trump is so scary. I feel bad we haven’t seen more of the real her. I have my disagreements with her politically, but as a human being I think she’s a really honest and wonderful person. Is she a politician? Yes. Is she going to spin things? Yes.