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.
We sometimes forget Democrats still have to make sure the Democrats are voting for Hillary.
I’m more concerned about Bernie voters, which I’m one of. They’re still angry. I say to them, “What are you angry about? We got a socialist elected to the primaries in 22 states! I never thought I’d live to see that. [Hillary’s] adopted two-thirds of his platform! That never happens! If the Democrats get the Senate back, guess who’s the chairman of the Senate Budget Committee? Bernie Sanders, the socialist, is going to be in charge of the budget! Why are you angry? Have we forgotten how to celebrate?” Bernie voters should be taking a bow, going into the booth, voting for the first woman ever to be nominated in this country as president of the United States. And the next day we should be busy keeping the Bernie revolution going, supporting her in the good things she does and challenging her when she doesn’t do them.
This whole thing could wind up being a giant anticlimax and Hillary could trounce Trump. Even so, he’s awoken a scary part of the country that might not go away.
They will go away. Just like the segregationists went away. When I was young, people were saying, “The people who use the n-word all the time will never go away.” How often do you hear the n-word nowadays? I grew up at a time when if you lived in a white community, you’d hear it all the time. They used it as often as you’d say the word “Kleenex.” Those people do go away. Things do change. Things gets better. The haters lose. Haters always lose. They win for a while, and then they don’t.
I do worry that with social media, they won’t go away. They’ll find each other and organize and Breitbart will try to mount this revolution all over again in 2020.
Who are they going to organize? Every year three million 17 year olds in this country turn 18. That’s three million new voters. Four years from now that’s 12 million more young people voting. After Clinton’s second term that will be 24 million. And then there’s the young people now who are going to carry their values with them. What’s the age of the Fox News voter? 72? No offense to senior citizens, but the old way is on the way out. The new way is “I don’t care if you’re in love with the same gender.” That’s the new world we live in. We live in a world where no one looks up to a corporate executive anymore, or a Wall Street banker.
Even Trump made a point of waving a rainbow flag this weekend — the first GOP presidential candidate to ever do that.
That’s true. And he spoke out against the bathroom bill in North Carolina. I remember years ago being at a Planned Parenthood fundraiser that I think he was the co-host of. He’s conned all these people.