Months ago, in a primary far, far, away, Michael Moore warned us to never discount Trump’s potential to become the next president; and of course, we did. Turned out Moore had his ear closer to the working American’s ground and understood just how deep the anger was.
I knew people were pissed and I knew that pissed people often turn to crazy people to get unpissed. But I also had a lot of faith in the basic goodness and intelligence of the American people. I believed that in the end the majority of Americans would refuse to associate their vote with the hate and anger that fueled Trump’ race to the White House. Well I was wrong. What I learned is that too many people have the ability to look straight at things that are racist, misogynistic, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic, and anti semitic and not see it. Trump descended that escalator on day one and stuck a knife in the backs of every Latino in America and his army of supporters ask, “Duh, what racism?” He referred to Hillary Clinton as, “Such a nasty woman.” His followers said nobody respects women more than Trump.
Michael Moore warned us of this and we too didn’t pay attention. Moore also told us that Trump’s followers were zealots, they were motivated, they were driven, that they would come out in the worst weather and crawl to the polling place to cast their vote. If Democrats weren’t that motivated, and we weren’t, they wouldn’t win, and we didn’t.
Here’s a line from USA Today that talks about some of the points made in Moore’s recent film, Michael Moore in Trumpland.
Moore predicted a Trump presidency in his surprise film, Michael Moore in TrumpLand, for those same reasons: Working-class middle Americans have lost their jobs, houses, and cars; they have terrible health care plans; they’re angry. “On Nov. 8, the dispossessed will walk into the voting booth … and put a big f—ing X in the box next to the name of the man who has threatened to upend and overturn the very system that ruined their lives: Donald J. Trump.”
Well, isn’t that exactly what we all just witnessed. Look at the red state/blue state post-election map. All those blue states represent a population of college educated urbanites who are basically doing pretty well. At the same time drive through some of those red states and take mental pictures of the empty storefronts and abandoned factories. The small towns that no longer have any reason to exists other than that rents are so cheap the former middle-class can’t afford to relocate.
Here’s something else Michael Moore will probably be right about In his film he says that what Trump’s supporters are doing is tossing a huge Molotov cocktail named Trump on the system they’ve lost faith in. For the moment it’s going to feel pretty damned good and they’re going to be pleased with what they’ve done. But after a few months, when the real meaning of their action starts to become more known they’re going to be pissed off again and there won’t be anything they can do about it or anyone to blame it on.
How I feel about this is very mixed. On the one hand, as an American, I want the nation to survive with our political systems in tact. At the same time there’s a desire in me to see the whole damned thing come crumbling down. Maybe it would serve as the civics lesson we all need reminded of. Part of the lesson being that government serves a purpose, it needs to be supported, it needs stability, and it needs power to make and enforce law and if we don’t like it the Constitution provides a way in which we can change things. But that relies on our being both attentive and involved, rather than doing nothing and then turning to a snake charmer to make us think it’s all right again.