Michael Moore demonstrated foresight few other Democrats did when he delivered a thundering speech about why the party would ultimately lose before the US general election.
The documentary filmmaker experienced something of a renaissance when he emerged as a leading commentator and critic of the Republican nominee. Then he moved his commentary from criticism to prophetic warnings, forecasting what would be the biggest “f**k you” to the political elite that American history has seen in recent memory: a Trump victory.
Not only did he anticipate Mr Trump’s ascendancy to the White House, he also correctly predicted the four “Brexit” traditionally Democratc states which would vote for him: Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin.
In CNN's The Messy Truth, Van Jones, a longtime Democrat and former advisor to Barack Obama, attempted to get to the root of why opinions are so polarised when it comes to the President-elect. He began by asking Moore how he could have predicted the outcome so accurately without the polling organisations and focus groups the Democratic party spent millions on.
Moore said living in Michigan, one of the states so woefully depleted by the declining industrial landscape, made him more in tune with the feelings of regular people.
“I got over my five stages [of grief] back in June,” said Moore, “when I wrote a blog that millions read that said ‘the five reasons Trump is going to win’. I live in Michigan. I don’t live in the bubble. I vote Michigan, it’s my home. I grew up there and I could see that there were a lot of Barack Obama voters that were gonna vote for Mr Trump.” In fact, Moore saw it coming “a long time ago” and said he was trying to set up a meeting with the party in August and September.
“The people in the rust belt have suffered, suffered considerably,” he went on. “And nobody has been there for them, not the Republicans definitely. The Democrats are there sometimes, but not always, and they saw Trump as their Molotov cocktail that they wanted to throw into the system and blow it up.”
But while Moore understood why the white working class voted for Trump, he was clear on one thing: their disillusionment with the establishment was no excuse.
“I want to say this to you as an African American, that while I have a lot of understanding as to why people I grew up with in the Mid West, who were like me - an angry white guy with a high school education, that’s me - but the thing is though, you have a responsibility, no matter how angry you are, no matter how much you are hurting, to not vote for somebody who says things that are hateful, who ridicules the disabled, who says racist things. I mean black people have been hurting for a long time, and they don’t go to the voting booth and go, ‘who is the biggest hater in the ballot here I can vote for?’ We have a responsibility to vote out of love.”
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