In 2004, Michael Moore made Fahrenheit 9/11 to warm people not to re-elect George W. Bush. It did not work. Two presidents later he had to make the sequel, Fahrenheit 11/9 and I hope this does not need to become a trilogy.
30 years into his filmmaking career it’s safe to say Moore won’t reach anyone who doesn’t already agree with him. So what’s the point of continuing to preach to the choir?
Well, even though Hillary Clinton won the popular vote, the reason Trump won so many states is a lot of former Democrats gave up on voting. Maybe Moore can at least reach them and get them back.
Fahrenheit 11/9 is less about Trump and more about the system that enabled Trump to win. This is about the government of Michigan poisoning the water in Flint, Bill Clinton supporting very conservative pro-rich policies and the Democratic Party lying about Hillary winning states that Bernie Sanders objectively won.
So if you saw your vote disregarded, I understand why you gave up voting altogether. You voted for Bill Clinton, supposedly the everyman president, and he rewarded the banks. You elected local officials in Flint but Governor Rick Snyder declared a state of emergency and replaced them with his guys.
You counted Bernie Sanders’ winning votes in your state but saw your Democratic party leaders claim Hillary Clinton won. That’s enough to make people feel like their vote didn’t matter.
It still mattered in the Presidential race though. I agree that all of the above is bad and should be rectified, but not voting at all isn’t better. Fighting the system that hijacked your votes is better.
I’d like to see a happy medium of “okay, we’ll still vote for President but also get more involved in changing the system at the state level for the future.” And there are examples of hope that we can.
The Parkland students got an unopposed congressman to withdraw within a day of encouraging a new candidate to run in Maine. First time politicians are grass rootsing their way into Congress.
The teachers in West Virginia went on strike to get the raise and health care they deserve. When other vital school employees weren’t included, they held out in solidarity.
There’s only one real Michael Moore stunt in this, when he tries to make a citizen’s arrest on Michigan governor Rick Snyder, and asks a representative to drink a glass of Flint water.
Oh, two. He visits Snyder’s home too. It sort of all feels like the same bit in the middle of the movie.
Those stunts were always poignant but never accomplished anything. Fortunately, there are now enough real people fighting back that Moore can focus on them instead of his own schtick.
The people taking the initiative to run for congressional seats are more inspiring. Those are average citizens who may be able to take the country back, or at least take the Democratic party back.
Even that would be good news for Republicans because we could debate the issues between us, not between the rich people paying for candidates.
We’ll ultimately have to see in November if there’s enough of these New Democrats to shake up the system. Just like its predecessor, the approaching election will either give Fahrenheit 11/9 a happy ending, or make it a tragedy.
Fahrenheit 11/9 is in theaters Friday, September 21.