Dear Michael Moore,
In your recently published blog post 90 Million Are Planning Not to Vote – Your Mission: Take Just One of Them to the Polls, you wisely ignore the myth of the undecided voter and aim for a voting block that can truly affect the outcome of this election. When you write:
“I want you—yes, YOU, the person reading this right now—to get ONE of your fellow Americans who would not otherwise vote to show up at the polls and support Obama.
Here’s the math: there are upwards of five million of you seeing this, via email, on my website, here on the Huffington Post and all over the Internet. There are 1.2 million following me on Twitter. I’ve got almost 700,000 Facebook friends.
I want just one million of you to convince just ONE person each—one person who’s planning NOT to vote—to go to the polls and vote for Barack Obama. That’s it. And those million extra votes could make all the difference in what will be a very tight election—and it will save us from a tragic return to the Bush years.” (Emphasis mine)
Michael, I want you, yes YOU, the real Michael Moore—not your assistant, cousin or barber—to know that you can count me among your 1.2 million twitter followers, and of 700,000 facebook friends. I just know I am one of your bestest of friends.
On top of that, I am a fan of your documentaries. Fahrenheit 9/11, Capitalism: a Love Story, and Bowling for Columbine made me weep like a menopausal hairdresser curled up on her couch with a gaggle of cats watching a double feature of Sophie’s Choice and Terms of Endearment. You are a big part of the reason I set out to make a documentary of my own. Did you know that a glowing review of my documentary on the Occupy movement, American Autumn is even published on your website. Have you seen the movie? You are in it you know—making grand pronouncements about the Wall Street criminals and praising the revolutionaries in the streets.
In the fall of 2011, Michael, you were among the highest of profiles pointing out that the Occupy movement is, again, in your own words, a “movement against the greed of corporate America and its banks—and the money that now controls most of our democratic institutions.” And that “the majority of Americans now agree that a nation where 400 billionaires have more wealth than 160 million Americans combined is not the country they want America to be. The 99% are rising up against the 1%—and now there is no turning back.”
Michael, I am sure it will come as no surprise to you that a statistically significant number (I dare say an overwhelming majority) of those who chanted at one time or another ,“We are unstoppable, another world is possible” or even, “We are the 99%!” do not see voting for Obama as part of their “rising up.” Can we agree on that much?
Now don’t get me wrong. I am not going to make a case that there is no difference between Romney and Obama. While dying peacefully in one’s sleep is more appealing than having one’s limbs torn off by flesh eating zombies, it does not make the former something devoutly to be wished for. Speaking of the politics of fear, the 90 million voters who will sit out this election are just as much a part of the corporate agenda as the selection and election of a lesser of two evils, as Chris Hedges recently made clear in his endorsement of Green Party candidate Jill Stein. Hedges also articulates the importance of aligning with third parties for those of us interested when he writes:
“All the major correctives to American democracy have come through movements and third parties that have operated outside the mainstream. Few achieved formal positions of power. These movements built enough momentum and popular support, always in the face of fierce opposition, to force the power elite to respond to their concerns. Such developments, along with the courage to defy the political charade in the voting booth, offer the only hope of saving us from Wall Street predators, the assault on the ecosystem by the fossil fuel industry, the rise of the security and surveillance state and the dramatic erosion of our civil liberties.”
In comparing a potential Romney victory to a third Bush term, you ignore some inconvenient truths about President Obama’s administration. In this, you are not alone.
Many Obama supporters do not know or willfully block out the facts that Obama has expanded the USA PATRIOT Act, claimed the legal authority to indefinitely detain US citizens without charge or trial, maintains a “kill list,” and has expanded the drone war well beyond the Bush regime. Given Obama’s history of trampling on the Constitution, the irony is that the most compelling argument I have heard to vote for him is that he will install three Supreme Court Justices. Do we really want someone who rubber-stamped the NDAA selecting the next three Supreme Court justices?
Also: Michael, the engineers of the Wall Street corporate greed that you say have hijacked our democracy have a place to occupy after they retire from Wall Street, and that place is at the highest levels of Obama’s Cabinet. The same Obama that you would have others and me try to sell to the 90 million people who are not voting this Tuesday.
Why not, in the spirit of the 99% rising up against the 1%, tell your millions of followers to convince the 90 million non-voting Americans to support Jill Stein, a candidate who has said, quite correctly:
“If public opinion really mattered in this race, we [her presidential ticket] would win. We have majority support in poll after poll on nearly all of the key issues, from downsizing the military budget and bringing the troops home, to taxing the rich, to stopping the Wall Street bailouts, to breaking up the banks, to ending the off-shoring of jobs, to supporting workers’ rights, to increasing the minimum wage, to health care as a human right, through Medicare for all. These are the solutions a majority of Americans are clamoring for.”
In addition to that, Michael, she has been so brazen as to do what Obama failed to do in any of the debates when she uttered not one, but two “C” words, coming hard upon each other: Climate Change.
I am voting for Jill Stein, Michael.
Give it some thought, and I bet you will do the same. I hope to hear from you before Tuesday.