An Open Letter to Michael Moore (aka God’s Penpal)

Dear Michael:

I apologize for writing you an open letter because you are busy corresponding with God.1

I did not want to write an open letter, but I penned a private one to you some time ago and received no response.

We have met on numerous occasions and have known each other for almost a decade, so I would appreciate an answer.

The point of this letter is to ask you to reconcile your completely contradictory written statements and public pronunciations about voting your conscience on the one hand (Independent Ralph Nader in 2000) and supporting candidates who oppose all the key issues you support on the other (Democrats Barack Obama in 2008 and John Kerry in 2004.)

I’m concerned that your written and oral statements are so contradictory that you are losing any residual political credibility you might have enjoyed. I think the youth of America and non-voters deserve answers, as you have anointed yourself as their representative.

We first met back in 2000 when you supported the Ralph Nader for President Campaign. We met at numerous Super Rallies that Nader held all over the country to sold-out crowds ranging from 20,000 in Madison Square Garden to 15,000 in Portland, Oregon to 12,000 in Minneapolis.

Your message at each rally was crystal clear: vote your conscience. At Madison Square Garden you bellowed while inveighing 20,000 people not to vote for of Al Gore: “The lesser of two evils is still evil!”

One week before the 2000 election, you wrote a letter to Gore:

Look, Al, you have screwed up — big time. By now, you should have sent that smirking idiot back to Texas…. You should have wiped the floor with him during the three debates. But you didn’t…. You don’t realize that it’s YOU and the Democrats that are responsible for the possibility of Bush winning next Tuesday….

Instead of…owning up to your mistakes, you and your people are blaming some rumpled senior citizen lawyer who is only following his conscience… Ralph Nader has devoted his entire life to making the rest of our lives better. Because of him we have the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the EPA, OSHA, airbags and seatbelts, the Freedom of Information Act — the list goes on and on. What have YOU done to save a few million lives?

…You and your “New Democrats” abandoned the poor, the working class, and the middle class….You and the Democrats have created the monster know as “W”…

I want Ralph Nader to get millions of votes on Tuesday. I have seen the response to Ralph at numerous huge rallies across the country. There is a progressive movement afoot in America and it needs to explode into a majority movement — beginning now, not four years from now…. I will not feel one iota of guilt should you screw up and lose on Tuesday. The blame I do share is that I voted for you and Bill in 19922

Your position in 2000 could not have been more steadfast.

By 2004 you decided to back John Kerry and the Democrats. You traveled around the country telling college students NOT TO VOTE for Nader after telling them TO VOTE for Nader in 2000.

By 2008 you have become a full-on cheerleader for the Democratic Party.

You basically endorsed Edwards in the primary (good call!) and now you are campaigning all out for Obama; I even saw you on Larry King the other night saying that Obama’s convention speech sent chills up your spine. (Do corporate ads for Pepto-Bismol get you misty as well?)

Last month you wrote a piece calling anyone who voted for Nader “crazy.”3

Earlier in the year you appeared on Larry King and a fan of yours called in and observed that since none of the Democratic candidates support single-payer national health insurance — which you do — that you should support Nader.

Your response was surprising: you called Ralph a “sad” reflection of his former self and urged people not to vote for him. (I can’t remember if this was before or after you told King that one of your top priorities as president would be to give all Americans HBO.)

Many progressives are quite puzzled by your behavior regarding Nader given that he once employed you when nobody would and helped bankroll your first film. But apparently, gratitude is not your long suit.

I ran into you late in January, 2006 when we happened to stay at the same hotel during a vacation. I approached you at dinner, introduced myself (you, of course, had no idea who I was despite having met me numerous times) and then you proceeded to tell me yourself that Ralph Nader is “crazy.” (Fortunately for you, Ralph is a public figure so your constant repetition of this accusation is not actionable.)

After our meeting, I decided that regardless of your erratic behavior, progressive people really should work together rather than fighting one another, so I sent a bottle of wine to your room and penned you a handwritten note apologizing for any disagreements with the Nader camp in 2004 and asking for reconciliation.

You neither wrote back nor thanked me for the wine.

Now, in 2008, you are at it again, relentlessly telling people to abandon their beliefs and to abandon the Nader campaign.

I thought I would compare how your current advice measures up to your past writings.

On November 7, 2000 you penned a “Final Election Day Letter” urging your supporters to back Nader no matter what and in every state. Stunningly, your support for Nader was couched in inviolate moral terms: your letter makes clear that you would always vote for an idealist like Nader and that to do so is a duty to the next generation and to posterity:

For some reason, I never grew up, and, I guess, weirdly enough never gave up hope. To hear my fellow baby boomers this past week instruct me in the intricacies of “strategic voting” and “the lesser of two evils” and “you see, a vote for this guy is really a vote for that guy,” made me wonder how I missed the boat — the one on which you learn to act “responsible,” and be “pragmatic,” and, of course, “compromise.”

That’s why it’s been so refreshing to be around the young people who have thronged by the hundreds of thousands to the Nader campaign. They don’t want to hear about settling for the second worst guy. They can’t comprehend their elders’ pleas to abandon their conscience and do something in the voting booth they don’t believe in. These young people are filled with a fire to stand up, speak out, and make this world a better place. Nothing — not even the fear of the Bogeyman Bush — will smother their passion to do the right thing.

Today, my daughter will vote in her first election. I believe the worst thing I could do as a parent is to tell her that she should not be following her own conscience. I will not tell her to be “realistic”; she will have plenty of time to deal with the harsh realities of this world. Why should she begin her adult life having to settle for something she doesn’t believe in?

Has our willingness to compromise, to vote for the lesser of two evils, gotten us better candidates? Has our abandoning the beliefs and positions we once so strongly fought for resulted in a better life for the poor and the working class?

At some point, you have to say enough is enough. Today is that day for me. I will go to the polls and vote for Ralph Nader. I am doing so for the only reason you should ever vote for anyone. I am voting for Ralph because it is what my conscience says is right. I am doing what they taught us to do in civics class — vote for who you think the best candidate is. Period.

How many of you can honestly say Ralph Nader is not the best candidate? Don’t reach into your bag of rationalizations — just answer this one question honestly. If you want all the dirty money out of our elections, you HAVE to vote for Nader because he is the only one — not Bush, not Gore — who would eliminate it entirely. If you think the minimum wage should go up more than 50 cents an hour in the next year, then you HAVE to vote for Ralph Nader as he is only one who would raise it to a real living wage. If you believe there should be universal health coverage NOW, then you have to vote for Ralph Nader because he is the only one who would sign that bill. Click here (”20 Reasons to Vote for Nader”) and look at this list. And if find yourself in agreement, then how can you NOT vote for Ralph Nader?

Do not vote from your fears, no matter where you live. Decisions made in fear are usually the wrong decisions and lead to lousy consequences. You have to find the courage to act on your convictions. Remember what that felt like? To believe in something, even if it was against all the odds?When Rosa Parks took that seat at the front of the bus, do you think she was afraid? You bet she was. …The revolutionaries that founded this country were not stymied by their fear of King George. And they did not even have the support of 75% of the colonists! Nevertheless, they followed their conscience.…Can we not aspire to what those who came before us were willing to do so that we would ALL have the right to vote our conscience today? Do we not dishonor them by our willingness to settle for less than our conscience demands?4

Your 2000 letter was quite compelling. What bothers me and others is that you have completely repudiated your own writings by your words and deeds since 2000. After telling America’s students, and you own daughter, to vote their conscience, you are now telling them to vote for the lesser of two evils, a position you swore you would never adopt.

As disturbing, from my perspective, is that you have removed from your website the “20 Reasons to vote for Ralph Nader.”4 This is something a corporation would do when damaging documents are exposed: just shred the evidence.

Years ago you had some intelligent things to say about politics. More recently you seem interested in getting attention by driving an ice cream truck around Capitol Hill and writing books with chapters titled: “Do The Democrats Still Drink From A Sippy Cup and Leave The Light On,” as you all the while promte the Democratic ticket. You like to hang out with Madonna and God and will get on board with any candidate you think might win. Oh, and you once registered a fichus tree as a candidate for Congress. That was useful.

In school, I always enjoyed the class clown, but I would never go to him for political advice. I’m afraid that is what you have become.

Actually, what you have become is best summarized in the following paragraph:

I have seen the slippery slope that type of behavior leads to in the baby boom generation. First, you start with little chips away at your conscience. You agree to do things that don’t seem to directly harm any living thing, actions in which you convince yourself, “I guess I can live with that ’cause the alternative would be worse!” But bit by bit, as you start to abandon what you believe in and compromise your values, you end up being able to rationalize any action. Before long, you give up and head to the middle. You learn that it is safe there. If you strive for complacency and mediocrity, the system will reward you. Promise not to upset the apple cart and you will end up with more money, a nice house, lots of gadgets, and oodles of things. Who wouldn’t want that! But all of this compromise — not doing what you know in your heart of hearts to be right — not only destroys you as an individual, it weakens our democracy.4

Remember those words, Michael? You wrote them. You have become what you vehemently opposed.

Ralph Nader’s legacy will be exactly what you said it will be: that of a serious and great American who made a difference by saving million of lives.

Unless you return to your more effective roots, your legacy will be buffoonery, cheapening the political discourse and disillusioning the next generation.

I am reachable by phone or email.

Yours,

Carl J. Mayer

  1. See “An Open Letter to God, from Michael Moore,” michaelmoore.com, August 13, 2008. []
  2. “An Open Letter from Moore to Gore,” michaelmoore.com, October 31, 2000. []
  3. “How The Democrats Can Blow It In Six Easy Steps,” Rolling Stone, August 13, 2008. []
  4. “A Final Election Day Letter” michaelmoore.com, November 7, 2000. [] [] []

Carl J. Mayer runs the Mayer Law Group LLC; the firm represents consumers and investors. His opinion pieces have appeared in the New York Times, Newsday, Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review, Asbury Park Press, Philadelphia Inquirer and other publications. He can be reached at carlmayer@aol.com. Read other articles by Carl J., or visit Carl J.'s website.

31 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. Hue Longer said on September 27th, 2008 at 7:37am #

    Nice!

    He’s up there with Gore now when it comes to credibility

  2. Poilu said on September 27th, 2008 at 12:47pm #

    Mister Mayer:

    You’ll excuse me if I make the pertinent observation that this opinion piece is based on EXCEEDINGLY thin “evidence” — ill-documented when it’s documented at all — that fails to vigorously support your contentions purportedly drawn from it.

    Following are TWO of the four “references” you list (the most current ones), fully elaborated with their specific URL’s, as is customary nowadays when citing Internet sources. Not only have you inexplicably failed to supply that standard information in your own notes, needlessly forcing your readers to do the redundant legwork of locating what you yourself should have been referencing DIRECTLY, you’ve also conspicuously MIS-dated the two sources I located:

    “An Open Letter to God, from Michael Moore”
    Sunday, August 31st, 2008
    http://www.michaelmoore.com/words/message/index.php?messageDate=2008-08-31

    “How The Democrats Can Blow It …In Six Easy Steps”
    A blueprint for losing the most winnable presidential election in American history
    By MICHAEL MOORE [Posted Aug 21, 2008 9:09 AM]
    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/story/22249602/how_the_democrats_can_blow_it_in_six_easy_steps

    Moreover, the SINGLE offhand quip referencing Nader found in that latter link is not only TRIVIAL in the context of the essay, but also relatively innocuous versus your rather “creative” re-phrasing of same:

    ‘… We can’t take four more years of this madness, Barack. We need you to be a candidate who will fight back every time they attack you. Actually, don’t even wait till you have to fight back. Fight first! Show some vision and courage and smoke them out. Keep asking why these lobbyists are McCain’s best friends. Let’s finally have a Democrat who’s got the balls to fire first.

    ‘ So Barack, by denouncing me, you can help McCain get elected. Because when you denounce me, it’s not really me you’re distancing yourself from — it’s the millions upon millions of people who feel the same way about things as I do. And many of them are the kind of crazy voters who have no problem voting for a Nader just to prove a point. …’

    AS one of those “crazy voters” who would indeed “have no problem voting for a Nader just to prove a point”, I perceive no genuine “slight” in Moore’s plainly tongue-in-cheek remark. (And his strategic admonition to Obama is actually quite commendable — the “Democratic contender” has already lost me!)

    However, your own, would-be “synoptic” assessment — “Last month you wrote a piece calling anyone who voted for Nader crazy.3″ — hardly seems reasonable when compared to Moore’s actual words. The assertion is highly misleading and seems rather disingenuous at best, clearly distorting Moore’s actual statement and omitting completely the context in which it was made.

    Your other, strictly anecdotal evidence can hardly be granted credence when your locatable (despite the obfuscations) sources actually serve to undermine your claims.

    You may well be sincere in your BELIEFS, but you’ll forgive if I find this essay inexcusably “over the top”, rather poorly documented, and quite possibly just another thinly veiled Michael Moore “hit piece”. You may have an “axe to grind”, but it REMAINS amazingly dull at this juncture.

  3. rosemarie jackowski said on September 27th, 2008 at 1:15pm #

    Michael has done some good work. I have written a review of SICKO.
    When it comes to Nader, Michael seems to lose his touch with reality.

    The winner of last nights McCain/Obama debate was Nader. Think about how different it would have been if Nader was there. McCain and Obama, with the collusion of the debate Commission, finagled a fraudulent contract that excluded all other candidates. Meanwhile, as I type this, the rulers of our nation are negotiating in secret, behind closed doors. All of these emergency meetings should be open and broadcast on C-span. The deal makers are the same people who caused this economic disaster. Is it time for the Revolution to start yet? If not, the very least that should happen is a total shut-down of Wall Street. Not one penny to the corporations – save the people instead.

  4. Poilu said on September 27th, 2008 at 3:41pm #

    Incidentally, here’s an excellent interview with Nader, neatly illustrating his own well-honed predisposition towards level-headed rationality so unlike the “Chicken Little” stance of the current regime and the similar posturing of the PRO-bailout candidates representing Big Money:

    Why Is There Need for a Bailout?
    Ralph Nader on “Democracy Now!”; 25SEP08
    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article20871.htm

    rosemarie: Hear, hear! “Democracy” behind closed doors is no democracy at all. I’m furiously opposed in general to this utterly obscene notion of “welfare for the rich”. And now it emerges that even a good many “mainstream” economists have concluded that a Wall Street bailout, as proposed OR amended, is dubious at best and quite possibly a TOTAL waste.

    “Is The Bailout Needed? Many Economists Say ‘No'”
    [McClatchy]
    http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2008/09/27

    So likewise, don’t start the revolution without me!

  5. lichen said on September 27th, 2008 at 3:51pm #

    Yes, Nader was the winner of the debate (as he displayed on Bill Maher…) and Michael Moore should be ashamed for joining the chorus to destroy that wonderful movement in 2000 that built up around the Nader campaign. Gore is responsible for not earning enough votes, for being scammed by the republican party, and not challenging his stolen election. It is the same with Kerry, who could have had his election if he wanted it. I want Nader, I want green policies, and I’m not going to stop voting for them, because there is no future in lesser evilism.

  6. Hue Longer said on September 27th, 2008 at 7:21pm #

    The surge is working, betrayus is a great guy, paulson should get whatever he wants, Afghanistan needs to be bombed some more, Hugo Chavez is an enemy, Russia attacked Georgia unprovoked. These guys should get married

  7. Hue Longer said on September 27th, 2008 at 7:26pm #

    Points made (to me anyway), Poilu

    It isn’t like this “hit piece” changed my mind on Moore however…watching him on his knees begging Nader not to run was worse than his selective blame movie about 911

  8. Max Shields said on September 27th, 2008 at 7:51pm #

    Hugh, Rosemarie, and lichen,

    Right on! Nader on the stage would have made all the difference in the world. I sat watching saying where is the voice of reason. We have two war hawks, trading points – one fully believing in bullying the world, the other wanting to be president more than the air he breaths and will say whatever he and his handlers think it will take. That’s the sum and substance of the debate.

    The US has been a preditory nation too long. These debates showcased war as the norm. Where else in the world does that happen?

    We need voices on that stage. We can’t simply have the war party dominating the conversation as it has for centuries.

    Enough!

  9. kirk91 said on September 27th, 2008 at 11:32pm #

    Moore lost all credibility when he started shilling for WarMongerWes Clark.

  10. Deadbeat said on September 27th, 2008 at 11:49pm #

    It would be nice to imagine what the debate would have been like had Nader or Bob Barr (both of whom are running at 2%) would have been like. Unfortunately both men won’t get that forum from the mainstream press. The problem however really come from the groups they represent.

    Nader didn’t receive the support from the Left in 2004 and thus is in a weakened position for 2008. Bob Barr it seems is a Trojan Republican running as a Libertarian.

    In other words there won’t be a serious 3rd Party challenge until there is sufficient solidarity on either side.

    And as we’ve seen on the Left, it is too divided and lack a true adherence to principles to be effective.

  11. rosemarie jackowski said on September 28th, 2008 at 9:44am #

    Deadbeat…It seems you are saying the same thing I often say. It is the voters who are responsible for where we are.
    Nader worked hard to get on 45 State ballots. He did it while being censored out of the Media.
    Now it is up to the voters. One thing is for sure. They will get the kind of government they deserve.

  12. Deadbeat said on September 28th, 2008 at 10:32am #

    Rosemarie Jackowski responds …

    Now it is up to the voters. One thing is for sure. They will get the kind of government they deserve.

    Rosemarie, I have the utmost respect for Ralph Nader and his run. I was an ardent supporter of Nader in 2004 but who are the “voters” that you speak of Rosemarie? Do they include the “Left” who abandon Nader in 2004 and collapsed the anti-war movement thus forcing Nader to run outside of the institutional support he helped to construct in 2000.

    Your “blaming the voter” leaves the “Left” off-the-hook and there is no self-assessment on how the “Left” needs to be reconstructed and reconstituted in order to present a stronger front to voters.

    Had the Left supported Nader and built upon the his 2000 run in 2004 he would be in a much stronger position for this year. Nader is only polling at 2% (same as Bob Barr).

    What you are suggesting is that voters vote for a candidate who cannot win or effect any change thus opening up the opportunity for a McCain victory. And then label those voters as “irresponsible”.

    The real problem Rosemarie is on the Left not and not with the mainstream voters behind Obama. In fact I argue that Obama’s emergence was aided by the Left due to their abandonment of Nader’s 2004 campaign.

    As you say Rosemarie, Nader is on the ballot on 45 states. This is a 50 state campaign not a 45 state campaign. Had the Green Party not sabotaged Nader he would be running as a Green and on the ballot in ALL 50 states with perhaps a 10+% in the polls and there would be coattails for other Greens on the ballot like Cindy Sheehan.

    So again I ask WHY are YOU blaming “voters” when the “Left” is to blame for where it finds itself today and it is the “Left” that has constricted the choices for voters.

  13. Max Shields said on September 28th, 2008 at 2:09pm #

    Deadbeat you talk about a left like it represents a thing rather than the very public you seem to be eliminating from your landscape of who elects from these limited choices.

    On the one hand, I agree that there is a kind of left, represented most aptly by Mr. Moore who has forsaken the progressive movement. He along with millions of other so-called progressives have chosen to align with the Dem Party and its candidate.

    I think Rosemarie and others here agree, as does Mr. Mayer, that those liberal/progressives became duopoly partisans and with it are buying the “lesser of two evils” paradigm.

    But it seems your beef is not with the likes of Moore, and those he represents, but rather some “other” left. And it is this “other” that is at once illusive and seemingly the basis of nearly all your rancor.

    Perhaps some day you’ll explain.

    I’m not as quick to “blame” the American voters per se because Nader is not in this race to win as much as to be one essential voice that challenges and changes the established narrative that the duopoly sprews forth every four years; the one that has a strangle hold on the world.

    US political and economic problems are deep structural issues which no single candidacy will change. It will take a progressive movement strong enough to take on the challenge of collapse when it happens, otherwise, fascism will have the last word.

  14. Poilu said on September 28th, 2008 at 4:21pm #

    “The surge is working, betrayus is a great guy, paulson should get whatever he wants, Afghanistan needs to be bombed some more, Hugo Chavez is an enemy, Russia attacked Georgia unprovoked. These guys should get married”

    Hue Longer: At first that one eluded me (re “these guys”). But NOW I understand entirely. Yes, the bogus rhetoric of both mainstream candidates, devoid of the slightest basis in factuality, is decidedly out there in La-La Land and makes them “quite a couple”.

    Plus, don’t forget the many other red herrings gratuitously spewed for public consumption: our secretly nuclear-armed “staunch ally” Israel can do NO wrong, whereas Iran’s nuclear POWER program represents a genuine “threat”; Iran’s exceedingly mannerly, soft-spoken leader, Ahmadinejad, is the latest (since Saddam’s demise) incarnation of “Adolf Hiltler”; and so on, and so forth, piled high and deep.

    While I’d disagree regarding Gore’s credibility and Moore’s “Fahrenheit 911″, which I value immensely for those things it DOES glaringly reveal — NO 9/11 expose’ to date can be regarded as “complete” — it’s hard not to instantly like a commentator whose namesake’s speeches I so deeply admire. As Randy Newman might pen it, “Huey Long may have been a scoundrel, but he was OUR scoundrel!” Hooray for the Kingfish, without whom the US government might never have implemented the desperately needed “safety net” of Social Security, among other programs, during the Great Depression.

  15. Poilu said on September 28th, 2008 at 4:53pm #

    “What you are suggesting is that voters vote for a candidate who cannot win or effect any change thus opening up the opportunity for a McCain victory. And then label those voters as irresponsible.”

    Deadbeat: The scenario you invoke could EASILY be remedied in this country by the introduction of “instant-runoff” voting, as utilized in Britain and recommended by former US candidate John Anderson several years ago. Of course, the duopoly is HARDLY interested in eroding its own coercive power by allowing such an admirably democratic, “second choice” voting scheme that would assure an electoral majority. Members of both major parties would much rather wield the “spoiler” rhetoric, in the hopes of intimidating voters into conforming to the srarus quo’s preferred, 2-party-ONLY scheme.

    As to whether a vote for an alternative candidate would assuredly benefit McCain, I’m not entirely convinced of that myself, since both “mainstream” candidates are now similarly bellicose and fictitious in their claims and are rapidly becoming virtually indistinguishable in their actual “platforms”. I don’t doubt that Obama would actually appeal to a good many paleo-Conservatives, who should rightly view the McCain-Palin ticket with grave alarm.

    Regardless, the public will never break free of that “Republocrat” stranglehold on democracy UNTIL it simply ignores the “conventional wisdom” and vigorously supports the would-be “spoilers” it desires rather than kowtow to the fear that this will cause the “other side” to win. Besides, what would lead you to believe that ANY of our 21st-century E-lections thus far were truly representative of the “will of the people”?? (It certainly wouldn’t be the Exit Polls!)

  16. Beverly said on September 28th, 2008 at 5:04pm #

    Michael Moore joins a long list of lefties whose credibility is shot to hell as they continue to plow and hoe (or should I say “ho”) on the Democratic plantation.

    It’s unfortunate when people like Moore attain a level of influence that could be used to promote third parties or pressure powers that be to address issues but let “celebrity” go to their heads, or, lack the cajones to buck the system. With Moore, I think it is a little bit of both.

    I tuned out Moore in 2004 when he campaigned for empty suit Wesley Clark. No surprise he is now up Obama’s butt. He should update his “Stupid White Men” book with a chapter devoted to himself.

  17. Erroll said on September 28th, 2008 at 5:19pm #

    This is the kind of debate which Americans deserve to see as it reveals how much more similar the two major candidates are than any differences that they may have. The first entry How Lucky We Are is well worth reading. Then scroll down to the next entry- I Approve This Message. If only the mainstream media would have the courage and integrity to show this “debate.”

    http://dennisperrin.blogspot.com/

  18. Brian Koontz said on September 28th, 2008 at 5:25pm #

    Fact: Democrats have power – therefore anyone who wants to attain power has to either join them or join the Republicans.

    Premise: SICKO and Michael Moore’s subsequent Washington visit implies that Michael Moore wants to play a role in designing a new health care system in the US.

    Fact: Only those in power can bring such a thing to realization.

    Premise: Michael Moore wants power, so that he can push his proposed system (and perhaps other propositions he might come up with).

    Fact: Michael Moore has aligned himself with the Democratic party.

  19. Erroll said on September 28th, 2008 at 5:41pm #

    Brian Koontz

    It would seem that if one goes along with your premise, liberals must always vote for the Democrats because they have the power and/or all Americans must vote for either the Democrats or the Republicans because these two parties have the power. This certainly seems reminiscent of Orwell’s Animal Farm- two legs good, four legs bad. In this case, one can vote for anyone one wishes just as long as that candidate is either a Democrat or a Republican. As for me, I prefer to think for myself.

  20. Poilu said on September 28th, 2008 at 6:13pm #

    Some fairly recent news on the dubious state of our E-lection “integrity”. Josef Stalin (“It’s not the people who cast the votes that matter …”) would be downright PROUD of our RNC-rigged system:

    Thom Hartmann talks with Mark Crispin Miller, 19 August 2008
    http://www.thomhartmann.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=951&Itemid=119

    ‘ Mark Crispin Miller [NYU professor and author of "Fooled Again, How the Right Stole the 2004 Elections" and "Loser Take All: Election Fraud and The Subversion of Democracy"] talks about an unimpeachable whistleblower on Republican election theft; Stephen Spoonamore, a lifelong Republican and erstwhile member of the McCain campaign until he discovered so much about the Republicans’ election fraud that he resigned, and a prominent expert on computer crime. …’

  21. Poilu said on September 28th, 2008 at 6:33pm #

    Mister Mayer: I’m also quite curious: Since you rather snidely caption Moore as “God’s Penpal” in the title to this remarkably thinly supported missive, are you perhaps under the impression that the Divine One actually RESPONDS, in writing, to Mister Moore and maintains an ONGOING correspondence with him?

    Just wondering. :)

  22. Hue Longer said on September 29th, 2008 at 3:05am #

    Poilu,

    Yes, I didn’t mention Israel and I assure you it wasn’t intentional. I’m curious what credibility you believe Gore possesses…

    That this guy could attach himself to climate change and force a personal defense is not a good thing. The silly hatred of his benighted Republican voting enemies aside, he has real shortcomings as a human being. Just on Climate change, Gore was anything but green: Two faced Kyoto killer, NAFTA’s spokesman, and quiet enabler of the precursor to the “Healthy” Forests scam.

    Cheers and I liked the Huey Long bit (was that directed? well done)

  23. Doug Tarnopol said on September 29th, 2008 at 6:34am #

    Well done, Carl!

  24. Poilu said on September 29th, 2008 at 3:55pm #

    “I liked the Huey Long bit (was that directed? well done)”

    Hue Longer: Absolutely! But I may have overstepped my “powers of perception”. I at least assumed your “moniker” was a direct reference to THE Huey Long. No?

    Without going into a lengthy discourse on Gore — I’m certainly not any Gore “expert” — my credibilty comment was based primarily on his documentary “An Inconvenient Truth”. For all the flak it has indeed taken, it IS remarkably sound in its scientific assertions, and highly commendable for its overall persuasiveness. I can’t fault that one in the least, and I DO have a background in environmental science.

    But on other Gore issues, aside from his legitimacy as the actual winner of the 2000 Presidential election, I’m not terribly “conversant”, I’m afraid. (Frankly, I wonder if we’ll EVER have a truly elected President during this Orwellian Century.)

  25. Poilu said on September 29th, 2008 at 5:15pm #

    Sounds like a remarkably sensible assessment to me. And while the House has since voted down this atrocious fat cat give-away — by FAR too narrow a margin, in my mind — the fight is hardly “over”:

    “The Rich Are Staging a Coup This Morning”
    By Michael Moore
    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article20891.htm

    So, is anybody currently planning some serious “torches and pitchforks” demonstrations in opposition to the relatively inevitable “compromised compromise” version of this giant rip-off scam?

    If Thomas Jefferson actually DIDN’T say the following — the attribution is contested — he certainly should have!:

    “When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.”

  26. Deadbeat said on September 29th, 2008 at 6:43pm #

    Max Sheilds says…

    Deadbeat you talk about a left like it represents a thing rather than the very public you seem to be eliminating from your landscape of who elects from these limited choices.

    Max you seem to be interjecting your own strawman to construct an argument. The fact is that YOU want to deny that the Left has been destructive to building the kind of campaign, base, and support that Nader needs to reach the American people. Clearly most of my critique is about the Left therefore how can you say that I seem to be “eliminating” them from the landscape when in fact I’ve argued that the Left is not passive actors as you like to make them out to be.

    On the one hand, I agree that there is a kind of left, represented most aptly by Mr. Moore who has forsaken the progressive movement. He along with millions of other so-called progressives have chosen to align with the Dem Party and its candidate.

    Max you haven’t shown why progressives who DO NOT support the Democratic Party are in fact “progressives”. As I have pointed out the Green Party supports as their standard bearer someone who voted for the WAR in Afghanistan. Never before has the Green Party ever made such compromises. In fact numerous progressive changes has been achieved through the Democratic Party such as Civil Rights Laws, Social Security, Women Rights, Gay Right, etc. So your argument is a fallacious since they are contradicted by historical facts. If there was a stronger “Left” then there would be a “better” Democratic Party. The irony is that there is a much STRONGER popular revolt coming from the RIGHT.

    I think Rosemarie and others here agree, as does Mr. Mayer, that those liberal/progressives became duopoly partisans and with it are buying the “lesser of two evils” paradigm.

    The reason why there is a “lesser of two evils” is because there is NO better alternative. As I have pointed out Nader COULD HAVE BEEN in a stronger position for 2008 had the Left not sabotaged his 2004 campaign and had the Left not diffused the anti-war movement.

    Therefore critical analysis is needed to observe the actions on the “Left” rather than BLAME “generic voters” like Rosemarie. It is counter productive and shift the focus AWAY from the Left’s role in creating the current void that allowed Obama to emerge.

    But it seems your beef is not with the likes of Moore, and those he represents, but rather some “other” left. And it is this “other” that is at once illusive and seemingly the basis of nearly all your rancor.

    Max, I’ve been very clear of the “Left” that has been at the basis of my critique. My response to Rosemarie was not about Michael Moore but about Nader’s being in the wilderness rather than front and center due to the betrayal by the “Left”. Moore clearly was part of that “betrayal” but Moore is to the “right” of much of the “Left” that abandoned Nader and weakened the anti-war movement in 2004. Thus setting up Nader to be today about where he was four years ago.

    As I stated to Rosemarie, Nader should be polling at LEAST 10+% had he grew the Green Party’s base and that he would pull in COATTAILS. Especially with the current Financial Crisis exposing the corruption of both the Democrats & Republicans. Unfortunately there is a corruption of the Left that you want to deny, dismiss and obscure.

    I’m not as quick to “blame” the American voters per se because Nader is not in this race to win as much as to be one essential voice that challenges and changes the established narrative that the duopoly sprews forth every four years; the one that has a strangle hold on the world.

    The point is Max, that you DO NOT seem to understand is that I am arguing is that in 2008 Nader would have a shot at “WINNING” and if not he would be a position to win COATTAILS had he not been sabotaged by the “Left” in 2004!

    US political and economic problems are deep structural issues which no single candidacy will change. It will take a progressive movement strong enough to take on the challenge of collapse when it happens, otherwise, fascism will have the last word.

    The problem as I see it is that the Left would LOVE to see the emergence of Fascism (represented by a McCain victory) as a organizing tool since the Left seems incapable of building solidity and has done a great job of retarding it because it has failed to adhere to core principles of truth, justice, equality, fairness and democracy.

  27. lichen said on September 29th, 2008 at 7:53pm #

    I think that we definitely cannot solve everything by voting in the current system; we need to forcibly take private money, electronic voting machines, unequal media coverage, and other impediments to democracy out of play.

    There is no such thing as “the left,” there are only individual people, and those that actually organize themselves into groups, and those members of such groups who support the outcome reached. If you would be just as fine with a homophobic, racist pro-poverty Barr administration in place, then the green party simply is not with you, and clearly you have other disagreements with Mckinney.

  28. Deadbeat said on September 29th, 2008 at 10:32pm #

    lichen says…

    we need to forcibly take private money, electronic voting machines, unequal media coverage, and other impediments to democracy out of play.

    Nice rhetoric but who is “we”? The problem with your rhetoric is that the “people” is too atomize and there is no cohesive coherence among the “people”.

    There is no such thing as “the left,” there are only individual people, and those that actually organize themselves into groups, and those members of such groups who support the outcome reached.

    Oh yes there is and it is “organized” to such a degree that is sabotaged Nader and diffused the anti-war movement.

    If you would be just as fine with a homophobic, racist pro-poverty Barr administration in place, then the green party simply is not with you, and clearly you have other disagreements with Mckinney.

    Neither Barr or McKinney will achieve power so your rhetoric is demagogy.

  29. Hue Longer said on September 29th, 2008 at 11:36pm #

    Poilu,

    Huey Long, yep!

    An inconvenient Truth was accurate for its science (though I feel it was dishonest and discouraging with its solutions that amounted to letting people like him off the hook)

    Strange thing that developed is that those who hate Gore for all the wrong reasons used that hatred to further entrench their disbelief for man’s contribution to climate change. I’m no fan of circumstantial ad hominem but with the stakes so high, could he not have just quietly funded the project? The science was solid without his cheaply bought Nobelity.

  30. Andy Best said on September 30th, 2008 at 12:19am #

    Hi all

    First up … hi RMJ! This is ‘expendable’ Andy.

    I see there’s a kind of debate about the article going on so I apologize in advance for going back to simple statements. I just want to talk generally about Michael Moore.

    I find Michael Moore to be both an inspiration and a frustration.

    First up, the bad. Michael seems to pin a lot these days on getting results through a kind of reforming of the democrats. Encouraging people to vote and pressuring the better options into more responsibility is a legit way to go about it, but I think it’s hopelessly playing into the system.

    What Michael does well, and what he constantly provides great examples for, is direct action. Michael’s work is a great example of how we as people can just go at the issues themselves and find our own creative ways to inspire and inform our communities. His early work like Roger and Me or some of his TV Nation show, or getting the ammo off the shelves in Bowling for Columbine shows how we can try to go to the source of problems ourselves in a forceful but non-violent way.

    Taking the shooting victim into the store in that particular scene is bringing the truth of the matter into the open.

    When Michael was doing this kind of work, which he still does at times, for example Sicko, I felt that someone was taking back the media. We know he is doing something right when the media world shuffle their feet and start using words like ‘heavy-handed’, ‘preachy’, ‘political’ and ‘didactic’. They can’t suffer even one movie in three years or so that is issue based because in our so called enlightened, democratic society it is still ‘bad form’ to talk about issues in the open – outside of sanctioned political talk by the establishment, that is. And in a way that begs action, not just nostalgic contemplation.

    I feel that trying to engage well-bred system acolytes such as Kerry or Obama will only have limited results and I see where frustration might come with Moore lately. I do hope we can still see what a real shining light he has been over the years though, for the spirit of getting up and doing something.

    Hope this didn’t over simplify or patronize the previous comments.

    Andy

  31. rosemarie jackowski said on September 30th, 2008 at 3:20pm #

    Andy…HELLO to you, and all.

    Deadbeat…It’s not a matter of ‘right’ or left’ or ‘up’ and ‘down’ – Progressive, Liberal, Green, Purple …they are all just labels.
    IT’S THE VOTERS. Once someone goes into a voting booth and casts a ballot, they have done an action that will affect the lives of others; therefore, a moral or immoral act. I am not using the word ‘moral’ in a religious sence. I am thinking in terms of humanity, honor, and ethics – empathy, which demands that we do no harm to others.

    Nader is in it to win; but, winning isn’t everything. I am a candidate for State Attorney General. I hope to win – but if I don’t, I will have raised the consciousness of others about Justice and why Justice is sometimes more important than food. “Where there is no Justice, nothing else matters.” (One of my campaign slogans.)