(Dude, Where’s My Country? By Michael Moore, Warner Books 249 pages, $24.95)
MILLIONAIRE LEFTIST MICHAEL MOORE lives in an America different from yours and mine, and not just because wealth has given him an insular life of privilege on liberal Manhattan’s Upper West Side.
In Moore’s myopia, the America he sees in Chapter 9 of his latest bestselling book Dude, Where’s My Country? is populated by Leftists like himself. In this "Liberal Paradise" 57 percent of his fellow citizens believe that abortion should be legal "in all or most cases," 86 percent say they agree with the "goals" of the Civil Rights movement and 83 percent agree with the "goals" of the environmental movement, and similar majorities support most other "progressive" ideas.
To paint this portrait of Americans, Moore uses mostly Left-of-Center pollsters who used heavily colored, fuzzy questions to produce the pink sepia picture of vague agreement they wanted on these and other liberal issues. Heck, who doesn’t favor the most noble "goals" of equality and a clean environment? The public debate on such things has been mostly over means, not ends.
But during the most recent elections in 2002, the Voter News Service consortium of the nation’s biggest networks and newspapers suppressed and did not report its voter exit polling – until days ago. It’s easy to see why, given the hard Left bias of these media.
Those un-slanted, suppressed VNS exit polls reveal that America has moved sharply to the Right. The evenly-split electorate of 2000 had by 2002 shifted 51-46 Republican. Those calling themselves "conservatives" grew from 30 percent to 34 percent, more than a third of the entire electorate.
"Even more importantly," wrote John Fund of the Wall Street Journal, "the number of self-identified ‘liberals’ shrank in 2002 despite all the frantic efforts of Michael Moore and Al Franken to whip up the troops."
Those willing to call themselves "liberals" in these 2002 exit polls shrank to only 17 percent – roughly one voter in six – while conservatives increased to include more than one voter in three.
Moore’s self-deluded book has spent the past 10 weeks on the liberal New York Times Nonfiction Bestseller List (bumped down to #4 this week by fellow Lefty Al Franken’s competing anti-American screed). But, truth be told, a Politically Correct author can climb this list with only a few thousand book sales in the right (that is, the Left) bookstores. The larger question with this, as with all of Michael Moore’s books and film "documentaries," is whether they should be listed as Nonfiction or as fiction.
Moore faces what Karl Marx called internal contradictions. If the nation were as Leftist as he claims, his book would be nothing more than a simpleton repetition of common beliefs.
But Moore knows that his fellow Americans elected Republicans to run the Senate, House and White House and are likely to do so again in 2004. The aim of his latest propaganda polemic is to rationalize and then reverse this, to achieve "regime change" in the United States.
Americans vote Republican, contrary to their own self-interest, writes Moore, because wealthy capitalist oil men have hypnotized them with an illegitimate war in Iraq, fear of terrorists, and a few crumbs from a tax cut (given mostly to the wealthy) that feeds the American Horatio Alger myth that we all can succeed.
"Horatio Alger Must Die," writes Moore. Americans should stop trying to become rich. Instead they should desert the War on Terror and enlist in the Class War. Our best chance for a halfway pleasant life, he argues, is to tax all wealth away from the rich and redistribute it to ourselves in the form of welfare, government healthcare and other benefits.
"You are never going to be rich" like Horatio Alger, writes Moore. "The chance of that happening is about one in a million." (This means that in our nation of 293 million people, we have only 293 millionaires.…when in fact we have literally millions of citizens with a net worth in excess of a million dollars – and would have millions more if government greed and excessive taxation could be ended…but is it fair to apply logic to an utterly irrational hyper-Leftist ideologue like Moore?)
The problem with this pudgy messenger born 49 years ago into a working class family in Flint, Michigan, is that Michael Moore IS that one in a million who, in the jargon of Leftspeak, "won life’s lottery."
This high school dropout and former editor of the Leftist magazine Mother Jones has become very, very wealthy by playing class clown to frustrated Leftist baby boomers.
In "Dude, Where’s My Country?" he mocks readers by writing about the huge windfall President George W. Bush’s stimulative tax cuts have given him. He has set up a website where readers can help him decide where to spend his tax cut.
(Actually, he has already decided to spend it "to defeat George W. Bush" and the Republican Party. Those visiting his website are merely given a chance to recommend anti-Republican candidates as recipients of Mike’s largesse…if the new Campaign Finance Law allows such expenditures.)
But Michael Moore is very secretive about his own private life and how many dollars he makes. The amount of his income might be embarrassing to this foe of capitalism. Somebody might ask how this self-proclaimed champion of the proletariat justifies keeping, after taxes, millions and millions of dollars for himself instead of giving it all to the poor. Or some fellow socialist might ask why Moore takes this tax cut at all instead of telling the big government he loves so much to keep the money, government being so much better at spending our money than we are.
"Michael Moore would never withstand the scrutiny he lays on other people," says his former manager Douglas Urbanski. "You would think that he’s the ultimate common man. But he’s money-obsessed."
"He was the most difficult human being I’ve ever met," Urbanski, who today manages stars such as Gary Oldman, continues. "There was no one who even came close."
"He’s careless with his facts, hysterical in debate and, most basically, a guy trying to make a star out of himself," says famed film critic Richard Schickel, who shares some of Moore’s political views but sees the filmmaker’s disreputable tactics as helping bolster the other side.
"He’s a self-aggrandiser," Schickel described Moore to the Times of London. "And, perhaps, the very definition of the current literary term, ‘the unreliable narrator’. This guy either can’t or won’t stick to the point, build a logical case for his arguments. It’s all hysteria – but, I think, calculated hysteria."
Like the huckster who runs every shell game, Michael Moore prefers to misdirect his readers’ attention elsewhere. Look at the Bush family, he writes, and its friendship with the bin Laden family and Saudi royal family.
(Moore’s next documentary, "Fahrenheit 911," scheduled to come out next year to influence the election, reportedly will focus on such purported links and use them to imply that the Bush family was somehow responsible for 9-11. It reportedly is being produced by Mel Gibson’s company Icon Productions.)
But why should not two Presidents from a Texas oil family be friends with the oil-rich American allies of the House of Saud? The bin Ladens are a very large family with one black sheep, the 17th child named Osama born not to a wife but to a mistress who has been disowned by other family members both for his terrorism and his attacks against the House of Saud. To be friendly with the Saudi royal family is to be the enemy of Osama bin Laden.
So how would Michael Moore prevent terrorism? "Stop being terrorists," he writes, giving the usual Leftist examples of America doing evil around the world and thereby angering people.
Who does Michael Moore support for President in 2004? "Oprah Winfrey." Or, more precisely, because he fears that President Bush will use future terrorist incidents as pretext for creating a police state in America, he will support anybody who can defeat the incumbent President.
Middle age, as the saying goes, is when a narrow waist and a broad mind change places. As disheveled and bloated in mind as he is in body, Moore faces his 50th birthday this coming April and is showing signs of turning from a free-spirited critic of the Democratic Party who in 2000 supported Ralph Nader into just another dour, narrow-minded Democratic Party apparatchik robot.
(Nader, having taken four years of curses from Democrats who blame his 92,000 votes in Florida for Al Gore’s 2000 presidential loss, announced this week that he will not run again as a Leftist third party candidate in 2004.)
Moore is smart enough to know that Democrats will lose in 2004 unless they can peel off moderate and even some Republican votes. In one chapter in his book, he envisions conversing with his future granddaughter named Ann Coulter Moore.
To win converts, Moore uses all his wit and charm to produce a guide Leftists can use to win over that conservative brother-in-law with whom they debate once each year at Thanksgiving. Moore suggests ways to build bridges across the political spectrum, above all by appealing to conservative "self-centeredness" by showing how liberal social policies will make them richer and happier.
"What you will encounter in the conservative mind is fear," writes Moore to his fellow Lefties. "Fear of crime. Fear of enemies. Fear of change. Fear of people not exactly like them. And, of course, fear of losing any money on anything."
He does not mention fear of Leftists, who are just as eager to impose their morality on everybody else by using the bayonets of government power as are the "evil right-wing preachers" feared by the Left. (Moore, who as an Irish-American boy considered becoming a Catholic priest, makes clear that he despises George W. Bush for his devout Christian values and faith.)
"You know there are many things about conservatives that we like and believe in ourselves – even though we usually wouldn’t be caught dead saying them out loud," writes Moore in the most winning (and for him hard to write) passage of this book.
"Say them out loud" to your conservative brother-in-law, Moore advises his comrades. "Tell him you, too, are afraid of being a victim of crime and want to prevent criminals from getting away with their actions…. Tell him you don’t like freeloaders, either…. Tell him how dependable conservatives are. When you need something fixed, you call your redneck brother-in-law, don’t you?…. Conservatives are organized, on-time, efficient, well-groomed, and consistent. These are all good qualities and attributes…."
Moore also advises Lefties to admit to that brother-in-law that the Left has – gasp – "made mistakes." Among Moore’s own confessions:
"Mumia probably killed that guy…." Not just a "guy," Michael, but a cop helpless on the ground into whom Mumia emptied a gun.
"Drugs are bad." Agreed.
"Men and women are different." Darn, and just when we thought the Left could be eliminated in one generation by urging them all to engage only in same-sex relationships!
"It’s really a bad idea to have sex before you’re eighteen." Michael clearly sees that big 5-0 rising like a full moon over his life, but age brings greater wisdom and judgment to most of us.
"MTV sucks…." Moore continues, giving far more detail than my quick thumbnail extracts here. "Granola is bad for you. It is filled with sugar and fat…. The sun is good for you…. People who commit violent crimes should be locked up…. Your children do not have a right to privacy…. Not all unions are good, and, in fact, many of them are just plain lousy…. SUVs are not inherently evil…. Getting back to nature is a dumb idea…. Bill O’Reilly makes a few good points…. Animals don’t have rights…. Nixon was more liberal than the last five presidents we’ve had…. Too many of us [on the Left] hold a hoity-toity view of religion….This arrogance is a big reason the lower classes will always side with the Republicans."
Is Moore mellowing and becoming more moderate? Or is he merely using this outreach as a cynical tactic to seduce enough conservative and Republican votes to keep a fast-sinking Democratic Party afloat in 2004?
Throughout his career in print and film, beginning with his documentary "Roger & Me" to his error-filled Academy Award-winning documentary "Bowling for Columbine," Moore has been accused of using lies and deception to advance his immediate political and personal agenda. Entire websites such as moorelies.com exist just to track what critics call his history of deceit and dishonesty.
The good news for Michael Moore is that he can now answer his own question: "Dude, Where’s My Country?" Weeks ago he toured five cities and was greeted everywhere with huge standing-room-only crowds of young people who cheered wildly at his every word as if he were a rock star or movie idol.
"We are socialists," a similar idol who shares Moore’s politics told just such a cheering crowd in one of these cities. "We are enemies of today’s capitalistic economic system for the exploitation of the economically weak, with its unfair salaries, with its unseemly evaluation of a human being according to wealth and property….and we are all determined to destroy this system under all conditions."
Michael Moore’s country, where these adoring crowds cheered him wildly last month, was Germany.
It doubtless helped that Moore dressed in a brown jacket reminiscent of the brown garb of that other idol who like Moore swayed and hypnotized crowds of America-hating Leftist young people.
"I thought it was almost like a kind of cult," said truck driver Max Klemmt after watching Moore spew his anti-American venom in Berlin. "He says somebody is crap and everyone cheers."
"Please, stop this God Bless America stuff," Moore told the overheated "Old Europe" Berlin crowd. "There should be a rule that you’re not allowed to bomb another country unless you can find it on the map." By comparison with what a reviewer for the Leftist London Guardian scornfully called Moore’s "cliché-ridden….paint-by-numbers polemics," his friends the Dixie Chicks almost seem pro-American.
The other idol and cult leader whose socialist politics closely parallel Moore’s was the head of the Nazionalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiter Partei, the National Socialist German Worker’s Party usually referred to in its abbreviated form, Nazi. The Moore-like attack on capitalism was made by Adolf Hitler in a speech on May 1, 1927. To read other such Hitler quotes and learn more about Hitler’s Leftist socialist politics, click here.
Germany today has a population of about 84 million, only 28 percent that of the United States. Michael Moore’s previous best-seller, Stupid White Men, came out with a total of only a million copies in the United States, but in Germany with scarcely a quarter of our population the same book sold 1.2 million copies. His new book, published with a German title that translates "Full Cover, Mr. Bush," reported the November 17 Wall Street Journal, had a huge initial print run in Germany of 200,000 copies, with more to come.
(In Germany, as the September 29th Wall Street Journal reported, every kind of crackpot anti-American conspiracy book – like the Andreas von Bulow tome alleging, Howard-Deanlike, that President Bush was somehow involved in or had foreknowledge of 9-11 – nowadays sells like hotcakes.)
So, Michael, you need never again ask "Dude, Where’s My Country?"
You found it, amid the sweaty torchlight parades, beer halls, swastikas, brown shirt socialists, goose-steppers and hypnotized screaming crowds of freedom-hating, America-hating former East Germans too young and uneducated to remember the nightmare into which the last socialist demagogue like yourself led their blinkered culture. Welcome to the cabaret, Michael Moore. Welcome home to your true country.
Too bad they impose confiscatory taxes on rich folks like you. But what’s sauce for the goose-stepper is sauce for the gander. This is what you want for all of us.