Saturday, July 31, 2004

Comments on Michael Moore's speech (DNC)

by IMDB user "fear_and_hate_9_11" (used by permission - Moore's quotes are in bold characters) :


The speech consisted in an analytical part and a creed.

The main idea in the analytical part was that American people are overwhelmingly not bad, but severely ill-informed and manipulated. “I know a lot of people have seen my film and the obvious bad guy in the movie is George W. Bush. But there's the unstated villain in the film. And that's our national media.” Moore asked a global question : “Why haven't I seen this (in a free country) ?”, and proposed a variety of answers, ranging from cowardice to carelessness. He then rightly pointed out he was the only one who used his American claim to freedom to ask questions – which is not even freedom of speech, just freedom to ask hard questions. For example, he questioned in his speech the exact meaning of the phrase : “Support the troops”. Not the phrase. Its meaning.

Which explains his very optimistic views on most of our fellow Americans : he thinks “most Americans in their hearts are liberals and progressives”, and that “a lot of people who call themselves Republicans are that way because they, you know, they just don't like the government sticking their hand in the pocket.” He doesn’t have any evidence for his hypothesis on the Republicans other than empirical, but he does back up his opinion about the populace’s generosity and open-mindedness with non-left wing polls such as Gallup’s, ABC’s and CNN’s. Which only leaves us with the ones Moore calls the “hate-riots”. Just a small minority, but mean, busy and very active. “They aren't going to go without a fight. And believe me, they are better fighters than we are.”

Regarding the polarization, Moore begins with a strong denial of the stereotype of America being a 50/50 country. He calls her “a 50/50/50 country”, thus laying great stress on the non-voters. He insists that they’re the ones who have been most hurt by the Bush administration, and that they do have an opinion : they are angry and they want Bush out. But they’re also bitter (Moore says “disenfranchised”) and “have sunk into their own cynicism believing what's the use?”

Hence Moore’s creed and Moore’s urge : the Democrats should stand up for what they believe. Democrats, stand up for your beliefs ! “You will not win this election by being weak kneed and wimpy and wishy-washy and lacking the courage of your convictions.” What he says is that the Democrats have no worse enemy than themselves : their own tepidity, their own lack of political courage.

Bush is no enemy : “he doesn't really believe in conservative values.”

Nader is no enemy : his message is “carried on by Howard Dean and Dennis Kucinich and others in this year.”

What Moore says is that if the Democrats back down, if the Democrats back out, then the non-voters will remain in despair… and home. Then Nader’s voters will vote… for Nader.

Hence Moore’s powerful final plea to the Democrats : “Stand up for something. Don't be afraid. Don't try to be the hamburger version of the Republican Party.”

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