Michael Moore vs. Donald Trump in “Fahrenheit 11/9”: New Film Warns Our Democracy Is At Risk

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“Fahrenheit 11/9”—That’s the name of the new documentary premiering today by Oscar-winning filmmaker Michael Moore, a stunning retelling of the 2016 election and its aftermath. 11/9. That’s November 9, the day Donald Trump won the 2016 presidential election. In the film, Michael crosses the country, documenting not only the rise of Trumpism but also the teachers’ strikes sweeping the nation, the “blue wave” of progressive candidates in the 2018 primaries, the rise of student activism after the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, and the water crisis in his hometown of Flint, Michigan. Moore spares no one in the wide-ranging documentary, which takes aim at the Democratic establishment, The New York Times and other mainstream media outlets, the Electoral College, Barack Obama, Donald Trump and even himself. Michael Moore joins us in our studio to talk about the film and much more.

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AMY GOODMAN: Fahrenheit 11/9—that’s the name of the new documentary by Oscar-winning filmmaker Michael Moore, a stunning retelling of the 2016 election and its aftermath. 11/9—that’s November 9th, the day Donald Trump won the 2016 presidential election.

In the film, Michael Moore crosses the country, documenting not only the rise of Trumpism but also the teachers’ strikes sweeping the nation, the “blue wave” of progressive candidates in the 2018 primaries, the rise of student activism after the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, and the water crisis in his hometown of Flint, Michigan. Michael Moore spares no one in the wide-ranging documentary, which takes aim at the Democratic establishment, The New York Times and other mainstream media outlets, the Electoral College, Barack Obama, Donald Trump and even himself. Here’s the trailer to Fahrenheit 11/9.

MICHAEL MOORE: How the [bleep] did this happen?

UNIDENTIFIED: I’m sick and tired of people telling me that America is the greatest country. Because we can whip your ass?

DONALD TRUMP: I hate some of these people, but I’d never kill them.

DAVID HOGG: How do you deal with this? You’re never going to be able to unsee what you saw.

ROGER STONE: Try to impeach him. Just try it. You will have a spasm of violence in this country like you’ve never seen.

MICHAEL MOORE: Governor Snyder, I’ve got some Flint water for you.

MARIO SAVIO: When the operation of the machine becomes so odious, you’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, and you’ve got to make it stop!

ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ: If nobody’s gonna do it, then I gotta do it!

UNIDENTIFIED: And I don’t give a [bleep] who you are. I’ll fight you in the damn street right now.

MICHAEL MOORE: OK, well, um—um—

How the [bleep] did this happen?

DONALD TRUMP: The American dream … is dead. Stop resisting.

STEPHEN MILLER: The president’s powers here are beyond question.

MICHAEL MOORE: Ladies and gentlemen, the last president of the United States.

UNIDENTIFIED: Coming to an American city near you.

AMY GOODMAN: The trailer to Michael Moore’s new film, Fahrenheit 11/9. It opens today in 1,800 theaters across the country.

Well, earlier this week, Michael joined us in our studio. I began by asking him about the making of the film and if it’s a sequel to his 2004 blockbuster, Fahrenheit 9/11, about George W. Bush.

MICHAEL MOORE: It’s not a sequel. The title just sort of came to us because Trump was declared president by the Associated Press at 2:29 in the morning on 11/9/16. But it is a cousin to that film, in the sense that when Bush was installed in the White House and had us in a couple of wars fairly quickly, we were in pretty bad shape. And so, Fahrenheit 9/11 grew out of a desire to try and halt his efforts, especially the war effort.

We’re in a different kind of war now. We’re in a war with not just an individual who has taken over the White House—because, again, he wasn’t elected, but he was appointed by the Electoral College—but Trump is the result of decades, decades of us allowing this country to go down a road that had very little to do with democracy and equal rights and what was fair, and very much toward letting the rich, letting corporate America, Wall Street run the show and call the shots.

So, when I say, for instance, that Donald Trump doesn’t care much about democracy and is trying to whittle away whatever he can of what we call our democracy, that’s really, to be fair to him, not really unusual. He’s a CEO. He’s a billionaire. Generally CEOs don’t run their businesses like democracies. They don’t like democracy. That’s not how they live. It’s not how they run their business. And as billionaires, they want to grab as much of the pie for themselves as possible. So they’re not into everybody having a slice of the pie or a fair slice of the pie or a seat at the table. So, he’s really just acting like most people of his class.

You know, I mean, I’ve got to believe if you’re a billionaire, you’ve got to really hate a system that says it’s one person, one vote. Because if we really are one person, one vote, that means there’s 325 million of us and probably less than a thousand of them. Imagine if you were on the other side, if you were one of them. That doesn’t look very good, because it means that 325 million can just suddenly pass laws and tell you what to do.

So the basic concept of our democracy is that, but they know that they’ve been able to run that show because they’ve bought it. They buy the politicians, they buy the elections, and they have most working people in such a box that they know that if they were to protest, if they were to speak out, if they were to whistle-blow, that would be the end of their income.

And starting with Bill Clinton, we began eliminating the safety net when you don’t have an income. And so, we’re now at the point where they’ve got those 325 million right where they want them—scared that they aren’t going to be able to pay next month’s bills. Best statistic I saw recently—maybe you saw it—that the majority of Americans, almost 67 percent, do not have enough money in the bank or in their pocket to, if a loved one passed away tonight, and they lived here in New York, and the loved one was in California, they don’t have the money for the plane ticket to go to California. In other words, they don’t have—the majority of Americans don’t have $400 to $500 available in any form to them at any moment.

That’s the America we live in, and boy, does the billionaire class love that, because that’s when you’ve got them. You don’t ever think about, when you’re in that situation, of complaining about what’s going on, starting a union or taking the day off to go to the funeral of a loved one.

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