Out of the mouths of babes (or teenagers, same thing)…
My family just finished watching “Michael Moore in Trumpland“, a one-season, one episode iTunes TV event that my 15-year old calls Moore’s “best movie”. For context, my son has only seen “Where to Invade Next” (arguably Moore’s best film considering it is laced with optimism and maturity not often seen in his previous films) and “Fahrenheit 911” (which makes me cringe in too many places though it fairly shows Bush’s delayed response to a national emergency and reveals the Bush family relationship with Osama Bin Laden’s family).
What my movie critic son had to say about Michael Moore and his Trumpland film/episode: “He somehow managed to humanize Trump voters and still make me want to vote for Hillary more.”
And my son’s response to a 1998 video clip of Donald Trump saying positive things about the Clintons in Moore’s Trumpland: “He (Trump) was kind of adorable really”.
What cracks me up about his insights is that they came just an hour or so after our dinner conversation wherein he basically accepted without question the media swirl implicating Hillary (or at least her campaigners) for instigating riots at Trump rallies based on WikiLeaks: “Isn’t it kind of interesting,” he said, “how there is so much bad stuff happening around her and coming up in WikiLeaks?” My reply was probably inadequate, too much to say in one coherent thought (other than “political persecution”). I said, “Well let’s compare…you are concerned that people in or near the Hillary campaign may have encouraged people to stir the pot at Trump rallies. Meanwhile Trump himself has directly and on more than one occasion personally made a public appeal to his NRA gun supporters, “2nd Amendment people” to stop her, as well as inviting Russia to try to hack her (an offence which the CIA said would cause Trump and anyone else to be arrested next time they said it). I also suggested to my boys that it is amazing how so few emails, far less than 1 percent, have come into question and how lukewarm they are anyway. Which only proves to me that no systemic corruption exists, and may even be less of a dirty politics-as-usual environment. In fact, leaked emails show how Hillary tempered her staff members’ desires for more partisan or polarizing approaches.
The response from my boys was, “why do you always defend her?” and I replied,”I wasn’t defending her, I was trying to help you with critical thinking.” But it doesn’t matter what I say unless I say it on the internet (thus this blog) or use video like Michael Moore!
Truthfully, I recommend watching Moore’s video. It is comical but poetically appealing, inspiring and maybe even redeeming and healing. Is it possible that the partisan filmmaker is on his way to healing the nation as “uniter, not a divider”?