Filmmaker Michael Moore expected Donald Trump to win the presidential election when many of his fellow liberal commentators were still laughing at him.
Ahead of the election, Moore tried to warn progressives that they were in a liberal echo chamber that ignored the very real possibility that Trump could defeat Democrat Hillary Clinton. Now he’s offering a “Morning After To-Do List” for any American struggling to come to terms with the election results.
His plan has five points: returning the Democratic Party to the people, firing all pundits who refused to acknowledge the truth, getting Democratic congressmen out of the way if they won’t fight as hard as Republicans, no longer saying you are “stunned” and “shocked” and reminding people that Clinton actually won the popular vote.
“If you woke up this morning thinking you live in an effed-up country, you don’t. The majority of your fellow Americans wanted Hillary, not Trump,” he wrote Wednesday on Facebook. “The only reason he’s president is because of an arcane, insane 18th-century idea called the Electoral College. Until we change that, we’ll continue to have presidents we didn’t elect and didn’t want.”
Moore argued that the United States is a country where a majority of the citizens say they believe in climate change, think women should be paid the same as men, want debt-free college education, want to raise the minimum wage, want a single-payer universal health care system and do not want to invade other countries.
“None of that has changed. We live in a country where the majority agree with the ‘liberal’ position. We just lack the liberal leadership to make that happen (see: #1 above),” he wrote. As of Thursday morning, the Facebook post had been shared nearly 200,000 times.
According to Moore, the Democratic establishment failed its constituents miserably, and the pundits failed their viewers by claiming that Clinton would annihilate Trump. He called for progressives to ignore these same talking heads when they start calling for people to “heal the divide” and “come together.”
Moore said both major political parties have turned a blind eye on the despair of many disenfranchised Americans. Over the years, anger and a desire for revenge started to grow against a system that had neglected them, the filmmaker wrote. Then a celebrity like Trump could capitalize on this resentment.
“Along came a TV star they liked whose plan was to destroy both parties and tell them all, ‘You’re fired!’ Trump’s victory is no surprise,” he said. “He was never a joke. Treating him as one only strengthened him. He is both a creature and a creation of the media and the media will never own that.”
Moore said he understood the sheer power of Trump’s vitriol for the political and business elite that did little to stop the Rust Belt from hemorrhaging jobs. Trump’s campaign had homed in on the loss of U.S. manufacturing jobs over the last several decades.
Moore, who was raised in Davison, Mich., outside Flint, made his debut with as an independent filmmaker with the 1989 documentary “Roger & Me,” which analyzes the economic impact of General Motors closing several plants in Flint in the late 1980s. But he rose to greater prominence with later, more partisan films like the pro-gun-control “Bowling for Columbine” and the anti-President George W. Bush “Fahrenheit 9/11.”
In July, Moore published an essay on his website titled “5 Reasons Why Trump Will Win.” The prescient article’s content was largely ignored among the left, turning Moore into somewhat of a Cassandra figure. For instance, he predicted that Trump would win over four traditionally blue states in the upper Great Lakes Rust Belt — Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin — in part by attacking the Clintons for NAFTA. And it worked.
“When Trump stood in the shadow of a Ford Motor factory during the Michigan primary, he threatened the corporation that if they did indeed go ahead with their planned closure of that factory and move it to Mexico, he would slap a 35% tariff on any Mexican-built cars shipped back to the United States. It was sweet, sweet music to the ears of the working class of Michigan,” Moore wrote.
In fact, the Oscar-winning director’s understanding of how Trump voters was so astute that alt-right star Milo Yiannopoulos edited a Moore speech from his film “Michael Moore in TrumpLand,” which had a surprise release in October, to make it seem as if he endorsed the Republican candidate.
In the trimmed clip, Moore can be heard saying, “Trump’s election is going to be the biggest ‘f*** you’ ever recorded in human history, and it will feel good.” But the rest of the speech reveals that the filmmaker thinks the joy of sending a message of righteous anger will be short-lived — quickly giving way to regret, as it has for millions of Brexit voters after Britain voted to leave the EU.
On Wednesday night, tens of thousands of liberal protesters took to the streets of major cities like Chicago and Los Angeles to speak out against Trump, many shouting, “Not my president!” And in Manhattan, Moore was right there with them.