Fahrenheit 11/9

The only thing that I truly dislike about Michael Moore is his awful wardrobe.

Fahrenheit 11-9Regardless of your feelings about Michael Moore, he remains one of the most creative directors working today.  He tackles issues that come close to ripping apart our country in a fashion that deserves to be seen.

To begin with, this movie begins with a searing critique of Donald Trump and the success he is having of converting American politics into his TV series entitled The Apprentice.  Despite his misogynistic personal life and the many lies that flow from his lips on a daily basis, people flock to him in the same way that German citizens did Hitler.  This is demonstrated in Fahrenheit 11/9 where Mr. Moore shows Hitler addressing a large cheering audience where he has the German chancellor speaking in Trump’s voice.  It is both fascinating and chilling.

But Mr. Moore doesn’t stop his critique of our American political system with his poignant analysis of our President.  At the heart of the movie is a focus on the simple truth of how money completely controls our political agenda.  In that regard, the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizen United has unleashed a demonic force across our country where wealthy people can maneuver elections and hide their identity.  For those who doubt, read Jane Mayer’s magnificent book Dark Money and be sure to pay attention to a forthcoming PBS documentary under that same name.

What Mr. Moore does with this film is point out how the middle class and the little people of this country are being left behind.  While they are encouraged by daily political ads to support the very candidates that serve only the interests of tycoons, people like President Trump seek the little guy’s support in the same fashion that Medieval tycoons wanted surfs to praise them while they worked to survive in the fields.

No one escapes Mr. Moore’s cinematic blade, and that includes Presidents Clinton and Obama.  Clinton is shown recklessly expanding our national jail population while Obama is held accountable for deporting more immigrants than any other president while sugar coating the water poisoning taking place in Flint, Michigan.  In particular, watch how President Obama fakes drinking water out of the glass when he is only touching it with his lips when speaking in Flint.

While I fully knew this before seeing Fahrenheit 11/9, the film dramatizes how we are on the verge of recreating life in the Middle Ages.  Ignoring the importance of Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, conservative Republican candidates criticize their Democratic opponents for attempting to have government help the poorest of the poor lead a meaningful life.  This is shameful, and nothing demonstrates that more than Republican Evangelicals who embrace Jesus’ mantra to “Love your neighbor” while separating Hispanic families in order to send them back to a desperate life they are trying to escape.

Though there is no one answer for all of this horrific nonsense, I do have a simple proposal.  Anyone who wants to run a political ad on TV, the radio, in the paper or online should have to completely identify themselves and their supporters.  Why do they get to use their millions to hide from public scrutiny?

Secondly, it’s time that we eliminate college debt by making public institutions as free of cost as high schools and grade schools.  Why do we let the wealthy benefit from an education where little people are only trying to find a way to make a contribution to life as we know it.

Finally, anyone who is over 65 knows the benefits of Medicare.  It’s time that we apply that benefit to all Americans from the day of birth.  After all, if the definition of being an American involves the guaranty of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”, how can that possibly exist if you can’t afford healthcare?