In the aftermath of last week’s elections, documentary filmmaker Michael Moore is being promoted by the media as the voice of popular opposition to the fascistic president-elect Donald Trump. Moore has appeared on CNN twice, first with Don Lemon and then on Jake Tapper’s “State of the Union” program.
A post by Moore on Alternet, entitled “Morning-After To-Do List,” in which item number one is “Take over the Democratic Party and return it to the people,” has been widely reported and discussed in major media outlets, including the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and Washington Post.
Why are the establishment media giving Moore such a buildup?
Trump’s election is a debacle for the Democratic Party. Democratic candidate Hilary Clinton was unable to defeat the personification of all that is backward and corrupt in American politics and culture—one of the most despised presidential candidates in US history—not because of an upsurge in popular support for Trump, but because of a collapse in support for the Democrats, who are broadly hated for their right-wing, anti-working class policies.
Eight years of the pro-Wall Street, pro-war Obama administration, which has presided over the greatest transfer of wealth from the bottom to the top in history, have immensely added to the bitterness and frustration of tens of millions of working people.
Broad sections of young people and workers look upon not only the Democratic Party, but the entire political establishment with nothing but contempt. A New York Times poll published before the election found that 82 percent of the electorate said that the campaigns of both Trump and Clinton “repulsed” them.
It is within this context that the Democratic Party is scrambling to preserve its political credibility. From the standpoint of the ruling class, for whom the Democratic Party has served as an essential prop for nearly 200 years, it is a pressing task to somehow keep this political semi-corpse from completely decomposing, so as to maintain the two-party monopoly through which it rules. It fears nothing more than the emergence of an independent political movement of the working class. Hence the need to promote illusions that the Democratic Party can somehow be pushed to the left and made to serve the interests of working people.
Moore, who was prominently promoted by the media as an opponent of the Bush administration’s foreign and domestic policy, has been recruited for this task.
There is a huge element of charlatanry in Moore’s posturing post-Election Day as the standard bearer of an insurgent movement against the Democratic Party establishment, which he decries in his “To-Do List” as having “failed us miserably.”
He shifted seamlessly from supporting the supposed socialist Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primaries to enthusiastically campaigning for Hillary Clinton—the establishment candidate par excellence—in the general election. Moore could be heard on multiple radio interview shows in the run-up to the election not only promoting Clinton as the “lesser evil” to the “unthinkable” Donald Trump, but hailing Clinton as a genuine progressive whose election would usher in a new period of social reform and progress for working people.
In his latest film, TrumpLand, Moore described Clinton as “our Pope Francis,” someone who will “kick ass in Congress.”
“Our very first female president, someone the world respects, someone who is whip-smart and cares about kids, who will continue the Obama legacy,” he gushed to Politico .
Yet earlier this year, before Sanders’ capitulation to Clinton, Moore warned that “Clinton will find a way to get us in some kind of military action. She’s a hawk, to the right of Obama.” He continued: “Hillary Clinton was FOR the war in Iraq, AGAINST gay marriage, FOR the Patriot Act…and wants to put Ed Snowden in prison.”
If Moore had an ounce of political seriousness, he would seek to account for his role in promoting the Democratic campaigns of Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and before that, US Army General Wesley Clark, who presided over the savage 1999 bombing of Serbia as NATO’s supreme allied commander in Europe.
As the saying goes, “Don’t hold your breath.”