Michael Moore’s America

Michael Moore’s first convention report for USA Today is entitled “The GOP doesn’t reflect America.”

Welcome, Republicans. You’re proud Americans who love your country. In your own way, you want to make this country a better place. Whatever our differences, you should be commended for that.

But what’s all this talk about New York being enemy territory? Nothing could be further from the truth. We New Yorkers love Republicans. We have a Republican mayor and governor, a death penalty and two nuclear plants within 30 miles of the city. New York is home to Fox News Channel. The top right-wing talk shows emanate from here — Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly among them. The Wall Street Journal is based here, which means your favorite street is here. Not to mention more Fortune 500 executives than anywhere else. You may think you’re surrounded by a bunch of latte-drinking effete liberals, but the truth is, you’re right where you belong, smack in the seat of corporate America and conservative media.

Moore is a clever propagandist but this is rather silly. Yes, New York is the business and media capital of the country. No, Republicans aren’t in the majority. More importantly, if one looks at the famous red-blue maps of the last several elections, it’s rather obvious where the GOP’s electoral strength is. Does Moore really think it’s the corporate fatcat vote that’s carrying the day in Nebraska and Alabama?

Let me also say I admire your resolve. You’re true believers. Even though only a third of the country defines itself as “Republican,” you control the White House, Congress, Supreme Court and most state governments.

You’re in charge because you never back down. Your people are up before dawn figuring out which minority group shouldn’t be allowed to marry today.

Yes, that explains it. Roughly a third of Americans identify with each of the major parties with a third classifying themselves as “independent” or with one of the minor parties. But the vast majority who vote lean strongly to one party or the other and, in recent years, more have leaned Republican than Democrat. If more of the 435 congressional districts, more of the state houses, and more of the thousands of state legislative districts are going Republican than Democrat, one might guess that former represents the values of Americans better than the latter, no?

Moore has a different explanation: People are morons.

I’ve often found that if I go down the list of “liberal” issues with people who say they’re Republican, they are quite liberal and not in sync with the Republicans who run the country. Most don’t want America to be the world’s police officer and prefer peace to war. They applaud civil rights, believe all Americans should have health insurance and think assault weapons should be banned. Though they may personally oppose abortion, they usually don’t think the government has the right to tell a women what to do with her body.

There’s a name for these Republicans: RINOs or Republican In Name Only. They possess a liberal, open mind and don’t believe in creating a worse life for anyone else.

So why do they use the same label as those who back a status quo of women earning 75 cents to every dollar a man earns, 45 million people without health coverage and a president who has two more countries left on his axis-of-evil-regime-change list?

I asked my friend on the street. He said what I hear from all RINOs: “I don’t want the government taking my hard-earned money and taxing me to death. That’s what the Democrats do.”

Money. That’s what it comes down to for the RINOs. They do work hard and have been squeezed even harder to make ends meet. They blame Democrats for wanting to take their money. Never mind that it’s Republican tax cuts for the rich and billions spent on the Iraq war that have created the largest deficits in history and will put all of us in hock for years to come.

Sure, most Americans want it all: free everything for everybody, peace, no traffic, no pollution, and so forth. But most people are smart enough to realize that there are trade-offs and that some of the things they want can’t be had without sacrificing things that are more dear. Peace is preferable to war but war is preferable to capitulation to the enemy. Pollution is bad but not as bad as unemployment. Sure, women should make as much as men for the same production. But most Americans aren’t going to mandate that women stop having babies or choosing jobs that are socially valuable but economically unrewarding. Nor will they mandate that employers pay all people the same just because.

Of course, if Michael Moore wants to donate all the money he earns beyond the median income to the downtrodden, he’s perfectly welcome to do so. We know how much Democrats hate money.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2004
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Mel McDowell says:

    So USSR Today carried this propoganda but wouldn’t publish Ann Coulter’s column? Shows where they are coming from, doesn’t it?

  2. carpeicthus says:

    Compare the two columns, Mel. Moore’s is silly in a number of ways; Coulter’s was a screeching screed that could have been (and likely was) phoned in. The whole idea was stupid in the first place, but c’mon man, move beyond the talking points.

  3. Moe Lane says:

    “But what’s all this talk about New York being enemy territory? Nothing could be further from the truth. We New Yorkers love Republicans. ”

    I guess he must be over that entire why-did-they-attack-NYC-we-didn’t-vote-for-Bush thing, then.

  4. David R. Block says:

    “Conservative media?” Sure, those that Moore named, but he doesn’t name NBC-CBS-ABC-CNN-MSNBC-PBS-NPR-Time-Newsweek-New York Times. (OK, CNN is in Atlanta, but conservative?).

    That’s just like most of his movies: half-truths, if that much.