As last week’s midterm elections approached in the United States, the punditocracy of commentators, pollsters and political types was almost united: a “red wave” of Republican gains was on the cards.
But a dissenting voice stood out: that of left-wing filmmaker Michael Moore. Against all common predictions, he predicted that the Democrats would do well. He called it a “blue tsunami”.
That held true in his home state of Michigan, where Democrats won governorship, house and senate for the first time in 40 years, often by wide margins. It’s more of a blue wall in the rest of the country, where Republican gains have mostly failed to materialize, with the exception of Florida. But even so, the strong showing by the Democrats stunned people on both sides of the American political divide, delighting the left and sparking hand wringing on the right.
With Democrats retaining power in the Senate and even the House could remain under their control, Moore suddenly looks like a quintessential predictor.
“I never doubted it — there was no way Republicans had some kind of landslide,” Moore said in an interview.
But, he added: “I don’t have any special powers, I’m not related to Nostradamus or Cassandra, but I was stunned once again that no one wanted to reach out. I was just trying to say that common sense and data – and if you’re not living in a bubble – should lead you to the same conclusion that we outnumber them.
“We have won seven of the last eight popular elections, we have more voters registered, we have a new generation of young people every year, plus the fact that 70% of eligible voters are either women or people of color, or 18 to 25 year olds, or a combination of all three,” he said. “That’s the base of the Democratic Party.”
In the latest of his increasingly popular mass emails, Mike’s Midterm Tsunami Truth #41, published Wednesday, he wrote a devastating critique of the conventional wisdom of an economic woe-focused, crime-fearing American electorate. and resigned to the loss of the right to abortion. , while being baffled by Republicans who deny the election.
“Experts, pollsters and the media have been lying to us for months. Voters had not “budged” from the Supreme Court’s decision to demean and humiliate women by taking federal control over their reproductive organs. Crime was not at the forefront of voters’ “simple” minds. Neither does the price of milk. It was for their democracy that they came to fight yesterday,” he wrote.
Moore doesn’t have an answer for why pundits, pollsters and the media are repeatedly wrong, but theorizes that self-reinforcing stories establish themselves and are hard to back down. He also questions the incitement to fear that is often implicit in the narrative lines adopted by the media. “They may be trying to induce the vote out of fear – ‘It’s going to happen, so you better get to the polls.’ They may think it’s noble, but I don’t think it’s noble at all,” he said.
And there are questions for the political machinery. As anyone who has voted knows, the moment you register to vote or donate to a candidate, the inbox is almost instantly bombarded with what Moore calls “spooky emails.”
“Don’t they understand that this will only depress the vote? If we don’t keep the House, I think the reason is the scare tactic of the Democratic Party and maybe some facilitators in the media who are throwing this, ‘Trump’s on his way back, folks, here’s the big bad bogie man’. By doing that, they hurt the whole thing.
He wants a more positive message from the left, based less on scaring people and more on inspiring them. Already, a self-defeating post-Trump narrative is taking shape, Moore believes, and it primarily revolves around Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. “Oh, DeSantis is going to win because he’s like Trump but he’s smarter oooh, oooh”.
DeSantis represents the kind of powerful, grassroots-friendly call to arms that Democrats fear. “He’s smart about chartering private jets and ferrying refugees to Martha’s Vineyard,” Moore says. “Do you know the kind of orgasmic feeling that goes on inside a right winger when they see him do something wonderful and crazy like that, slamming him right in the liberals face.”
The left can learn a lesson from this playbook: be creative, but not cruel. He points out that it wasn’t until 10 p.m. the day before the vote that Democrats finally released a campaign ad featuring LeBron James, America’s most popular basketball player, asking Georgia voters to vote against Herschel Walker. in Georgia.
“Why didn’t they do it months ago?” They wait until the last night to set up one of the great stars of African American sports? »
Last summer, when John Fetterman was laid to rest after a stroke, his campaign ran on Cameo.com and, for just $400, recruited reality TV star Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi from the Jersey Shore fame on MTV.
“Hey Mehmet! This is Nicole ‘Snooki’ and I’m from ‘Jersey Shore’,” Polizzi said in a video. job by Fetterman on Twitter, adding that she had heard that he had moved from New Jersey to Pennsylvania to “look for a new job”.
“And personally, I don’t know why anyone would want to leave Jersey because it’s, like, the best place ever,” she said. “And we are all hot mess. But I want to wish you good luck. I know you’re far from home and in a new place, but Jersey won’t forget you. I just want to tell you that I won’t forget you.”
The question for Democrats, Moore says, is why won’t they use storytellers, writers and creatives more often?
In 2016, before Hillary Clinton lost the election, Moore, Amy Schumer, Chris Rock and Bill Maher offered to write lines for her debates with Trump, he says.
“We offered to write great lines to throw at Trump whose skin is so thin — and if he delivered them right — would just slip in and he’d explode on stage on live TV,” Moore recalled. “We were all-in on it, and nobody was going to find out.”
The gang presented the plan to the Clinton campaign – and was flatly rejected.
“They said, why would you do that? You know Amy, her comedy is apparently a little dirty. Chris Rock, well, he’s kind of controversial. They didn’t even reach me. They were so scared of screwing it up and being blamed…oh, so you were the ones who let Amy Schumer and Michael Moore on the campaign. Thanks a lot!”
“It proves my point that we won when they stuffed $400 on the Jersey Shore lady. We need more of that. Call me. Call a few people Monty Python. Call us !
Moore says that two of the three emails he received after launching his email newsletter were from readers who reported that they had become depressed thinking midterms were a lost cause. Their reasoning followed, again, the narrative line of Biden’s low approval rating, inflation, economy, crime, etc. They ignored the ever-burning rage over the loss of women’s reproductive rights.
“I said, what does inflation or past elections have to do with anything? We don’t live in that time anymore. There will henceforth be more female doctors than men, more female lawyers than men. You don’t have the faintest idea that something is going on? You can’t take human rights away from an entire gender and not blow yourself up in your face”.
The point was proven by the number of victories achieved by abortion rights activists in the ballot measures. There were victories in Kentucky, Michigan, California, Montana and Vermont, in addition to Kansas over the summer.
So the main lesson to be learned from the midterm elections is, for Moore, that Democrats stop depressing their own vote with pessimism, fear and conventional thinking. “The average liberal and progressive leftist needs to immediately stop thinking you are going to lose. Stop, stop, stop. Think ‘the American people are with us,’” he said.