DOCUMENTARY FILMMAKER Michael Moore saw President Trump coming. Unlike most of us, who - as it turned out - did the wrong thing and put our faith in the poll makers when making our final judgements and thought Clinton would squeak home - Moore was emphatic that Trump would win. In July he wrote:
"And now I have even more awful, depressing news for you: Donald J. Trump is going to win in November. This wretched, ignorant, dangerous part-time clown and full time sociopath is going to be our next president. President Trump. Go ahead and say the words, ‘cause you’ll be saying them for the next four years: “PRESIDENT TRUMP.”
Moore put forward main five reasons why Trump would win.
Perhaps most impressively - or depressingly, depending on your point of view - he went against prevailing opinion and predicted that Clinton would have difficulty in holding the traditional Democratic states of Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
He was proved right. She lost all the 'blue wall' states because she was seen by an angry and embittered working class as the representative of a neoliberal orthodoxy that had destroyed the industrial base of the Midwest. Trump's siren call that he would bring jobs back to the United States via the cancellation of agreements like NAFTA and slapping tariffs on imported goods - like cars -was music to the ears of an electorate that felt, correctly, that it had been abandoned by the Democratic Party.
Yet, such was the arrogance of the Clinton camp, they effectively assumed that they had the 'blue wall' states in the bag. Clinton, for example, failed to visit Wisconsin even once during her entire election campaign. She preferred to be in Florida, jiving with Jennifer Lopez and Beyonce.
Moore, like a lot of us, had serious reservations about Hillary Clinton herself. While she was massively unpopular many of us thought - me included - that she would still manage to get over the line. It would not be an impressive victory but it would be still be a victory. We were wrong and Michael Moore was right:
"No Democrat, and certainly no independent, is waking up on November 8th excited to run out and vote for Hillary the way they did the day Obama became president or when Bernie was on the primary ballot. The enthusiasm just isn’t there. And because this election is going to come down to just one thing — who drags the most people out of the house and gets them to the polls — Trump right now is in the catbird seat."
And Clinton, despite her impressive campaign organisation on the ground, was still unable to convince enough people to head down to the polling stations to vote for her. In particular African-American, Latino and younger voters failed to show up in sufficient numbers at the polling stations to propel Clinton into the White House.
Many, if not most, of those absent young voters were supporters of Bernie Sanders. And while it wasn't an organised boycott, the Democratic Party paid a high price for deliberately undermining Bernie Sanders bid for the party nomination. Even Sanders himself was not able to persuade sufficient numbers of his supporters to vote for a candidate they despised. The anger ran deep.
And Clinton gave them no reason to swallow that anger and to vote for her. Moore observes:
|Sarah Silverman : So who's feeling ridiculous now?|
In the immediate aftermath of Clinton's defeat, the dismal Democratic Party leadership is urging it supporters to 'unite' behind Trump and give him 'a chance.' Even in defeat they have learnt nothing. Moore is scathing.
He has listed many of the things he thinks must be done before Trump enters the White House - and none of those include 'uniting' behind Donald Trump. One of the things he is demanding is an apology from the Democratic National Committee for kneecapping Bernie Sanders - the one candidate who could of defeated Trump:
"We all know now that had Bernie been given a fair shot, he probably would have been the nominee and he—as the true outsider and "change" candidate—would have inspired and fired up the base and defeated Donald Trump. If no apology is soon forthcoming from the DNC, that's okay—when we take over the Democratic Party, we will issue the apology in person."
I can well remember American comedian, Sarah Silverman, telling us that we were 'ridiculous' for continuing to support Bernie Sanders. Indeed a certain New Zealand mainstream columnist Chris Trotter, expressing support for Silverman, also advised that it was "...time For Bernie’s die-hard supporters to stop being ridiculous."
So who's feeling ridiculous now?