“MICHAEL MOORE IN TRUMPLAND” My rating: B+
67 minutes | MPAA rating: R
Who’d have guessed that one of the sanest evaluations of this crazy political season would come from lefty satirist Michael Moore?
“Michael Moore in Trumpland” is a record of a one-man comedy show Moore recently gave in Trump-leaning Wilmington, Ohio. It has elements of his old TV show — a couple of faux news reports and pre-taped skits (the least effective part of the experience) — but for the most part it’s Moore pacing the stage of a grand old theater and talking to an audience of local voters.
Moore says he wanted to reach out to Trump supporters (you can tell who they are in the audience…mostly men who sit with their arms folded while everyone else is laughing); to make conservatives more comfortable he has seated all Mexican and Muslim audience members in the balcony. The Mexicans are surrounded by a large cardboard wall; the Muslims watch the show while being monitored by a hovering drone.
But mostly Moore delivers the most rational, low-keyed apologia for Hillary Clinton I’ve ever seen.
At one point he asks audience members to call out things they don’t like about Clinton…and then quietly demolishes all of them. He appears to genuinely admire Hillary…though he can hardly be accused of wearing rose-colored glasses. She’s got baggage and he knows it.
Moore can often be snarky when dealing with the rich and powerful, but his analysis of Trump’s core supporters is insightful, incisive and weirdly sympathetic.
They are, he says, “people who are hurting, and it’s why every beaten down, nameless, forgotten working stiff who used to be part of what was called the middle-class loves Trump. He is the human Molotov cocktail that they’ve been waiting for.”
“Trump’s election,” Moore says, “is going to be the biggest ‘fuck you’ ever recorded in human history—and it will feel good. It will feel good…for a day. You know, maybe a week. Possibly a month.
“Because you used the ballot as an anger management tool and now you’re fucked.”
For all his talk about reaching out to Trumppies, Moore’s obvious target are the undecided (Christ, after all this how can anyone be undecided?!?!?!) and especially Millennials who might opt to (1) vote for a third party candidate or (2) not vote at all.
He makes a convincing case. Now let’s see if anyone’s listening.
| Robert W. Butler