- - Thursday, September 27, 2018

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Has Michael Moore become yesterday’s radical?

The Moore persona is in a state of decay — and it appears he’s also lost his documentary making mojo.

The aging provocateur’s latest film — “Fahrenheit 11/9, which debuted last week — has proved to be as popular in 2018 as MySpace.com.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, it “limped” to an eighth-place finish in North America, generating just $3.1 million in revenue — only about half what Mr. Moore and his backers had expected and a fraction of the $27 million brought in by a children’s Halloween movie starring Cate Blanchett, “The House With a Clock in Its Walls.”

Not exactly compelling competition.

Perhaps more alarmingly — for Mr. Moore — “Fahrenheit 11/9” flopped compared with his 2004 film, “Fahrenheit 9/11,” which earned $23.4 million in the opening weekend.

Probably because it’s the Trump era, and not 2004. What sold back then isn’t selling now. Back then Amy Winehouse was a fresh new voice and Will Ferrell was still funny.

But Mr. Moore and other sore losers on the left continue trying to sell an ideology the majority of the public is no longer buying. Evidence for which is the box office receipts, or lack thereof, of his latest film, as well as the success of the subject of his film, Donald Trump.

Unlike Mr. Moore, Mr. Trump sells. And he sells precisely to the demographic which the Flint Michigan-born millionaire radical preposterously claims to champion: The working and middle-class Americans of the Rust Belt who’ve been talked down to (and ignored) by the left for the past four decades.

Mr. Moore doesn’t get it, but continues trying to sell it. Neither did Hillary, which explains why she didn’t sell, either.

“Fahrenheit 11/9” doesn’t examine why Mr. Moore’s brand of leftism isn’t getting much traction.

Instead, it spends most of its two hours and five minutes characterizing the president as an authoritarian bully — even playing old clips from Nazi mass rallies, with cut-and-paste snippets of Trump speeches running close-captioned along the bottom of the screen to get the message across.

But who’s the real bully? And who’s more disconnected from reality? It isn’t Donald Trump.

A majority of Americans voted for Mr. Trump precisely because they were alarmed by the soft authoritarianism embodied by the presidency of Barack Obama — and which the election of Mr. Moore’s fellow aging radical lefty, Hillary Clinton, would have doubled down on. The people didn’t want to buy more of that product and so they voted against it.

Mr. Moore bizarrely characterizes this as “anti-Democratic.”

Mr. Trump’s success — both in the primary and the general election — was as much a bellwether as his presidential victory. Both were a blue-collar cry for freedom by a middle and working class populace tired of being lectured and mulcted and parented and busybodied by … out-of-touch millionaire elitists like Michael Moore who pose as friends of the average guy.

Mr. Trump’s campaign was about less micromanaging of the country by these arrogant elites; about dialing back the busybodying and nudging. That is the message that was sent from Altoona, Pennsylvania, to Racine, Wisconsin. You think people from those towns watch Michael Moore films?

Mr. Trump promised to put America — and Americans — first. And he did.

The Hitler/racism trope — “he could be our last president, ever!” — is a measure of the desperation of this has-been hack, who hasn’t had a successful movie since “Fahrenheit 9/11” nearly 15 years ago.

The truth, as tough as it may be for Mr. Moore and his failed friends to come to terms with, is that the bulk of Mr. Trump’s support came from exactly the hardscrabble working folks which Mr. Moore preposterously claims to speak for — and which the Democratic Party establishment radiates contempt for.

Mr. Trump can legitimately claim to speak for these forgotten Americans — and has been representing their interests, which run contrary to those of Mr. Moore and his people.

The president has created the conditions necessary for economic growth, as opposed to growing the bureaucratic/regulatory apparat. He has pulled the government’s hand out of the taxpayers’ pocket. He is renegotiating trade deals and unleashing the power of the American energy sector.

Despite having the full weight of a hostile media (including Mr. Moore) against him, Mr. Trump has succeeded. It must be galling to Mr. Moore and others on the left.

Rather than make hysterical Hitler comparisons, Mr. Moore might have done a documentary sans the demagoguery; one which explored why the Democrats lost the formerly deep blue states such as Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin and Iowa in the 2016 election.

He might give some thought to why the people he claims to care so much about don’t seem to care much for his views. Or his latest movie.

If Michael Moore can’t motivate liberals to see an anti-Trump movie, what makes you think Nancy Pelosi can get them to the polls to vote?

• A.J. Rice is the CEO of Publius PR (publiuspr.com)


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