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Talking with Michael Moore

by Craig Mazer

(contributions by the IMPACT staff)

If you don't know who Michael Moore is, then go rent the documentaries Roger and Me or The Big One and learn.

IMPACT: You seem pretty happy about what the Democrats accomplished in this election...

MM: Not the Democrats, but I'm happy how the people came out to send a message.

IMPACT: What does that mean from here?

MM: The people and their road rage in the Judiciary Committee didn't get the message, you know, so now we have to figure out how to pull them over and get them off the road. Because they are on the road to impeachment and they're not going to stop. They're completely thumbing their nose at the American people and a democracy that can just mean nothing but a heap of trouble for a politician and hopefully that's what we're gonna start to give 'em.

IMPACT: Does this affect who you think will be the (presidential) candidate for the year 2000?

MM: Oh sure. Oh yeah, I think there's going to be a real movement. And it's probably going to happen on its own, without any real organization amongst the people. I think we're gonna find people like the Jesse Venturas running for office.

IMPACT: What do you think the main issue will be, if there is one?

MM: The collapse of the economy. The fact that one percent of the country owns ninety percent of the wealth and the middle class has been eliminated.

IMPACT: What about a third-party candidate? Is there a chance yet?

MM: We don't even have a second party, that's the problem. The Republicans and Democrats essentially believe in the same thing. The Democrats represent a kinder, gentler version of what the Republicans believe in. We need two distinctive and even probably more ... I don't even want to talk third party yet until we get a second party, ya know. Let the rich have their two parties that they have now. Let's combine them into one party. Both those parties do the bidding of wealthy people. And let the rest of us have our own party, more parties.

IMPACT: What about the Christian Coalition ...

MM: It's over. Dead, put a fork in it.

IMPACT: Do you think it's because of the Gingrich embarrasment?

MM: Yeah, and because, ya know what, they never have represented more than 15 percent of the population. They've always been a minority, they've just been active. And when you're active, if you only have 15 percent and you're active, in a country where people are not active, where only 40 percent of the people vote. Then you can have huge impact. But the impact is not relevant, is not truly representative of how the American people feel. The American people probably by a margin of 85 percent don't support the agenda of the Christian right.

IMPACT: What about the other effect of Gingrich? Do you think that it will affect the way the right approaches some of its more fanatical issues? Or do you think it's effect will help the left?

MM: I think they're not going to figure it out or figure it out in time for the year 2000. They're going to be in this tailspin. They're going to fight each other.

IMPACT: Is there something the left should do? Are there issues the left should approach now that the right is up in arms?

MM: Well the left should appropriate their issues. That's what they should do. The left, instead of trying to be divisive on issues that really haven't gotten us anywhere ... Why don't we start talking about crime? Why don't we start talking about welfare? Except the way we'll talk about is ... ya know, for every burglary in this country there's three white collar crimes that are being committed. Or, for every person who is murdered in this country, there's two other people who die on the job from unsafe working conditions. And we'll start talking about crime in that way. When we talk about welfare, we'll talk about the New York Stock Exchange getting a $900 million welfare package to stay in New York City instead of moving to New Jersey. We'll talk about, why does McDonalds get $1.5 million to promote Chicken McNuggets in Singapore -- of our federal tax dollars. Once people hear that, that three times as much money goes to this corporate welfare than social welfare, they're going to be up in arms about it. So, I think the job here is to really educate people about these issues. But talk to them about the things they care about.

IMPACT: Well, talking to them is one thing. But how do you get them to accomplish anything? What role can they play in changing this? Is it simply the vote?

MM: Well, that's a big part of it. It's things you can do locally. You should be involved locally in your school board, city councils, your neighborhood groups.

IMPACT: With regards to the recent medical marijuana victories across the country, do you think that the legislature will begin to move more in line with the constituency?

MM: No ...

IMPACT: Do you think that they will continue to deny it?

MM: Yup.

IMPACT: Do you have any reasons why?

MM: Cause they're out of step with the American people.

IMPACT: One more question, off the top of your head, what are the three most important corporations to boycott?

MM: You know, I don't really boycott corporations. Because it doesn't work unless it's really organized and done on a national level where it has impact. If you just do it individually, it has no impact.

IMPACT: Could that not be a starting point, though?

MM: You mean, companies that I think people should avoid, if there was an organized boycott?

IMPACT: Yeah.

MM: Oh my god ... the top three, geez. MSNBC, CNN and Fox News Channel (laugh). Turn it off for one year and see how good you feel. •

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