Here Comes Trouble: Stories from My Life

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Mike's Letter

November 6th, 2000 12:00 AM

How Gore Can Win

Dear Gore Voters or Those Frightened Enough to Vote for Gore:

Thank you for your 20,000 e-mails. Please consider this letter my olive branch to you.

I had not heard from most of you until after Gore blew the third debate. Suddenly, everyone realized Al might lose. No one, including me, expected this to happen. For the past week, everyone seems to have totally freaked out. Fear has gripped all good souls who have become convinced Bush is going to win. 

My phone had been ringing off the hook. People calling on behalf of Al Gore, Jesse Jackson, and other Democrats begging me to beg Ralph to drop out or, at the very least, encourage voters in the "swing states" to vote for Gore.

Nader has endured some brutal attacks. He is being blamed for the possibility that Bush may win. When packs of humans become desperate and consumed with fear, irrational things are said. Threats are made.

I respect and understand those of you who are voting for Gore because you fear Bush may win. That, after all, is our common ground George Bush must not sit in the Oval Office. Yet, to say that "a vote for Nader is a vote for Bush" implies that if we weren't voting for Nader we would be voting for Gore. That simply is not true. If Ralph were not on the ballot, I think most of us would vote for another third party candidate, write someone else in, or just stay home. That's how disgusted the millions of us are.

Many of you have written and asked me for help, to do whatever I can do to stop Bush. Ralph Nader getting a massive number of votes on Tuesday is one way to stop Bush should Bush win. Nader's run has ignited an incredible movement, mostly of young people and workers who are the casualties of the Clinton/Gore years. I have seen this outpouring first-hand as I have traveled the country in the past six weeks. A Bush administration will be met with a furious opposition every step of the way, thanks to Ralph Nader. So will a Gore administration.

I am surprised as to why most of you think Al Gore is going to lose. I could be pissin' in the wind here, but I still think Gore is going to pull this off. You have to have a little faith in your fellow Americans. They are not THAT stupid that they are going to elect someone even MORE stupid by voting for George W. Bush. I truly believe that when they pull the curtain and are in the privacy of their voting booth, they are not going to be able to pull the lever for W. Why? Self-respect! The majority of Americans are not going to feel good about themselves being personally responsible for putting a world-class embarrassment in the White House. 

I know a lot of you think the opposite, that all those crazy rednecks out there are gonna vote Bush on Tuesday. If you chose to see America in that light, I can understand why you make your electoral choices out of fear.

But and maybe I'm just a nutty optimist I think the people of this country are hip to the b.s. They know that Bush in not only a lightweight, they know that Texas is a rotten place to live polluted, crime-ridden, and behind the rest of the country in everything from education to health care (hey, but they're first in executions!).

Look at it this way have you ever heard anyone say, "Boy, I sure would LOVE to live in Texas!" Nobody wants America to become Texas. Nobody.

OK, I know this wasn't the help you were looking for to stop Bush on Tuesday. So let me offer you a number of ideas on how I think your man Gore can win:

1. Stop calling your Naderite friends and bugging them. For every minute you waste sending out e-mails to hard-core and unmovable Naderites, you could be phoning up someone you know who probably isn't voting and get them to the polls to vote for Gore. If you really want Gore to win, you have to make no less than a dozen calls as soon as you are done reading this letter.

2. Take the day off on Tuesday. Call the local Democrats and volunteer you and your car to go and pick up senior citizens and other voters who need a ride to the polls. If you are not willing to sacrifice one day of pay to ward off the Armageddon you have told me will happen if W. wins, then I just will not believe the next scary e-mail you send me.

3. Start talking like a winner. For the next 24 hours, just look as thrilled as you can bring yourself to look, telling everyone you encounter that Gore is going to kick ass! YEAH, BABY!! Gore is going to win Florida! Gore is gonna win Michigan! Gore is winning Pennsylvania! Start quoting poll numbers. Make them up, just like they do on TV! "Gore is suddenly ahead in Nevada by 10 points!"? "I just heard that Gore is now expected to pull an upset in Alabama!" It's amazing how catchy this poll fever is. People will start to believe you, just like they believe the TV. Word of mouth is powerful. In the movie business, word of mouth, just from people who see a new movie on Friday night, spreads so fast that by Saturday night, 24 hours later, a movie can be a hit or a flop. The same can happen with Gore from now 'til tomorrow.

4. Wear a Gore button and don't take it off until Tuesday night. Wear it to bed. If you can't get one, make one. Put up a Gore sign in your window right now. Put one in your car. Just go out in your car and drive around for two hours today with that Gore sign in the window. No fewer than a thousand people may see it. 

5. Send a fax or e-mail to the Gore headquarters. Tell Gore that he needs to make a bold and courageous statement on Monday night, one that will bring millions of non-voters out to support him on Tuesday. Tell Al that he should announce he is going to review NAFTA and the other trade agreements that have cost hundreds of thousands of these voters their jobs (and sent may of them to the ranks of the non-voters). Tell Gore to propose a moratorium on the death penalty, commit to universal health converge, or promise never again to take a dime of corporate PAC money. Tell him he should personally go to Baghdad choke that bastard Saddam, finishing the job Poppy Bush couldn't do. Or kiss Tipper again. Just do SOMETHING that is not part of the robot script we have had to endure for the past few months of the campaign.

6. Another way to get out the vote, especially among those who fear that Bush will appoint Atilla the Hun to the Supreme Court, is to get people excited about the Democrats taking back the Senate. A Democratic Senate could be the roadblock to any anti-abortion justices Bush nominates. I am voting for Hillary who is also running on the Working Families Party line on the ballot (click here to read my letter to New York voters about my continuing forbidden and irrational love for Hillary). Michiganders should vote for Debbie Stabenow. Other states have liberal-left Democrats running whom we should support. I know my Green friends won't like this, but we can't fight battles on multiple fronts right now and we are going to need allies come Wednesday.

Get people excited about voting for Democrats in the House races. If the Democrats take back the House, 22 members of the Congressional Black Caucus and 34 members of the Progressive Caucus (the left wing of the Democrats in Congress) will, because of seniority, become the chairs of the committees and subcommittees they sit on. That will either be an added block to a President Bush, or a necessary nudge to a President Gore. (There are a few good Greens running and some may have a chance of winning. Check your local listings and support them if necessary.)

I completely understand that if you live in a swing state and you feel your conscience telling you that you have to vote for Gore to stop Bush, then do what you need to do. It's not how I would vote, but I understand and appreciate what you are going through. Yes, Nader needs every possible vote in all 50 states, but if you are acting on conscience instead of compromise then that is all I want you to do.

So, there you go, Gore voters. Chin up. Get busy. Quit whining. Drop what you are doing and work your butt off for the next 36 hours. And stop sending me e-mails! You can burn me and Ralph at the stake on Wednesday. But right now, you have work to do. I'll do my part to get the word out on the Idiot in Waiting.


Michael Moore

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