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Michael Moore [00:00:49] This is Rumble with Michael Moore, and I am Michael Moore. Welcome everyone to today’s episode and welcome to all of you who receive it now via my Substack. If you are a Rumble listener and you’re not on my Substack yet, it’s free. You just go to MichaelMoore.com, put in your email, and I will email you this podcast every week. It’s so easy you don’t have to go searching for it on Apple or Spotify or whatever. I’m not saying don’t, but I’m just saying that if you want it in your mailbox and you hit the play arrow, boom, it’s here. No fuss, no nothing. So please do that. Just go to MichaelMoore.com and become a subscriber to my Substack.
Michael Moore [00:01:34] You’ll also get it every Sunday or so. A letter from me or a sort of essay. My weekly essay on what’s going on. And I go into a little more depth. But they’re not that long, easy to read. I only have a high school education, so, you know, don’t fear. Don’t fear the Reaper here. So anyways, today I wanted to, because we had a big, you know, kind of a big number of elections this week. This is the off off year election. Next year will be the off year election, where every member of the House is up for reelection and one third of the Senate is up for reelection. And so I thought it’d be a good idea this week for our podcast to talk about how we get more of us, the majority of the country. How do we get more of us elected next year? And because I am a former elected official, I thought I might just tell you a little bit of how I did that.
Michael Moore [00:02:34] And then I’ve got an incredible guest who is going to join me in a few minutes. Her name is Amanda Litman, and she founded this organization called Run for Something. RunForSomething.net. And she and her friends, all of them, mostly in their 20s and early 30s, have gotten literally thousands of people to run for office locally because this is where it has to start to stop the Joe Manchins and the Kyrsten Sinemas and all that. You’ve got to get people on your school boards, your city councils and county commissions and all of that. And I’m going to make the pitch in this podcast that you, yes, you need to run for office next year. Not for the U.S. Senate. Not for Congress. All of these offices that sometimes just go unopposed. I’m going to show you how you can run. And you’ve never thought about this. And you’re saying in your head right now, No, Mike, not me. Yes, you.
Michael Moore [00:03:45] Because the more of you that run and are elected, the sooner we’re going to get rid of these awful politicians that cause so much havoc, not just as Americans, but to the world. So we’re going to talk about that, but I want to tell you how one day I decided to run for office. And I’m a senior in high school, and all of a sudden I hear the assistant principal yell my name. Moore! And I turn around and he has what we call a paddle, a wooden board, in his hand that he would walk the halls with and any students who were committing any infraction would be told to bend over and he’d whack them three, five, ten times. Brutal pain. And so I typically walk over to him and I said, What? Well, what’s the problem? I mean, I’m a good student, I’m a decent kid. I don’t break too many of the rules. He said, You sure you didn’t tuck it in? I said, well, that’s easy, I’ll just tuck it in right now.
Michael Moore [00:04:53] Back when I was in high school, you had to have your shirt tucked in. He said, Bend over. I said, Oh no, come on. And it was right in the front of the cafeteria, so there’s like, I don’t know, 500 students in there eating lunch and they’re watching this. And to humiliate me, he just pulls me over to the entryway where everybody can see me bending over, as he wails away on my rear end. I went home that afternoon, man, I was in pain. I mean, I had just been abused by an adult in front of, you know, a third of the high school. And I’m upset. I pick up the Flint Journal. It’s the daily paper in Flint back when we had a paper that came out every day. It’s an afternoon paper. And the Davison index, which was the weekly paper then had this headline that said school board president to retire. Seat open. Seat open. Oh, yeah, because they had an election on June 12th. So I read the story and I thought it said, you know, people can run for school board.
Michael Moore [00:06:30] And I said to myself, wait a minute. Well, that’s the boss of that assistant principal that just took that wooden board and beat me with it. And I thought, Wow. I could be his boss if I ran and won. I’d be his boss. Oh, but how do I run? It said there was a number there for the city clerk. And I called the number and I said, Hi, you know, I’m thinking of, there’s a seat open on the board of education and I’m thinking of running, what do you have to do to be able to run? And she says, well, you have to be 18 years old. And I went, Oh my God. That’s the first thing. I didn’t expect to hear that because they had just lowered the voting age from 21 to 18. It was like a constitutional amendment that at first Congress passed and then more than 38 states ratified it. So I’m thinking, Wow, well, I’m 18, right?
Michael Moore [00:07:40] I said, Well, I’m 18. But I’m still in high school. It doesn’t matter. You’re 18, you’re an adult. You can vote. And in this case, you can run for school board. And I’m thinking, Oh my God, this is too good to be true. And I thought, Oh no, no, no. I mean, there’s going to be some catch here. So what do I have to do to, you know, get on the ballot? I mean, I’m thinking I got to get thousands of signatures or I got to pay thousands of dollars or whatever. And she says you just need 20 signatures on a petition. 20 adults signing the petition saying they backed you for school board. And my first thought was 20! That’s all I need 20 of their signatures on this. I mean, I’m thinking to myself, Geez, I know 20 stoners who will just sign anything I put in front of them.
Michael Moore [00:08:30] And essentially, that’s how I did it. I went and got the petition from the school board office and I just walked through, I don’t think I could walk down one hallway in high school, and by the end of the hallway I had my 20 signatures. And so I turned them into the school board office and I was put on the ballot. But word got out, before they closed down, that this 18-year-old hippie was on the ballot. So all the conservative kind of Republican types in town, [said] we must stop him. And like six or seven others, took out petitions to run thinking, This is the way they’re going to stop me by loading a whole bunch of older adults on the ballot. Well, all they did…you can see where this is going, right? All they did was split the older conservative adult vote in six different ways and I got the, you know, progressive liberal youth vote. And I won.
Michael Moore [00:09:27] I came in first. In fact, I came in first place and it turned into a big news story that no 18-year-old had ever won for public office in the state of Michigan. Hardly any had won anywhere in the country because, again, the voting age has been lowered. So I was at that point the youngest elected official, not just in the state of Michigan, but in the country and, you know, the Republicans and the Conservatives and the older people just kind of lost it. I was going to say I just had to point to my platform, fire the assistant principal and fire the principal. I just knocked on every door in the school district and said, If you vote for me, I’m going to fire these two guys. I spent my first year on the school board showing all these examples of convincing the older school board members that these guys had to go and sure enough, by the end of the year, they were gone.
Michael Moore [00:10:32] This is a terrible lesson to teach an 18-year-old so, so early in his political career. That by getting very, very little – 20 signatures – you know, big changes can happen or at least big in your town. And it was a great lesson to learn at such an early age. And I just was off to the races from that point on what else can I do to make things better? What are symbolic things I can do? We have a new elementary school. I made a motion to name it after Martin Luther King Jr. Well, of course, you know, the part of the county I was in was essentially all white, and they didn’t take too kindly to that. And after a couple of other things that I had done, progressive things, on the school board, they took out petitions on me to hold a recall election to get me removed. And I just went back to knocking on doors, and I beat them. I beat that recall and I stayed on the board and I was an elected official from the age of 18 to 22 years old. And then I retired. Retired from politics at 22.
Michael Moore [00:11:49] But it was a great lesson and I’ve tried to tell people about it my whole life. That it’s very easy to run for office, especially local office. It doesn’t cost a lot of money. And if you just go meet the people, go knock on the doors, and meet them and tell them what you’re going to do, you can win. And that’s what happened to me. So because I’ve had this personal experience of being elected at such a young age and I’ve seen it over the years, I’ve seen people do this. They run for school board, they’re in city council all the way – from to AOC and Cori Bush and Jamaal. And so many people that are not professional politicians. They decide to run for office and they win. And I think I’m talking to a few hundred of the next Cori Bushs and little Michael Moores. And I want you to stay with me on this episode.
Michael Moore [00:12:52] I want you to listen to this because Amanda is going to tell you how to do it. And she has gotten hundreds, thousands, really of people into public office. Some of you should do this. And if it’s not you, then you have a brother or sister who could do it. Or you have a teacher who should do it. There’s somebody you know in town that’s beloved. And wouldn’t they be great in your state capital? And that’s what we’re going to talk about – how to make that happen. And I’m going to throw out the challenge to those of you who do this. If you run next year and you’re elected…
Michael Moore [00:15:56] And so now I’m very happy to have with me here on Rumble today, Amanda Litman. Amanda has already helped get more progressives elected to local, state and national offices across the country than most people in her field who are twice her age. It’s so impressive what Amanda Litman has done after working as a staffer for Obama’s 2012 campaign. Amanda Litman then worked as a digital strategist and campaign email director for Clinton’s 2016 campaign. Following 2016, Amanda co-founded Run for Something. That’s the name of the group. Great name and great idea for all of you who are listening. Run For Something. It’s a progressive grassroots organization committed to providing everyday people of all backgrounds to provide them with the resources that they need to run for local office in their communities, or to help support progressive candidates within their community.
Michael Moore [00:17:06] Since launching in 2017, this group Run For Something has helped elect 500 candidates in 48 states, and these winners are 56 percent women, 56 percent Black, indigenous or people of color. 21 percent LGBTQ. And all of them have been 40 years old or younger. This is incredible for this week’s elections. We just had here yesterday, a couple of days ago. Depending on when you’re listening to this, Run For Something, in this week’s elections supported more than 400 different candidates in state legislatures, mayoral races, school board candidacies and every other local office on the ballot that you can imagine. So I am so pleased and honored to welcome the co-founder of Run for Something, Amanda Litman. Right here on Rumble, Amanda, welcome.
Amanda Litman [00:18:06] Hi. Thanks for having me.
Michael Moore [00:18:08] Thank you for being a part of this. And I guess we should tell people that we are recording this at the sort of near, near the very end of Tuesday on election night. Most of the polls across the country have closed, so I don’t know what you know so far, because it really is [early]. We’re in the nine o’clock hour here. But how’s it looking?
Amanda Litman [00:18:29] Well, you know, it depends where you’re looking, but I would say Virginia generally seems pretty bad. But for the Run For Something candidates we’re tracking, you know, we had two hundred and seventy one on the ballot today. A lot of our folks went through primaries and special elections in general earlier this cycle. Of the two hundred seventy one today, we’ve got results back for, you know, 40 of them. And more than half of those 40 have won. And that includes flipping a school board seat in Manchester, New Hampshire, electing the youngest person ever to the Medford City Council in Massachusetts. Some incredible victories for school boards and municipal candidates in Ohio. And polls are still closing. So Virginia sucks, I won’t lie about that. And as a Virginian, I’m pretty bummed. But to see what else is happening across the country and to see Run For Something candidates running and winning is giving me a lot of hope.
Michael Moore [00:19:23] You just lifted my spirits by telling me this. And we’re, this is very early. We don’t we don’t know the results of most of these 221 candidates that you helped put forward here this week [did]. But the fact that as we’re recording this, 40 results are in and half of them, half of the people, the progressive people, were young people, young adults that are running. Half of those 40 have already won. And we’re in the early part of counting this tonight. So, man, congratulations on that.
Amanda Litman [00:19:56] Thank you. It feels nice.
Michael Moore [00:19:59] Yes, it feels nice and I want to get into talking about, I want people who are listening to this, I’ve asked them to stay with me here tonight because I want them to think about running for office and I’m just throwing that out there. People right away, say, Mike, seriously. Yeah, not me. If you’re still with me, I know you’re thinking about it. I hope you’re thinking about it. Because Amanda, I want to ask you about some of your success stories, some of the ones that nobody thought would ever win.
Michael Moore [00:20:30] But just before we head into that, I didn’t know you were originally a Virginian. You live here in Brooklyn, I believe.
Amanda Litman [00:20:38] Mm hmm.
Michael Moore [00:20:38] But seriously, though, tell people your perspective and be honest. You know what happened here? Because this shouldn’t have happened. The trend over the last decade has been for Virginia. They voted for Barack Obama. They’ve turned and flipped seats from Republicans. The Democrats, I mean. Virginia’s been kind of a good place.
Amanda Litman [00:21:00] Mm hmm.
Michael Moore [00:21:01] What has happened here and what is the lesson for all the rest of us in other states to learn from, possibly whatever mistake might have been made as to how Virginia was approached this year?
Amanda Litman [00:21:12] Well, I should fully caveat this and say we don’t have any or most good data back. We’ll have to dig into the voter rolls over the next couple of weeks and months. That being said, I do think that while Terry McAuliffe was an excellent governor, surprising everyone, he was not a great candidate. People aren’t really excited about him. You know, he was the moderate-ish that people thought could win. And we know what they say about people who make assumptions. I also think that there is a real problem that Democrats have to deal with in the way that Republicans are talking about education and their conversations around Critical Race Theory. They are totally distinct from a reality in which Virginia public schools are not teaching Critical Race Theory.
Amanda Litman [00:22:04] I grew up in Virginia public schools. Like that is not what the curriculum looks like. Up until the mid-nineties, they were still teaching the War of Northern Aggression instead of the Civil War. Like, we’re not that far out from that. Virginia Public Schools are not teaching Critical Race Theory. But Youngkin and the protesters who showed up at school boards and that the Republican media ecosystem perpetuated this idea that the Virginia Public Schools and the same way they’re doing it across the country, kids, especially white kids, are learning that they are lesser, but they’re inherently racist. That there are problems with them. Layered on top of that is all of the messy anxiety and animosity that parents have towards the school system over the last two years because of the closures, because of masks, because of mandates, because of what felt like unfair circumstances.
Amanda Litman [00:22:53] Some of that was out of their control. Some of that was and, you know, hindsight is 20-20. But all of that culminates into what has become a clusterfuck of a conversation around education, where Republicans are controlling the narrative and Democrats just weren’t able to fight back. Whether we couldn’t do that because of the media landscape or we couldn’t do that because we didn’t feel old enough or because we felt like arguing. No, they’re not really teaching CRT in schools instead of meeting people where their feelings were and sort of where the facts were. So I really hope, especially as we look ahead to 2022. And this is something I’ve been beating the drum on. This is a political strategy for Republicans, especially to win back the suburbs where Democrats made such great inroads over the last five years. We can not let this go unchecked. We have to find a way to have conversations with voters about their feelings here in a way that meets them where they’re at, as opposed to trying to bring them to where we want them to be.
Michael Moore [00:23:50] Give me an example of how we could do that, because I’m sure this makes a lot of sense to people, especially people who live in purple states, who live in communities where it’s really a 50-50 situation. And in just holding a hand out and committing a few people to come over could make the difference in an election.
Amanda Litman [00:24:08] You know, I want to say my perceptive here is obviously a little skewed based on what my organization focuses on. But I do think making sure that our local candidates are the ones having personal conversations with voters. You know, Terry McAuliffe wasn’t knocking doors himself. He had organizers and volunteers doing it. City Council and school board candidates personally talked to tens of thousands of voters, and they’re the ones who really get to hear what is on voters’ minds. So making sure that they are empowered and trained and well resourced, so that they can have those genuine conversations. This is what we’re hearing from Run For Something candidates over the last year. When they go knock, people are anxious, people have, you know, a whole mess of feelings, and they’ve really had to learn how to interrogate that without making people feel judged for those feelings. It’s a different kind of voter conversation than they’ve ever had to have before.
Michael Moore [00:25:00] Right.
Amanda Litman [00:25:00] So I do think a big part of it is just making sure these local candidates have what they need.
Michael Moore [00:25:04] Sure. And and we are talking specifically, and that’s why I want people who are listening to this to think about, I’m not asking you to run for president, I’m not asking you to run for United States Senate, this conversation tonight is about what you can do in your own town, in your neighborhood and as you said, there’s a variety of things. They can run for school board, they can run for city council. What else should they be thinking about possibly running for?
Amanda Litman [00:25:35] Well, there are half a million elected offices in the United States and…
Michael Moore [00:25:40] I’m just kidding.
Amanda Litman [00:25:41] I know a lot of them at this point. Run For Something has worked with candidates running for everything from state house, state Senate, city county, mayor, county executive, town selectman, school board, university boards, American river flood control, district trustees, library…
Michael Moore [00:26:01] I love that job [river flood control]. No, seriously. I mean, just with the climate and everything, what’s happened here, you…
Amanda Litman [00:26:08] Exactly. It’s actually a really important position in California about determining who gets to build along waterways and how they get to. There’s mosquito abatement districts in Florida. Super interesting fire abatement districts. My personal favorite, in about thirteen hundred counties, they elect coroners, which you know, is kind of grim, but when you think about the pandemic…
Michael Moore [00:26:29] Oh yeah.
Amanda Litman [00:26:33] What goes on death certificates really matters.
Michael Moore [00:26:36] Plus, if you’ve never been to a really good coroner debate?
Amanda Litman [00:26:39] Mm hmm.
Michael Moore [00:26:40] And mosquito abatement, let me just say, you do not want to elect a libertarian for that one. Because they’re just gonna let the mosquitoes fly free. So, no, but that’s really interesting. All that. And I even tell people like, I live in and vote in Michigan, so, you know, all my life in Michigan, there’s been precinct delegates and they go to the county convention and they’re the people sometimes who send off candidates, who end up on the ballot for secretary of state or treasurer of the state, whatever. But is this the thing: it’s got to be more than just Michigan, right, precinct delegates?
Amanda Litman [00:27:24] Definitely, those are some of the party officials, which is a whole separate place you can get involved in that’s also really important. The process for that really varies from state to state, like in New York City, where I live, we elect our district leaders, like as part of our normal election process or Democratic Party members. But in every different place is a different process. And getting involved on the entry level of the party is a great way to start. You know, even dipping your toes into the idea of running for office, if only because the relationships and skills you build as part of that will really help you, should you decide to run for something broader.
Michael Moore [00:28:00] Because as I had mentioned at the beginning of the show, I ran for school board, board of education when I was 18. And won. But in the years after that, I would run for precinct delegate, mainly because I saw that you only had to get like 10 signatures on the petition to have your name on the ballot. And then there’s never enough people that run for precinct delegate. It says you can vote for five and there’s only three names on there, so it’s almost an automatic win. But it allowed me to go to the county and then the state convention and then one year to the National Convention. It all started with almost 10 signatures on a petition to get me on the ballot as a precinct delegate.
Michael Moore [00:28:44] So if you’re just looking for a job that you only have to go to a county convention once a year or whatever, you know, run for something and I’m talking to the real slackers out there who really are thinking, Oh my God, I don’t have the time to do this. You could be a precinct delegate. I mean, I’m just throwing it out there, but something to tell us: What inspired you to found this organization Run For Something? I mean, was there one moment while you were working on the Obama campaign or Hillary’s campaign or whatever? What are some of the light bulbs that went off? What was it where you said, Dammit, I’m going to get my friend and we’re going to start this thing…
Amanda Litman [00:29:26] Well, about a week after Election Day and during which I worked for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, I was still obviously devastated, barely getting out of bed. It was a personal, [it felt like] a professional societal failure on every level.
Michael Moore [00:29:41] Right. Because actually she won. She got the most votes. So you did a great job. She won by three million votes in what we call the popular vote. Yeah. No other country in the world understands that definition. But anyways, we have the system we have until you and I get rid of it. But that’s right. So, OK, so you can’t get out of bed. You realize that the winner is the loser…
Amanda Litman [00:30:05] The winner is the loser. And I got a Facebook message from somebody I went to college with, Hey, Amanda, he writes. I’m a public school teacher in Chicago. I’ve been seeing that you work in politics. If Trump can be president, it seems like anybody can do this. What do I do if I want to run for office? They keep cutting our budgets and I’m pissed. What should I do? And you know, this is November 2016, and I didn’t have an answer for him because if you were young, you were newly excited about politics and you wanted to do more than vote and more than volunteer. There was nowhere you could go that would answer your call. And that, to me, felt like a symptom of some really big problems in the Democratic Party, right?
Amanda Litman [00:30:40] So I reached out to a whole bunch of people with an idea. What if we started an organization to solve this? One of those folks, Ross Morales, who’s been working on campaigns for about 15 years, said, I’ve been thinking about this too. So we wrote a plan and we built a website. And then we launched Run For Something on Inauguration Day, four and a half years ago, thinking we would be like a little side project, a weekend hobby. We thought we’d get one hundred people who wanted to run in the first year, but in the first week, a thousand people signed up and as of today, we’re up to more than five thousand young people all across the country who raised their hands to say they want to run and get this. 2021 has been our best recruitment year yet, so we’re just getting started.
Michael Moore [00:31:23] That’s amazing. And so what happens when they say, OK, RunForSomething.net. They go on here and they might be listening to this right now. Tell me the process. How does it work?
Amanda Litman [00:31:41] Well, you sign up on our website. You get some emails that, you know, lay out the basics and then you join a conference call. We do this every week. We answer the basic questions every first time candidate has. How do I do this? How much does it cost? You know, what do I need to run? How do I decide what office to run for? All of that. You then have a one on one with one of our volunteers. Our volunteers have a lot of this information for you. But also they gather a little bit more information about you. You’re then admitted into the Run For Something candidate pipeline. You will get regular emails and text messages from our team with training and guides and materials. We’ve got everything from how to get on the ballot in every state. We’ve taken the unwritten rules and wrote them down for what to do.
Amanda Litman [00:32:26] When you get the voter file, you can then apply for Run For Something’s endorsement. This is another application. Once you’ve actually gotten on the ballots, you’re ready to go. You’ve got your campaign plan, your budget, your number. We ask you if you align with Run For Something’s values. We do rigorous background checks. We have state leads who do reviewing for us and our staff reviews every application. So that’s where those endorsements of which we’ve now endorsed nearly 2,000 in the lifetime of the organization.
Michael Moore [00:32:56] Wow.
Amanda Litman [00:32:57] Those folks have worked directly with our regional staff to do whatever it is they need. I like to say that our regional directors are, one part consultant, one part coach, one part therapist. Whether you need someone to train up your campaign manager or to get the state party to answer your emails or just text you, you’re doing a great job at 2 a.m. on Sunday when you’ve been up late, you know, answering voter contacts. We’re there for you. Alumni who we recommend or endorse candidates or who we recommend to other organizations. They also get connected to people we worked with in previous cycles. So our alumni who act as mentors to coming classes, so you get to know people who have run just like you.
Amanda Litman [00:33:35] And what we’ve heard from candidates is that it’s really helpful because I’d never want to bullshit. Anyone running for office is really hard. It’s really lonely. It’s really scary. And you are never, ever, ever alone in this process. You are part of a movement and a community of people who care just as much as you do. And what Run For Something tries to do is facilitate that community and allow you to build relationships with people that you can commiserate with because you can’t complain to your partner, you can’t complain to your family, can’t complain to your volunteers, but you can at least complain a little bit to a fellow candidate. Alumni or endorsed candidates are who we track on Election Day and then who we stay engaged with post-Election Day, win or lose. So that’s the full life cycle of a Run For Something candidate.
Michael Moore [00:34:15] So to get the endorsement of Run For Something. You said that one of the things is that they would have to sort of be aligned with your values, as you put it, what are those values of your organization, Run For Something?
Amanda Litman [00:34:28] It is sort of exactly what you’d expect. It’s the basic progressive values of pro-choice, pro-equality, pro-tolerance, pro-diversity, pro-working families, pro-union, pro-affordable housing, pro-affordable health, pro taking action on climate change, reducing gun violence. Because we work in all 50 states, you know, a Democrat in New York is going to be a little different than a Democrat in Iowa who’s gonna be a little different than a Democrat in Alaska or California. And that’s OK, as long as we’re aligned in our values, there are a lot of different ways you can live out those values, both depending on where you are and the office that you’re running for.
Michael Moore [00:35:01] So when people are thinking of running, let’s say some are listening to this right now and they’re thinking, Well, you know, I never really thought of this, I want to run here. What are the kinds of things that people ask you or say to you when they are thinking of running? They don’t know if they should, whatever, if you do have a chance to talk to anybody individually, what do you personally say when you do have a chance to talk to somebody who’s thinking about this. But they’re not quite sure, and they do assume that this is going to be a lot of hard work, and I’m broke.
Amanda Litman [00:35:38] And I think for a lot of folks, we start with a place of what is the problem you want to solve? What is the office that would give you a platform to solve it? And why should voters want you to win, which is different from why do you want to win? You want to win because winning is great. Why should voters want you to win? What are you going to do to make their life better? And if you can answer those three questions, you know, the bare bones of your campaign are basically in place because then you’re just trying to figure out like, how do I communicate this and who do I communicate it to?
Amanda Litman [00:36:07] But if you know what you’re communicating, it’s so much easier and we start going through the rules, like, How do you get on the ballot? How much do you think you’re going to need to raise? How do you file? Who’s going to try and get in your way of filing? What are the deadlines that you need to know? It just becomes a question of logistics, basically, and then mapping back from those logistics to your campaign message and connecting the dots. The thing is, campaigns are not special on the local level and are not rocket science. It’s just talking to as many of these voters as possible about the reason you’re running for office and why they should be a part of the movement.
Michael Moore [00:36:44] So who are the people that should not run?
Amanda Litman [00:36:48] You shouldn’t run if you really, really want glamor, power, or money.
Michael Moore [00:36:58] You just lost half the audience here.
Amanda Litman [00:36:58] You want to do something. You got to want to deliver because it’s not, it’s harder than it is delightful. It’s absolutely worth it. It’s absolutely worth it. One of my favorite conversations now, I host the Run For Something podcast, so I get to talk in-depth with so many of these amazing candidates and alumni. And one of my favorites I think about all the time is earlier last year, I talked with three trans folks who had ran and won for office. And the three of them each were talking about their different experiences, knocking doors and talking to voters. And Sarah from Delaware specifically said, You know, if you want to fall in love with your community, run for office. Which I think is such a beautiful sentiment. If you really would like to get to know your neighbors, if you want to hear them and see them for who they are, run for office. I think about that all the time.
Michael Moore [00:37:57] I read something but you made the point that we need more nurses. We need more teachers running for office. We need bus drivers. We need AOC, who was a bartender at some point. You know, I mean, we need more real people as opposed to the old professionals, you know, the pros, the hacks. It’s not cutting it anymore and that you had this tremendous success when real people run.
Amanda Litman [00:38:30] Mm hmm. And you know, it isn’t any more complicated than that. Voters want a politician they can trust and they trust someone who looks, lives, like their experience. And that’s not to say that all of the lawyers and career politicians and, you know, business executives don’t have value, don’t add things to the conversation. They obviously do. But there are so obviously too many people whose perspectives are left out of the conversation. You know, I think in particular around housing, this is where it becomes most clear.
Amanda Litman [00:39:06] We have worked with a number of candidates, especially in places like California, but all across the country where they are the first renter to serve on that body. When you think about the conversation around affordable housing, a bunch among homeowners, who obviously buying a home is a much bigger part of the process. But for most young people and millennials, like I’m never going to buy a home, Are you kidding me? That’s crazy. So the idea that the governing body isn’t talking about homeownership through the perspective of renters, right? It’s just such a gap in the conversation.
Michael Moore [00:39:44] Yes, I would think, I don’t know the numbers on this, but I would think that that’s an awfully large group that doesn’t get represented, especially on these local [elections] and the stuff that’s going on with school boards right now. It’s so weird. I mean, these crazy people showing up to say crazy things and to threaten school board members. I’ll just read you something here. I live in Traverse City, Michigan. And so we have this public school system. And so this woman, there’s a public comment section that every, you know, school board meeting, every city council meeting has. She goes up to the podium this week and she says to the school board the following: “Satan’s agenda is behind this (whatever this is, and so she says) masks don’t work and neither do vaccines. It’s destroying and killing. You want to program children to turn in their parents. (Right now, she says) There are classrooms in the U.S. that are teaching cannibalism. For a moment, I thought she said capitalism. And I’m not saying that there’s a large difference between the two, but that’s for another show. But they’re teaching cannibalism, I mean, that’s just in my little town this week. And I’ve read and I’ve watched on TV.
Michael Moore [00:41:12] And I mean, this is going bonkers. Now what do you say to the person who really maybe should be running for the Board of Education? But they see this and they think, I don’t want any part of this. You know, I don’t need death threats and all this other crap. I’m worried that this sort of, you know, the insurrectionists who seem to be hell bent on destroying our democracy are maybe giving some people pause as to whether they should run for office. And I don’t want them to pause. I want them to reach in and, you know, bring out their own, their courage and their ability to stand up and realize that first of all, she doesn’t represent the majority. The majority of Americans, you know, the popular vote again, voted for Al Gore, voted for Hillary Clinton, twice voted for Obama and voted for Joe Biden. What do you say to people who see this and think they’d like to run them, but you know, it doesn’t seem to be like the good old days.
Amanda Litman [00:42:19] You know, I totally understand their fear. I say to them, I see where you’re coming from. It is scary. It is hard. But you know who is not afraid, those crazy motherfuckers on the other side? They are willing to jump right in and to run. And if you do not go up against them, if you someone who genuinely gets what a majority of your community cares about, genuinely knows how to talk to your neighbors, genuinely thinks that this is important, and is willing to do the work, if you don’t run against them, they will run and they will win, and then you will have to live with the consequences of that.
Michael Moore [00:42:54] Yes, I mean. I just keep telling people, there’s more of us than there are of them. Yes, I understand why you’re afraid, but come on, you know, most of them are, and their bark is a lot bigger than their bite. You know what I keep hearing from people every day, the mail I get, voicemails, the number one is Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema. And they want to know, I mean, they’re not thinking that they can run for Senate in West Virginia or Arizona, but they want to know what can they do. And of course, you know, just about every other episode of Rumble, I’m putting up the number there for people to call the Capitol Hill switchboard. They actually will send you to a human being in your representative’s office, and they do keep track of what people are saying on these calls.
Michael Moore [00:43:50] So I give out this number all the time, people who are listening know. Oh God, here it goes again: 202-224-3121. And if that’s busy, 202-225-3121. But people are so fed up right now that this incredible, incredible human infrastructure bill that Biden has put forth is now being torn apart piece by piece, thrown overboard. Just to convince these two, who are going against the will of the American people, the vast majority of Americans by seven million votes, they wanted a Democrat in the White House, they wanted the House and the Senate controlled by Democrats. And now it’s like, so I live in a democracy, and none of this matters. And Mike, Do not give out that damn number again. What else can I do?
Michael Moore [00:44:40] And you’re telling me, run for school board room or for city council. Yes. And I get it. That’s how it starts. But what can I do right now because we have a problem with these two Democratic senators? Obviously, none of the Republicans are in there for the people, so that’s a given at this point. But what do you say to people who, you know, they want to run for office? And yes I’ll think about running for school board or whatever, but damn it, give me something to do with this problem we have right now because most of us know that if this bill passes and average American families get the tax credit, get the child care help, get all this stuff, the free pre-K… If you remember it, they passed it, you know, fairly close after he got elected.
Michael Moore [00:45:33] But then it wasn’t to take effect for three or four years, so it wasn’t like an immediate effect. And that hurt him in 2010. This is going to have an immediate effect if this passes and how that will help voters, especially those who might be on the fence when they go to vote next November. They’re going to go, Yeah, it was the Democrats that got more money this year from the government to help us. And to me, I think that’s the best thing to make sure we hold the House, get a few more Senate seats. And in the meantime, people are wanting to know and I don’t mean to put you on the spot, it’s fine just to say, Look, we don’t deal with the big cheese, We’re just in the little cheese house here. But I haven’t read or seen you say anything about this, but I know in your heart there must be something you can offer to people who are listening to this right now and want to hear more than just Mike giving out this phone number.
Amanda Litman [00:46:38] You know, I wish there was more I could say because I get so mad that you know these… motherfucking gaslighting pieces of shit, because that’s what they’re doing is they’re gaslighting us, right? It is infuriating. And I do think that we got to try and work around them and do what we can to support democracy, even if Congress doesn’t do shit because, you know, the status quo airs on the side of an action. So that means things like city and county clerks who control democracy on the local level and making sure that the school boards have people who are good. And that means making sure that in West Virginia and Arizona, we are building a bench of Democrats who can run for Senate and win, so that our only options are not a piece of shit Manchin and a piece of shit Sinema. And I think like, it’s long term and it sucks. And you know, I’m literally wearing a sweatshirt right now that says, Don’t call your ex, call your Senator, and the back has the Capitol switchboard line on it. They suck. They’re not responsive to the will of the people, and it makes us feel like what is the point here? But I will say the point should be to focus on where we know you can make a big impact, which is rightfully so.
Michael Moore [00:47:53] So, ah, so everybody needs to understand this isn’t easy for our side. It’s been very difficult for decades now where, you know, we have not had the successes that we would have hoped to have had by now considering that every poll shows that the majority of Americans support these values that Amanda has listed, you know, the different policies and things that are in the Biden bill. So, if I can, you know, sort of translate what you just said, I don’t think it needs translating, but basically, there isn’t a whole lot that we can do until we get more people registered and voting and then get more of them out there next year and we’ll get these Senate seats or whatever.
Michael Moore [00:48:39] But in the meantime, I can guarantee you that most of them, not the multi-millionaire, former governor of West Virginia, currently the Senator, but most of these politicians did start on the school board or the city council or the county commission or the state legislature. They ran in the way that Amanda is suggesting that we can run. And this may mean, though, that the long haul of this is you could get elected next year to any of these offices, but it might be for six, ten years before you or your friends may find one of you in a position where you are now on your way to Washington, D.C. and you’re going, you know, you are going to make sure that we get these things that I did. Do I make it sound better or worse?
Amanda Litman [00:49:41] I know, I mean, I think we have to remember we are working towards a future we might not get to see…
Michael Moore [00:49:49] But you’re saying that at thirty, why?
Amanda Litman [00:49:51] I know I’m saying that at thirty one.
Michael Moore [00:49:55] That means I definitely won’t see it.
Amanda Litman [00:49:57] I like to think that way, though, because it means that the time horizon is long. I mean, so when we think about success, yes, I want change now. I am as furious as anyone. Fuck this shit. I want change now. I want universal paid family leave. I want access to child care. I want better unemployment benefits. I want better health care. I want all of it. And if we start to measure time by the course of 10 and 20 and 30 years, I get a little less impatient for 1 and 2, you know? Well, we have fits and spurts over time, but we’ll get there. Like I have to believe we’ll get there. I’m an optimist. I’m like a cynical optimist. I have to believe we’ll get there as long as we just don’t give up. It is a marathon and that sucks. I’m tired. I have been doing this work nonstop for years. I’m so tired and it’s worth it. I believe it’s worth it.
Michael Moore [00:50:56] Well, it is worth it. Of course because what’s the choice? Do nothing? Open another bag of Doritos? Root for one of two awful teams for the World Series.
Amanda Litman [00:51:12] I mean, like this is it, the choice is be sad and do nothing or be sad and do something. I would rather do something right.
Michael Moore [00:51:22] And there’s less of a chance at being sad, especially if you’re with other people who are doing the same thing.
Amanda Litman [00:51:27] Mm hmm. The community can go a long way
Michael Moore [00:51:31] That goes along with this. Yes, I know and I explained this before you came on to the people listening to the hard road. It was for me on the school board. They got so crazy about me, this kind of, you know, lefty 18-year-old. Lefty with long hair. After two years of that, you know, they had a recall election to get rid of me, and all I did was I just went and knocked on every door in the school district, every single door and presented myself to them and told them what I was planning to do if they decided they get to stay on the school board. And I won. I defeated the recall, but I knew it was because I went to every one of the stores and some of the doors I went to twice. And it’s a lot of work for the people who they’ve listened to and a number of them have said, You know what, I’m going to, I’m going to check this out and I’m going to think about this locally.
Michael Moore [00:52:26] But also I think, as you suggested to them, think about what you want, what you’d like to achieve, what you’d like to make happen in your school district, in your city and your town, your village, whatever, because it’s not going to work if you don’t have a purpose, if you don’t in your in your gut, you know, have this drive to fix things to make things better. We’re getting near the end here, but what is one thing you would say to those who are listening and who are now maybe thinking of running. They’re going to go to RunForSomething.net and they’re going to get that. I don’t know if I want to send this, OK, I’m going to hit it. Submit, No, I don’t know, they’re on the fence, but in their heart and their conscience, something’s telling them, you need to run. You need to run.
Michael Moore [00:53:20] Because this democracy is about participation. And if we don’t all participate in some way, then it’s not a democracy. You know, it will cease to exist. Amanda, you’ve had so much experience and you’ve had so much success getting thousands of people elected now. Talk directly to the person who’s listening to this right now and is thinking, you know, damn, I should do this.
Amanda Litman [00:53:46] We will help you. I promise you, we will help you. You are smarter, kinder, more patient, more generous, a better listener, a harder worker than ninety nine point nine percent of the people who actually do run for office. You have the resume you need, you have the experience you need. The fact that you are willing even to raise your hand means that you are qualified. Nobody is born a politician in the same way that nobody is born an artist or a writer or a musician.
Amanda Litman [00:54:19] The way you become a politician and a candidate for office is by running for office. Put your name on the ballot. You don’t have to do it tomorrow. You don’t have to do it next year. We’ll work with you until it’s time. We will help you find the moment for you to lead, but you are ready for this, and I want you to know person listening, thinking about pressing, submit, thinking about putting your name in the hat, that if you do this, you are going to be part of a movement of young people who are not willing to settle for the status quo, who are ready to make a difference, who are willing to change their lives and maybe change their careers to what I think will ultimately change the world. It is the most meaningful thing you will ever do. Win or lose. What’s the worst thing that would happen now?
Amanda Litman [00:55:09] The worst thing is you’d lose, and then you wouldn’t have to be around these other politicians.
Michael Moore [00:55:13] Seems fine.
Michael Moore [00:55:15] Wow, that was so powerful the way you help Run For Something that now will help you. That let me just say, I mean, I’ve dealt with this for so many years and trying to encourage others to run for office and do things the way that you did. You held out your hand to the tens of thousands of people who are listening to us right now. It was very powerful. I was very moved by it, and I want to encourage those of you who are thinking of doing this to do it. There are so many examples that Amanda could give you if you just Google them and you can read all the different people that have gotten elected and you will after reading the fourth or fifth story of these individuals, I know you will say to yourself, Damn, well, I could do this too. I mean nothing against the ones who made it, but it was just like, Well, she could do it or he could do it, dammit, I can do this.
Amanda Litman [00:56:17] The thing that makes them extraordinary is that they are totally ordinary and it’s beautiful.
Michael Moore [00:56:22] It’s beautiful. That’s a great way to put it. That’s really great. So for people who are listening, I will have the link to Run For Something.net here on my podcast platform page, so you can go right here and just click on it and it’ll take you right to Run For Something. And do you guys have a handbook or a book out?
Amanda Litman [00:56:44] You know, a couple of years ago, I wrote a book called “Run for Something,” a real talk guide to fixing the system yourself. It’s available wherever you buy your books.
Michael Moore [00:56:51] Oh, great. It’s just called “Run for Something.”
Amanda Litman [00:56:54] The book is called “Run For something.” And then we also have a podcast Run For Something. You can listen to it wherever you get your shows. Every week I talk to Run For Something candidates and alumni and dive deep into their stories. They are just, it’s the best hour of my week by far.
Michael Moore [00:57:09] So you do this weekly. It’s a weekly podcast, Run For Something on all the usual platforms.
Amanda Litman [00:57:14] That’s right.
Michael Moore [00:57:15] Wow. Well, I endorse this, my friends. I encourage you to check it out. They’re still counting the final votes from this week’s election, but Amanda, when do you think you guys will be able to tell the public how many victories that you’ve had? You know, 20 or so victories in just the first hour or so after the polls have closed on the East Coast?
Amanda Litman [00:57:41] That’s right. And in fact, while we’ve been talking, we had another 10 winners. So I guess I expect we’ll have a pretty good amount tonight after my day. We certainly know some of these places will take a couple of weeks to count, but we look forward to seeing the results as they come in and we’re sharing them all on our Twitter account at Run for Something and on Instagram.
Michael Moore [00:58:02] Oh great. So just go on social media over the next week or two and you’ll be able to see all these incredible success stories of young progressives, mostly under the age of 40, right?
Amanda Litman [00:58:12] That’s right.
Michael Moore [00:58:13] And well, I root for your success. I will do my part in helping and encouraging people to go to your website and your organization. And you know, by the way, that sweatshirt that you’ve got on with the Don’t don’t call your ex…
Amanda Litman [00:58:33] Don’t call your ex, call your senator. And then the back has the Capitol switchboard number on it.
Michael Moore [00:58:37] The number I just gave out.
Amanda Litman [00:58:39] Yes, that’s from my friends over at Betches, and I think they’re still selling it. It’s very cozy and I get a lot of stares from it when I wear it on the street.
Michael Moore [00:58:46] So wow, you know, I’m going to start putting some T-shirts and ball caps up on my site, so maybe I’ll contact them and see if they’d like me to help sell a few more items. I love that. Betches?
Amanda Litman [00:59:01] Betches.
Michael Moore [00:59:02] Yes, I think I know what that means. So I mean, this has been incredible talking to you. Thank you for what you do. And thank you to all of you young people between the ages of 18 and 40 out there who have been running for office, who are going to run next year. And listen, if you are going to run next year, I want to hear about it. And we’ll have Amanda and others on the show here. But I want to share the stories from you, from those of you who became the AOC in your neighborhood and got elected. And I want to share that with people, so we’ll talk next year as you succeed in what you’re doing.
Michael Moore [00:59:48] And stay in touch here with Run For Something. And keep this rolling because we need victory after victory next year. I don’t need to say the obvious here because what we’ve seen in these Trump years and then of course, in this last year, if young people in this country had not taken to the streets during a worldwide plague and risked their lives out there after George Floyd was murdered, and it’s been so moving. I spoke there at the Women’s March on that day in 2017 and to be on that stage and not be able to see the end of the pink hats. It just went on forever. So my friends, we can do this and thank you, Amanda Litman. For what you do and for being on Rumble with Michael Moore this week. It’s much appreciated. Thank you very much and thank you, Amanda.
Amanda Litman [01:01:02] Thank you.
Michael Moore [01:01:03] All right. Be well and everybody. Thank you for listening to this episode of Rumble with Michael Moore and do not despair. Virginia is Virginia, and it will come back. I’m sure we’ll learn the lessons of that, but we can take to heart from the many young people that were elected this week in the United States of America. Thank you, everybody. We’ll see you next week here on Rumble with Michael Moore. I’m Michael Moore. Thanks to my executive producer Basel Hamdan, our editor Nick Kwas, Donald Borenstein, the jack of all trades, and Harrison Malkin, thank you so much for being part of this. And we’ll catch you later. Thank you.