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Michael Moore [00:00:01] This is Rumble with Michael Moore and I am Michael Moore.
[ MUSIC: “Michigan, My Michigan” — performed by Jeff Daniels ]
[00:00:28] Have I ever mentioned to you that I’m from Michigan? So is the great actor Jeff Daniels of The Purple Rose of Cairo, Jonathan Demme’s Something Wild and of course, Dumb and Dumber and so many other great films. He’s also from Michigan, so I thought we’d kick off today with Jeff Daniels singing our state anthem, “Michigan, My Michigan”.
[ MUSIC: “Michigan, My Michigan” — performed by Jeff Daniels ]
[00:01:53] Kind of a sweet but mournful song for a state anthem. Michigan lost a lot of lives in the Civil War. I think probably per capita, maybe even more than most other states. Michigan was an early abolitionist state trying to end slavery. There was a famous court case where an escaped slave was recaptured by Southerners who came up to capture slaves in the North, and that was allowed by the federal government until Michigan put its foot down. And the courts in Michigan put their foot down. And then that was the end of that. And then Michigan became a beacon place. If you could get to Michigan from the South, well, we’re right there on the border with Canada. And then you could get true freedom because Canada at that point, of course, didn’t have slavery. And so the state anthem makes these references to the losses of the Civil War. But it is, I think when you listen to it, you’d think that the state song from Michigan would be something from Motown, right? Or Aretha Franklin. Or Iggy Pop. Or The White Stripes. Or Madonna. Or Bob Seger. There’s so many great rockers and hip hop from Michigan. Eminem. But no, this is still our state anthem.
[00:03:17] But today’s podcast is actually quite a happy podcast because I want to share with you before we get too far away from our election and the great results we had last month stopping the red wave, creating a Blue Wall. I want to point out what we did in Michigan that was so amazing and so overwhelming and I think can provide a model for a lot of you and other states to follow what we did to turn the state around. Talk about a Blue Wave. Talk about a Blue Tsunami. Full Democratic control in all the top offices: Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, Attorney General. And on top of that, for the first time in 40 years, the Democrats control the entire Michigan legislature, the Michigan State Senate, the Michigan State House of Representatives, and our Congressional delegation from Michigan for the first time in many years is now majority Democratic. You know, of our 13 Representatives in Congress, 7 Democrats will be sworn in on January 3rd in the United States Congress. Seven Democrats in the House and 6 Republicans, 7 to 6. And plus, of course, we have our two Democratic United States Senators. We set a record for having the largest voter turnout in the history of the state for a midterm election. Massive turnout. We codified Roe vs. Wade and actually improved on the Supreme Court decision and made it part of our Constitution permanently last month. That and so many other things, all progressive ballot proposals regarding giving the people of Michigan even more voting rights, ending voter suppression, making it easy to vote. And another proposal that got into how politicians don’t have to report all the money that they’re collecting and hanging on to. Now they’re going to have to do that and more of it. So all these good things are happening. I mean, you know, I live up in Northern Michigan in a fairly, you know, small town, 15,000 people year-round in the town. And I don’t know when the last time was we had a Democrat in the state House representing us in the city, and yet we elected Betsy Coffia, a woman who’s run before and got elected this time. We actually are going to have a Democrat in Lansing that we’re going to be able to call when we need help with the things that we need to fix still in the state of Michigan. And there are so many stories like that, especially in the area where I live, is a fairly red area of Michigan. And our Congressman is Jack Bergman, right wing Republican election denier, voted to — with the other traitors there on January 6, 2021 — to overturn the election, overthrow the government, keep Biden away from taking his seat in the White House. That’s our Congressman. So, I don’t want to make it sound like I live in some, you know, hippie-ville here. But we got Democrats elected.
[00:06:34] We got Antrim County outside of Traverse City, all red. I lived there for a number of years. When I first moved there, you know, I wanted to, you know, go down and see how the Democrats are doing. Are there any Democrats in this county? I was told there were like four dues-paying members. So we started to organize and I was not myself a dues-paying member of the Democratic Party. I’ve talked about this before. Nonetheless, within a couple of years, we had 200 members of the local Democrats, and now this year there are over 400 in the county and three townships were flipped from red to blue. You’d have to, like, live in this area to understand how that’s just not possible. Except it happened. So it is possible. And it wasn’t just in the area where I live — throughout the state we retook the House and the Senate from the Republicans who’ve held on to it for 40 years. Literally, it has been 40 years in the state of Michigan since the Democrats controlled all the top offices — you know at the Governor and Attorney General level and all that — and had control of the state House and the state Senate. The trifecta is what it’s called. But this doesn’t just happen on its own.
[00:07:56] Now, granted, the Republicans have been a big help: keeping Donald Trump around, running whack-a-doodle candidates, QAnon-supporting crazy, crazy people. And, you know, the majority of Americans are not crazy. They don’t want to vote for crazy. It’s such a pleasure to watch the people in your state saying, “That’s it, I’ve had enough.” And do the right thing. Everybody’s kind of pinching themselves and wondering, you know, how did this happen? I mean, we all worked hard, yes. But it was also one thing that I want to share with you and in the hopes that maybe you can get this going in your state for 2024. So if you can stay with me for a little bit here today, I’d like to give you this personal update from my home state.
[00:08:47] But before we get started, I just want to mention that we are celebrating our third anniversary of producing Rumble with Michael Moore. Three years ago this weekend, December of 2019, we had our very first podcast. You know, the first one was just kind of an introductory of what I wanted to do, what I hoped to accomplish with the podcast. Episode number two, I had my first guest on, the great Daniel Ellsberg, and then the third episode we got on the train and went down to Washington, D.C. and sat in the front row up in the balcony of the House, the House gallery while they conducted the vote to impeach Donald Trump for the first time. We sat there. We were witnesses to it. It was an amazing thing. And then we had our equipment with us that we — well we couldn’t really record there inside the chamber, but on the train, on the way back, we did the episode on the Amtrak riding back with everybody who had gone down from New York to witness this historic event. It was really a moment. This has been an incredible three years, 266 episodes covering so many issues, having so many great guests, much, much gratitude. Thank you for these three years of Rumble. And we’ve got some very cool things that we’re cooking up starting as early as next week. So more on that later. But for I go back to what I want to share with you the secret of our success in Michigan, I want to thank our underwriters for today.
[00:10:16] So our first underwriter I want to thank today is a longtime supporter of this podcast, and it’s Shopify. Now, as you know, a year ago we launched The Moore Store. This is my online shop where a portion of the proceeds for every T-shirt or hoodie or coffee mug you buy goes toward causes that I care deeply about, like bringing civics classes back into our public school classrooms and ending voter suppression across the country. Shopify made this idea of mine for The Moore Store come to life, and I’m so grateful that they are an underwriter of this podcast. Shopify, just so you know, it’s an all-in-one platform, e-commerce platform that makes it simple for any of you to set up your own online shop. Millions of people already use it all around the world. Set this up online. If you want to start your own little business and you want to do this direct to the public, this is an incredible way to do it. This is how a lot of people get their start. And the best part is they offer 24/7 support for you. They also provide free on-demand business courses to help you succeed every step along the way. So if you’ve got an idea for your own online store, sign up for a free trial at Shopify.com/rumble — and make sure Rumble is all lowercase. Shopify.com/rumble. Do that and you could start selling online today. Shopify.com/rumble — rumble in lowercase. And thank you Shopify for supporting this podcast.
[00:11:46] Our other underwriter today and I really want to thank them and the good work they do and a lot of us, you know, use this app — Calm. Calm, it’s the number one mental wellness app that gives you the tools you need to improve the way you feel. They offer guided meditations to reduce stress or anxiety and daily movement sessions to relax your body. You know, if you’re struggling to fall asleep at night, they help with that, too. They offer immersive sleep stories for kids, for adults. You listen to it as you drift off to sleep. And the best part is new content is added every single week. There are over 100 million people around the world now using Calm to help de-stress, to help sleep better and to live a happier, healthier life. So for listeners of this show, Calm is offering an exclusive offer of 40% off a Calm premium subscription at Calm.com/rumble. That’s all you got to do — go to Calm.com/rumble for 40% off unlimited access to Calm’s entire library. That’s Calm.com/rumble and thank you Calm for being supporters not only of this podcast but for putting a focus on the mental health of this country and helping us in even the smallest of ways to get through the day. It’s so important. Thank you.
[00:13:11] The Blue Tsunami in the state of Michigan in the election on November 8th. Let me just share with you why that has happened, because there is the secret sauce that if you just do one thing in each of your states, I can guarantee you that many of them could have the results that Michigan had. And don’t say to yourself, “No, Mike, that’s not possible here, because, you know, it’s Kansas, it’s whatever. It’s Republican, it’s a red state.” Yeah. Okay. You know, we can keep whining about that or we can change it because sadly, Michigan had this Republican governor for many years, Rick Snyder. And then back in the ’90s and early 2000, we had another Republican governor, John Engler, and these two governors who both got multiple terms, helped to destroy our state. And we didn’t seem like we could do anything about it, even though we were traditionally a Democratic state, the home of the modern day labor movement. And yet Republicans were calling the shots. I mean, as soon ago as 2016, more people in Michigan voted for Democrats than they did Republicans. Okay? So the Democrats got the majority of people out to vote, and yet the Republicans had a majority of the House of Representatives in the state of Michigan, even though they had fewer people voting for them. How does that happen? Gerrymandering. Gerrymandering. Gerrymandering. Gerrymandering. Racist gerrymandering. You know, we have a number of majority-black cities: Detroit, Flint, Saginaw, Benton Harbor. And then there are those that are pretty close, that are 50/50 — a number of Detroit suburbs. And so what they do is they carve up the black districts, the black neighborhoods, and make it difficult for African-Americans and Democrats to win. And they did this for years, years and years until we put a stop to it in 2018. A lot of what I’m going to tell you here about what we did in Michigan to turn the state around is based on the fact that we had a ballot proposal in 2018 that passed and it made gerrymandering illegal and it brought out voters who wanted an end to this racist practice. And when they did that, because it brought out so many people who would vote for Democrats in 2018, that’s when we flipped the Governor’s chair, Attorney General, Secretary of State, Lieutenant Governor. And they all got reelected here last month.
[00:16:05] I said I was going to give you one thing. If you could do one thing in your state, if you want to turn things around — end gerrymandering. And don’t expect the politicians to do it for you because they benefit from it. Even the Democrats have benefited from it, you know, because you are in there and you’re carving up the map. But generally, if it’s a Republican-controlled state, they really carve up — I mean, you’ve seen some of the drawings of districts in these Republican states. It’s pretty appalling. But in 2018, a young woman in her 20s decided to start a petition drive to get a ballot proposal on the ballot in the state of Michigan that would essentially outlaw gerrymandering and provide voting rights and stop voter suppression. And she was incredible. And people just joined up. I mean, it’s just one posting on Facebook and the thing just blew up. And all of a sudden, there’s thousands, tens of thousands of Michiganders joining with her to get this on the ballot. And the Republicans couldn’t believe how many signatures they got. They fought it, it went all the way to the Supreme Court in Michigan. Republicans tried to keep it off the ballot. They couldn’t succeed. And once it was on the ballot, that essentially it would be a crime to gerrymander and one of the ways to prevent that in the ballot proposal is that it said from now on, the districts would be drawn by an independent, nonpartisan commission of citizens. The name of their group — this group she formed — was called Voters Not Politicians. Voters, the citizens, would decide the map, not the politicians who benefit from the map. And in doing so, they snuff out the voices of people of color and others who don’t have the power to draw the map. The map is now drawn by citizens who are vetted and they have to prove they’re not in there as a party functionary for either party. They are there to draw an honest map. And they redrew the map in Michigan. They drew an honest map. And then, of course, after the census here in 2020, the map got tweaked again. And now, when people went to vote last month, the vote wasn’t being suppressed. They weren’t voting in some whack-a-doodle, weirdly drawn district. They were voting along with their neighbors and the people who lived and worked with them, participated in a similar economy, had similar issues that they’re concerned about, whether it’s about the environment or criminal justice or whatever. You voted along with your neighbors. Your voice was going to be heard. And so that’s what happened last month. And once the map was fair, the Republicans were no longer in charge because the people don’t want the Republicans. The people of America don’t want the Republicans running the country. I’ll say it again — in seven of the last eight presidential elections in this country, where the whole country gets to vote, only once since George H.W. Bush was president, since his election in 1988, from then until now the Republican running for president has only won the popular vote once. And that was with Baby Bush in 2004, in the middle of a war where we in America — we’ve never thrown a president out during a war. So he barely wins that election in ’04 — one state, Ohio, 100,000-150,000 votes, that’s it.
[00:20:07] So for all these years, in seven of the last eight presidential elections, in the 34 years since the ’88 election, the vast majority of Americans have voted for the Democrat that was on the ballot. That’s why Gore won by a half a million votes. Hillary won by 3 million votes. Biden won by 7 million votes. Noticing a trend? This has so freaked out the Republican Party over the years —recent years — that they have done everything that they have been able to get away with to gerrymander these voting districts. So they can draw the maps so Republicans can get elected. I would just like to ask, you know, Republicans, “how do you feel? Well, I mean, I guess if you want to win, so win by any measure? Even if it’s sort of kind of cheating the map? Because, you know, the American people don’t want you anymore, right? You got that message, right? You only won the popular vote once since 1988. The American people don’t want you in charge. But you want to stay in charge. Okay, I get that. You know, it’s hard to break up. It’s hard to leave when you’re no longer wanted. So then you do all these tricks, all this voter suppression, make it hard for people to vote. Have poll watchers challenging black voters, brown voters, yeah. Yeah. You know, you’ve done it all, and you’ve succeeded in keeping a lot of our states red and Republican, when in fact maybe they aren’t red and Republican. And you took over our state of Michigan for many, many years. The majority of our congressional delegation was Republican, even though the majority of voters who were voting in the state of Michigan were Democrats. How do you feel doing that? I’m just curious.”.
[00:22:08] I only have like one experience personally I can relate to back in when I was on the 8th grade basketball team. And I had a really good hook shot. I was not a good runner, but my hand-eye coordination was pretty good. And I could hook it from way over in the corner, like near the out-of-bounds. And so during one of these games, I let off a hook shot over my head all the way from the corner where the two out of bounds lines come together. Except as I was doing it, I looked down and I saw that my foot was like an inch out of bounds. I made the hook shot — swish, right in. And of course, the students on our side, you know, went wild and cheering and… Okay, I’m sorry. I’ve got a conscience. I mean, we all have a conscience, but mine is maybe sometimes a little too active. I went up to the ref and I said, “I was out of bounds when I made that shot.” And he looked at me like, What kind of crazy kid are you? You know? I said, “It’s not right. I shouldn’t get those points.” And he just goes — he’s mad at me, actually. So he just, like, blows his whistle and then announces that I was out of bounds. And you know, my coach, Mr. Herman, was like, “what happened?” I went over to him and I said, “I told the ref that that shot wasn’t legal. I was out of bounds.” This is a Catholic school league. And this you know, this coach was so kind of salt-of-the-Earth and so very much in his Catholic place. And he didn’t hit me. He didn’t yell at me. He just nodded his head and approved of what everybody else considered a faux pas. The team was so mad at me and I was like, “Why are you nuts?” I said, “That’s not right. It’s not right to claim the basket if I was out-of-bounds.”.
[00:24:41] So I want to ask the Republicans, “You’re out-of-bounds. The American people don’t want you. You don’t win these elections properly. How do you feel knowing when you take a seat in the state House or the state Senate or in Congress that the majority of the people actually didn’t want you there, don’t want you there, and yet you’re sitting there?” I would feel so creepy every day going in there, going on the floor of the House, taking my seat, knowing that I was elected in a kind of a fraudulent way. But a way that the Republican Supreme Court has — they keep allowing it because they like being on the Supreme Court. A 6 to 3 court, 6 to 3 Republican court, when the majority of Americans are not Republicans, do not vote for Republicans. And yet, there the Republicans sit taking away women’s rights, getting rid of good gun laws that get passed. That was another thing they did this summer. So I just wanted to do this today. I wanted to encourage all of you who live in many states where it seems like something is wrong. Like, “Why are the Republicans still in charge? Why are we still considered a red state when oftentimes you can see after election after election, it’s the Democrats are getting more votes.
[00:26:20] So, here’s my encouragement to you to follow the Michigan model. You need to get a ballot proposal, if your state allows such a thing, on the ballot in the next election that eliminates gerrymandering. Crib the Michigan one. Copy it. I’ll post a link to it here. You could do this in your states if they allow ballot proposals. And if they don’t allow ballot proposals in your state, maybe you should think about making that happen. I think it’s slightly more than half the states there are some form of ballot proposal that’s allowed, but the other half need to be able to have direct democracy also. They need to be able to pass laws. The voters need to be able to pass laws at election time. So that is my challenge to you in purple states, red states, even blue states that still haven’t done this yet. Once we start to do this, what’s going to happen is what happened with us here in Michigan, where the Democrats now control the state, state government, state legislature, and in many of our local cities, towns, townships. Republican mayors were booted out, Republican County commissioners were booted out. I mean, it was like one big boot going across the state of Michigan last month. It was a beautiful thing to see. And you, I know, would love to see it in your state. So get your petition drive going so you can get it on the ballot in 2024. And if you don’t have a way to put a ballot proposal on, then start the lobbying efforts to get your state government to allow ballot proposals. And point out to the Republicans that, you know, they can benefit from this, too. That means they can put ballot proposals on. They can try to get them passed. And don’t tell them that they’re not going to have much success because even in this election last month, where the right to an abortion was put into the state constitutions of Michigan, California and Vermont, Republicans did have ballot proposals on the ballot in Kentucky and Montana, but their ballot proposals were to prevent abortion, to ban abortion. And those ballot proposals lost. Why? Because the majority of Americans agree with us. Because there are more of us than there are of them. And it will be that way for some time to come. Why? Because every year, 4 million 17-year-olds in this country become 18. And you know what? They don’t want to vote for Donald Trump or anybody that looks or sounds like Trump. They don’t hate people because of their race or because they’re LGBTQ. You know, we’ve raised a pretty good generation or two of young people. And every year, 4 million of them become eligible to vote. And they vote by overwhelming numbers. High — well up into the 60 percentile. When young voters vote, they vote for Democrats. And the more that we encourage this and get them out to vote, the more that we put ballot proposal issues like student loan forgiveness or raising the minimum wage, anything that would benefit young people to get them out to vote, will guarantee that you will get more Democrats elected in your state.
[00:29:41] I don’t mean to make it sound like it’s that simple, but my friends, it is that simple. And I saw it happen again last month in my home state of Michigan. And I thank you for giving me this time today to talk once again about the state of Michigan. But I’m doing it only because I want you to be inspired by how we pulled this off. And it only took from the 2018 Midterm to now. Trump won the state of Michigan in 2016. So we ended that, and voted for Biden. This can happen where you live. And I have some other cool things that I want to talk to you about. I’m going to start off a podcast series, another Tsunami series next Sunday, on Christmas Day, and I’ll tell you more about it later this week. But I’m going to give you a wealth of information and tactics and strategy of how you can pull this off, how even if you live in the reddest county, the reddest state or whatever, you know, you may not turn it around 100%, but you can start to peel away to dig into. A Democrat here. A Democrat there. I think you’re really going to like what we’re planning here on Rumble and on my Substack. Get people to sign up for my Substack. There’s no paywall. I mean, yes, you could get a paid subscription, but all that really means is you want to help us do our work here. You know, five bucks a month. Great. Thank you. It’s much appreciated. Give gift subscriptions here this week for the holidays, but you don’t have to. It’s all free. Every podcast is free. Everyone one of my Substack columns is free. And again, I want to thank you for these three years of listening to Rumble with Michael Moore, for sharing it with your friends and your neighbors and your family. I can’t wait to do more of this. And I can’t wait until you see what I’m planning to do here in the New Year. So more on all of that starting next week. Let’s stay in touch here. I’m going to close with another Michigan song by a Michigan group led by these two young women from my town that I live in — Traverse City, Michigan. They’re called The Accidentals. The song is called — I think I played it maybe a year ago here — it’s called Michigan Again and Again. And again and again and again. Thank you, everybody. Thank you for being part of this. This is Michael Moore. My thanks to my producer and editor, Angela Vargos. And we will see you later this week here on Rumble with Michael Moore.
[ MUSIC: “Michigan And Again” — The Accidentals ]