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To read more about Episode 267, visit the main episode page.
[ MUSIC: “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” by Judy Garland ]
Michael Moore [00:00:30] That is one of the best Christmas songs ever. Right? Anybody agree with me on this? Judy Garland, 1944, from the movie Meet Me in Saint Louis. Such a beautiful, soulful, mournful, happy song — all that together. Probably just the way it was in the 1940s, the world at war, having come out of a Great Depression — two big knocks to the human race in 1930s and ’40s. Wow.
[00:01:08] This is Michael Moore, of course. You’re listening to my podcast, Rumble with Michael Moore. I always say my name twice. I don’t know how to get around that. I introduce myself and then I say the title of the podcast. Michael Moore. Michael Moore. The name so nice he says it twice. Oh. Oh, man. I just was kind of thinking about my parents in that time growing up as they did in the ’30s and ’40s. And I think of my dad, I mean, just being in the Marines in the South Pacific through all those awful battles in World War II. And then and my mom being the youngest child in a Depression. My parents had… they were so good natured, considering, you know, when you think about what was that like to live through that Depression and then through that war. And my dad, in having actually literally gotten to get out of it alive. And then in the next decade, they’re having us kids and you’d never know they’d gone through anything. And it’s not that they didn’t talk about it. Actually they did talk about it and they talked a lot about it. Frankly, I think as kids, we were very well schooled in the what what of how the world works and how it runs and the difficult, difficult times that a lot of people have to go through.
[00:02:37] But thinking about, you know, just this last week, leading up here until Christmas Day and, you know, my dad, in the days leading up to Christmas, we’d be sitting, you know, in the living room after dinner. And, you know, I don’t know we were watching Looney Tunes. Looney Tunes had a primetime show on ABC with Bugs Bunny. And all of a sudden, you know, we’d hear, “Ho, ho, ho! Ho, ho, ho!” And some jingling of bells and banging on the back porch, screen door — which was on like, you had to go through the kitchen to go out, you know, the back door. And we would know who that was. It was Santa. See, we were told by our parents that Santa would come in the week before Christmas, on one of those nights to get our list of what we wanted for Christmas. So when we’d hear this, the three of us — I have two younger sisters — we would get up off the living room floor wherever we were, and run to the kitchen because we wanted to see Santa. But my mom would like block the door that would go through the kitchen so that we couldn’t see to the back door. We’re not allowed to see Santa. If we saw him, we’d be crossed off the list or something so… So we’d stand there at the kitchen door from where the living room was, and Santa would go, “Merry Christmas Moore children. What would you like me to bring you for Christmas?”
[00:04:06] I’m not doing a very good Santa thing. So, Santa would say, “What would you like for Christmas?” And we were all, like, screaming, and I’d shout out something. “I want a machine gun! And a grenade!” I know. You know, we were World War II children. Yeah. We used to play war out in the neighborhood. Like, every day, somebody would have to be the Germans, and then the other half of us would be the Americans. And I have to say, my favorite thing when we played war as kids was somebody would throw a grenade toward us, and I would jump, just leap through the air and fall on the grenade to save everybody, everybody else, and pretend that I was blown to bits. I know, why am I laughing about this? This is awful. If children are listening to this, this was something we did a long time ago when we were not as smart as you children are today. So anyways, my sisters would want an Easy-Bake Oven or some doll. They liked art stuff, you know, they would love that or things that they would play with the other girls. You know, when I think about this, the other little girls in the neighborhood, I literally paid no attention to whoever my sisters were playing with, I never actually saw them, or what they did when they went to each other’s house to play, because I was always out. There was a field on the side of our neighborhood. We lived on a dirt street and it then ended in a field. And so we’d take one of the lawn mowers out there and we would mow a baseball field out of it. We’d create like a diamond and all summer long, we’re out there playing baseball every day, all day. But I digress.
[00:05:46] Anyway, so Santa is out there getting our list. We’re excited. We’re trying to break through my mom so we could get out there to see Santa, but then realizing if we got too far in through the kitchen, if we saw him then we might not get our presents. So Santa then said a few more words. “Be good to your parents. Always obey.” And then we’d hear the last “Ho, ho, ho!” And we’d hear the jingle go away from the house. And we just assumed that he was going next door to the Thomas’s. I can still see the looks on my sister’s faces and me just beaming with… I just knew whatever I asked for I had a good chance of getting. Now, of course, we didn’t get everything. And back in those days, you know, things were much more limited than they are now. But I do have such a joyful memory of this and just kind of marveling at my dad. My dad was not like a showman or a person who’d like to play a character or whatever, but he really put his all into this. And we believed. And we believed and we believed.
[00:06:51] And then, you know, of course, I grew up I became an adult. And as an adult, when I had a daughter, a little girl, we would often do Christmas over at the in-laws. They had a basement and so we’d all be down in the basement. I suggested on one of those Christmases because we had a lot of cousins, a lot of little kids. You know, my dad used to do this and I could be like up in the garage, just outside the door that goes down to the basement. And I could play Santa and do what my dad did. So everybody loved this idea and so I got some jingle bell concoction or whatever. So I’d sneak out. I’d sneak upstairs and go out in the garage where we’d hidden a whole bunch of presents in a big, like, Santa’s sack. So I wasn’t there, like to take their Christmas list cause I was there to deliver the presents, so I’d have a big sack out in the garage and go up there. And all of a sudden I’d be banging on the door from the garage to the stairs at the top of the basement and I’d go, “Ho, ho, ho! Merry Christmas! It’s Santa!”
[00:07:59] Of course. The kids go crazy and then the adults block the bottom of the stairs. The kids can’t get up to see that obviously, you know, it was me. “I brought your presents. I know you’ve got some there from your parents, but these are presents from the North Pole!” And so the kids were going crazy. Now, you know, when I was a kid, there was just myself and my two sisters. But when you have all the combined families together, there were at least two dozen of these little tykes running around, it seemed, at least. And so anyway, so all of a sudden, the 5, 6, 7-year-old boys charged the adults that were at the bottom of the stairs to prevent them from going up the stairs, and they got through. And they are climbing the stairs. And I can hear this. I don’t need to see it. These things are coming at me and I’m like, “Oh, shit, they’re going to see that it’s me. And, you know, I don’t have a Santa costume on. I just have the bag.” And so I just dropped the bag right there. “Here’s your presents! Merry Christmas!”
[00:09:06] And I tore out of the garage. Okay, you know, in your head you’re thinking, “I’m an adult,” you know, “even though I’m not a track star, I can outrun a 5-year-old.” Think again, all right? These kids, by the time they got up to the top of the stairs, I was out of the garage, but I turned around and I could see that they were making their way through the garage. They are going to chase me down. Now, it’s very dark out. It’s winter. There’s snow. You know, I’ve always had a winter coat on. You know, maybe they couldn’t tell that I didn’t have a red suit or a white beard, but they were convinced I was Santa. And man, did I… I ran probably the fastest I’d ever run in my life. And I got to one of the neighbors. And I ducked behind some big evergreens. And the kids lost me. They never caught up to me. But I’m telling you, it’s a not a good feeling when you are actually Santa, carrying gifts, and now you’re shivering in fear with a bunch of 5 and 6-year-olds on your tail. To be scared like this. You know, “My dad never had this problem. What am I trying to do here?” But that was the first time we did it. In years after that, I got it down a little better. I was never captured or caught or my identity revealed. But it was fun and it was a nice kind of homage, I guess, to my own dad when we were little tykes.
[ MUSIC REPRISE: “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” by Judy Garland ]
[00:12:03] Let me just take a moment to thank one of the two underwriters for today’s episode. Much appreciation here on Christmas to support Rumble here with me. First up, a huge thank you to Trade Coffee. If you love drinking coffee or have a coffee lover in your life that you’re still shopping for, well, let me tell you, you have to check out Trade Coffee. Trade Coffee is a coffee subscription service, and it makes it super easy to get better coffee. It’s delivered fresh from the finest local roasters around the country, direct to your doorstep. The roast selection to choose from on Trade is incredible. And regardless of whether you already know what you like or you’re new to this idea of specialty coffee, Trade makes it easy and convenient to discover new coffees. This month in our Rumble Office, we, of course, had to go with a holiday roast. We chose a blend from Mother Tongue Coffee in Oakland, California called “Merry Everything and a Happy Always.” I love that. Made with baking spices that have notes of apple and toasted nuts in them — it makes the whole office smell like the holidays. So whether you want to treat yourself or whether you’re just looking for a plain old gift any time of the year right now, Trade is offering Rumble listeners a total of $30 off a subscription and access for a limited time to these holiday coffee specials. That’s drinktrade.com/rumble for $30 off. DrinkTrade.com/rumble.
[00:13:39] So this is my unofficial Christmas podcast message to you. I want to tell you about tomorrow, about something I’m going to do for you, with you, on Christmas Day. And then I have a couple little things to say, but I’m not going to keep you long here. It’s Christmas Eve. Here on Christmas morning, I’m going to start a new Tsunami series like we did with the Tsunami series “Mike’s Midterm Tsunami of Truth”. For 44 days leading up to the election, I sent you a written column essay each day telling you why we were not going to let the Republicans take over. They were telling us they were going to win 60 seats in the House, five seats in the Senate, governorships — essentially, the Democratic Party was going to collapse under this red wave. And not only were the Republicans saying it, Democrats were saying it, the people who didn’t want it to happen but believed it: pundits, liberal pundits, liberal news commentators. Everybody got on board, as you know, and I don’t need to repeat this again, that you and I and a few others didn’t believe that and believed that they could be stopped, that they weren’t the big, bad bogeymen that were going to bring Trump back and ruin the country again. So for 44 days, I sent you those every day — thank you for opening them. Thank you for reading and responding. And thank you for voting and getting five people to take to the polls. Those who did that — any work you did — thank you for all of that.
[00:15:03] But what I thought I would do, if you’ll accept this as a Christmas gift from me, is to start a new series. Not as long, just a sort of a 12 Days of Christmas series that will begin here on Christmas Day. One of the things I heard a lot from people during this election year is, “I live in a red area. I live in a red state. I live in a red county. What’s the point? What can I do?” You know, there’s a sense of real despair because you’re constantly surrounded by this madness of election deniers and people that are lovers of Trump and all of this. And how can you get anything done? How can you contribute to the greater good when you live in this red town? Well, I have put together 12 episodes. They’re only going to be about 12 minutes each, and each day I’m going to drop one. It’s called “Blue Dots in a Red Sea”. How to not only survive, but thrive. If you’re a Blue voter or if you’re a Democrat, if you’re a liberal or progressive in a red town, in a red county, in a red state. And not only that — how to win elections. And I’m going to show you what people did just a month ago, people who live in red cities, red towns, red states, and how they got elected as Democrats. If you felt even the slightest bit inspired by the Tsunami of Truths that I sent you during the election season here this fall, I promise you, if you will just listen — and these are short podcasts each day. If you will listen to my battle plan as I lay it out, my strategy not only for those of you who live in red areas, how you can win, how you can flip a town, a township, a school board, that you could actually flip your state. And you don’t need to go any further than the state of Georgia to know what I’m talking about. We have seen this happen.
[00:17:06] And so starting here tomorrow or today, if you’re listening to this on Christmas Day, I want you just to take 12 minutes a day for the next 12 days, and listen to my “Blue Dots in a Red Sea,” and how do you turn red into blue? Because, you know, you can’t. These are two primary colors… I’m going to show you how to do it. And I want you to listen. Now, don’t say to yourself, “Oh, I live in Massachusetts.” Or, “I live in California.” If you live in California, you have many red areas in California. If you live in Michigan, there are still red areas. You know, but the other piece of this is that you have relatives and you have friends and they live in red states and they live in red areas. And they are feeling that despair. And I want you to share this little Tsunami of podcasts over these next 12 days with them. Send it to them. Say, “Here gives this a listen. Michael Moore’s got an idea for what you can do to help flip things in your area or to put up a Blue Wall or get a ballot proposal passed — whatever it is. There are things that can be happening in red states, in red towns, and I want to show you how to do it. What you can do or what your relatives who live in Idaho or South Carolina or Arkansas, what they can do. Or oh, my God, if you have family in Florida, first of all, my sympathies. But even they, even in an insane state like Florida, they have a way out. And definitely in Texas, there’s a way to keep doing some good stuff that we started here this fall with this election. So that’s what’s going to happen 12 days in a row each day for the 12 days of Christmas from now until January 6. And I want you to please tune in and please share them. 2023 and 2024 can be two of our best years, two of our best years for this country that are ahead of us. So that’s “Blue dots in a Red Sea” — a 12 episode podcast for the next 12 days right here on Rumble with Michael Moore. And it will also be sent to you on my Substack, so please give a listen. I think you’ll enjoy it and appreciate it. And maybe we can all learn something from each other.
[00:19:28] Okay, so before we go on to my last thing here, let me just take another second here to thank my other underwriter for today’s Christmas Eve episode. This episode is brought to you by the good people at BetterHelp. When life gets stressful or overwhelming, it’s helpful to talk to someone about it. Yet so often, getting mental health help gets put on the back burner. Especially in this country with our for-profit health care system. It can be expensive and difficult to make time for or even hard to find the right therapist. That’s where BetterHelp comes in. As the world’s largest therapy service, BetterHelp has matched 3 million people with professionally licensed and vetted therapists available 100% online. Plus, it’s affordable. Just fill out the brief questionnaire to match with a therapist. If things aren’t clicking, you can easily switch to a new therapist anytime. Could be simpler. No waiting rooms, no traffic. No endless searching for the right therapist. Learn more and save 10% off your first month at BetterHelp.com/rumble. That’s BetterHelp.com/rumble. Thank you BetterHelp for supporting this podcast and supporting my voice.
[00:20:44] Okay. So just two last things here before we go and get back to enjoying Christmas with the family. The first thing is there’s someone sitting in prison who’s been in prison now for nearly 50 years. A Native American. I’ve talked to you about him before. I’ve had people on the podcast here to talk about it. He’s still in prison after all these years for a crime that was never proven on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation near the site of the Wounded Knee massacre from back in the late 1800s. His name is Leonard Peltier, and he’s now not well. He’s in prison still. They say that he participated in a shootout where the FBI had come on to the reservation to try and put down whatever liberation activities the native peoples were participating in there. He has proclaimed his innocence since that day, but he was arrested, tried, convicted. And there’s no real evidence. I mean, this case is so bad. Listen to this — back at the beginning of 2017, at the end of President Obama’s term, one of the lead prosecutors who prosecuted Peltier and put him away just couldn’t remain silent anymore and wrote a letter to President Obama asking that Peltier be released from prison. And I’m just going to quote from a letter he wrote, this is the prosecutor now, “the final theory on which Mr. Peltier’s conviction now rests is that he was guilty of murder simply because he was present on the reservation that day. However, Mr. Peltier has been labeled and more importantly, was sentenced as a cold blooded murder based on a theory, we were forced to drop on appeal. He has served almost 50 years on the basis of minimal evidence. A result I strongly doubt would be upheld in any court today. I urge you to chart a different path in the history of the government’s relationship with its native people through a show of mercy rather than continued indifference. I urge you to take a step towards healing a wound that I had a part in making. I urge you to commute Leonard Peltier’s sentence and grant him executive clemency.”
[00:23:22] Wow. That never happens. And there are many other lawyers, prosecutors, judges, good people who have advocated for the release of this individual who I would say had to spend the last 50 years of his life behind bars for the crime of being a Native American. So here’s what we can do. We don’t have to get involved in the debate of this or whatever. 50 years is a very long prison sentence. So no matter what you believe about the case, it’s time that he was released. And so I’m asking you to ask President Biden to here, during the end of the year where the president often issues pardons, to pardon Leonard Peltier and release him from prison. There’s any of a number of ways that Biden can do this. He can just end the prison sentence. If he doesn’t want to pardon him, he can just end the prison sentence right now. But this man should be released. And it’s a good thing to do, and it’s a good thing to honor the people of this country who were here first and who were slaughtered in a genocide by our ancestors. “Our” meaning I’m talking about white people and white Europeans. If you came from China, you did not participate in this. And if you were an enslaved human being, kidnaped and brought here in chains, you didn’t do this and your ancestors didn’t do it. But the Europeans did do it. And it’s just one more small gesture, maybe, perhaps on our part, those of us, the descendants of those Europeans to make right. And to be forgiving. To release this individual, a leader. A leader of many, many people who are first peoples. Native Americans. Release him from prison. And I ask you this, President Biden, if there’s any chance you happened to be listening or if anybody’s playing this for you, I ask you to do this out of the generosity of your heart, out of the sense of forgiveness. I would ask you, what would Jesus do? I think you know the answer to that. And I think this would make a lot of people — this would be a beautiful way to end this year where we did a number of good things. And this could be one of the last things that we do to end 2022 by freeing Leonard Peltier. So I’d like to ask you to write to President Biden. I have a contact link, you just click on it here on my podcast page. Or you could just go to WhiteHouse.gov. They’ll have a way for you to send a message to the president, and I would love it if you would do that. Just two sentences. Three sentences. “Free Leonard Peltier.” And who knows, maybe we’ll succeed.
[00:26:29] And finally, I just I want to say to all of you, it’s a crazy world we live in. I know. It’s a crazy, crazy world. Sometimes it’s crazy good. Sometimes there’s a lot of good that happens. And sometimes, whoa, our heads are spinning. You know, we have so much more work to do to better things, better ourselves, make life better for our kids, grandkids, our elderly parents. So many things on that list. And I think we can do ’em. I think we can actually make a better world. And I think you know what I know is that that better world starts with each of us — of how we treat ourselves. Of how we treat each other. How we are to sometimes some of the worst people that we have to deal with in our neighborhood and in our schools and at work. It’s really hard to turn the other cheek. It’s really hard to love your enemy. To love your neighbor as yourself. That’s such a great line. The implication is that you can’t really love your neighbor when you say, “I’m going to love my neighbor as myself.” Well, you better start by loving yourself first, then. Because if you hate yourself, that ain’t gonna be much good love going to your neighbor. Love your neighbor as yourself. Do some good for yourself this year. Be kind to yourself. Don’t beat yourself up. It’s not worth it. Life is good. Life can be better. And the love that we share with each other, whether it’s our neighbors or classmates or our coworkers or family members — strangers on the other side of the planet — the more of the better. I don’t have to convince you of that. I know that. But to love your enemy. Whoo! That’s a hard one, isn’t it? I try to ask myself if I can do it. And I don’t usually succeed, but I think once or twice a year somewhere I rise to the occasion inside myself. And I think, “You know what? Yes, they treated you badly. They hurt you. But I don’t really feel better by hurting them back or treating them poorly.” No, you never feel good doing that, do you? You think you’re going to feel better? “Oh, I’ll get them!” And then it’s like, “Oh, that felt like yuck.” And then you’ve just debased yourself. You’ve lowered yourself. And if whatever you think about them in terms of how they behave, by behaving like them, by being like them — is that progress? No. Progress is being able to still love them even if they are shitty. Because really, maybe the only chance of them being better is whatever love you can spare to have that rub off on them so that they may think, “Wow, I thought he hated me. I mean, I actually did do something kind of rotten toward him.”.
[00:30:04] Again. I’m not always good at this. I’m just like you. I’m not going to discuss who my enemies are with you. And when I say the word “enemy,” it’s just funny when I even say that word like, I don’t really want to think of anybody as my enemy. It’s not how I look at the world. But I found myself a week or two ago in a moment where I had to make a decision where I could help somebody who was a friend of mine for a really long time and then wasn’t. I’m not going to get into the why of it, but, you know, it’s one of those sad things that happened between friends. In the end, nobody’s right, nobody’s wrong. And it’s just stupid that you lose friendships. It’s just stupid. And so this moment came where I could help this former friend who was not nice to me in the end of the friendship. And I waited to the last minute, frankly, to whether or not, “Can I do this, should I do this? I can’t do this. It’s not right. It’s not right. Yes, it is right. These people were friends of yours. You shared a lot with them. And you were in the trenches together. And that will never be forgotten. You grew together, and it just… It’s not worth it. It’s not worth it.” And I said that to myself and I said, “You’re going to do something good right now.” And I did. And it wasn’t about money. It wasn’t about anything. And this former friend will never know. But I did the right thing and it felt good. Let me tell you, friends, it felt good. It didn’t feel like, “Why did you do that after you were treated that way?” No. That’s exactly when you have to do it. That’s the only way to build the love among us. I know. Probably some of this just sounds like a bunch of hooey and sentimental crap. I don’t live my life that way, though. And you know me well enough by now to know that. So I encourage you to take those steps when you can. To heal. To heal with each other. Or to move on. And don’t be stuck in the morass of bitterness and hate and in feeling hurt. And, yes, you were the victim. But now is now. We have to build this better world. We’re never going to make it, my friends, you know this. And it has to start in the smallest ways. It has to start with ourselves and it has to start with each other and the people we know, live with, be with.
[00:33:05] So that’s my other my ask here on Christmas. That we join together with and toward each other to build that world. And I know we can do it. I absolutely know we can do it. And I believe we can get Leonard Peltier out of prison. Please, President Biden, please. That’s it, my friends. I hope you’ve had a good Christmas Eve. Christmas Day. And if you don’t celebrate Christmas, it’s now a secular holiday. I don’t know if you know that or not. You don’t have to believe in the baby Jesus or anything else. You don’t even have to believe in Santa. You don’t even have to believe in the Christmas tree. And all of us, we should be, you know, when Ramadan comes around, think about fasting for a day. Just join in. You know, Kwanzaa, there’s a lot you can do with Kwanzaa coming up here this week. Our Jewish brothers and sisters — oh, my God. Here’s a year where we can do some good. This is who we are. Thanks to my producer and my editor, Angela Vargos, incredible person to work with. Merry Christmas to you, Angela, and your family. I can’t wait til you hear tomorrow’s first episode of my new Tsunami series— Bue Dots in a Red Sea”. Pass it around. Pass the ham. Pass the turkey. Pass the doobie. Whatever you got in your hand, pass it. Enjoy this moment. And thanks for being on this planet with me. Be well. Merry Christmas. Much love. This is Michael Moore and this is Rumble.
[ MUSIC: “The Rebel Jesus” by Jackson Browne ]