Ordinarily I wouldn’t write a response to something Michael Moore wrote except that his movie Bowling for Columbine, makes him something of a gun guy, or at least a self-professed observer of Gun-mob Nation, so I’m going to respond to the prediction he has just made that Trump will be elected President come November 8th. And the reason I am going to respond is that much of what he claims to be the harbingers of a Trump victory are based on what he believes are Trump’s appeal to the classic, gun-guy electorate, namely, the pissed-off older White men who think that it’s time to ‘shake things up.’
I probably talk to a lot more guys who are going to vote for Trump than Moore has ever talked to, because I know a lot more guys who own guns. But you know what’s funny about all those older, pissed-off, gun-loving White guys who are going to vote for Trump? None of them ever voted for a Democrat no matter what. They’ve always voted Republican and they always will. And the fact that this year’s Republican nominee comes out and says in public what many older, pissed-off White men have been forced, until now, to say in private, doesn’t change the dynamic of this election one bit.
I love how Moore believes that ‘facts and logic’ won’t stop Trump because 16 Republican candidates tried the same thing during the primaries and they all lost. Tried the same thing? Rubio and Cruz ran campaigns based on facts and logic? Was Michael Moore listening to the same speeches that I heard? Come on, give me a break.
Michael’s absolutely correct when he says that Trump’s advantage lies in the fact that his supporters don’t need to be coaxed or pushed or even reminded to show up on November 8th. But if he believes that Obama beat Romney in swing states like Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio just because minority voters figured out how to get themselves to the polls, then he doesn’t know anything about how a national election campaign organization really works. And if Hillary doesn’t put together a ground game (and God knows she has the money to do it) that will get her voters into the booth, then she doesn’t deserve to win.
Last year a sociologist at the University of Toronto, Jennifer Carlson, discovered a new gun ‘culture’ in the Rust Belt; in fact, she did her fieldwork in Michael Moore’s most favorite city, a.k.a., Flint. And what she found in Flint by going to a shooting range were some guys who were dispossessed factory workers, rust-belt victims of the post-Industrial, Information Age, who were all into guns. And the reason they all carried guns was because they didn’t trust the government to protect them, to keep them secure, to do anything for them at all.
Michael Moore made his bones in the movie business by romanticizing and, at the same time, deftly denigrating these dispossessed people in Rodger and Me, which was a movie about the collapse of Flint. So when he talks about the ‘carcass’ of the Middle Class in the Rust Belt coming out to vote for Mister Trump, he’s spent some time editing film that made his movies clever and appealing, regardless of whether they had anything to do with reality or not.
So here’s reality Michael. With all due respect to the newly-emerging gun culture in the upper Midwest, most of the 100 million new guns that were added to the civilian arsenal during the administration of Barack Obama went to people who live in the Sunbelt. And to the extent that guns go to residents of states like Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan, most of them go to the same smaller towns and rural communities where they always have gone.
I’m not saying that Trump can’t win on November 8th. I’m saying that he won’t win if he’s hoping a majority of voters are as pissed off as those gun guys up in Flint.