Michael Moore on the Democratic Primaries
Who Do We Vote For This Time Around? A Letter from Michael Moore
A new year has begun. And before weâ€™ve had a chance to break our New Yearâ€™s resolutions, we find ourselves with a little more than 24 hours before the good people of Iowa tell us whom they would like to replace the man who now occupies three countries and a white house.
. . . Personally, Congressman Kucinich, more than any other candidate, shares the same positions that I have on the issues (although the UFO that picked ME up would only take me as far as Kalamazoo). But let’s not waste time talking about Dennis. Even he is resigned to losing, with statements like the one he made yesterday to his supporters in Iowa to throw their support to Senator Obama as their “second choice.”
So, itâ€™s Hillary, Obama, Edwards — now what do we do?
. . . nothing has disappointed me more than the disastrous, premeditated vote by Senator Hillary Clinton to send us to war in Iraq. I’m not only talking about her first vote that gave Mr. Bush his “authorization” to invade — I’m talking about every single OTHER vote she then cast for the next four years, backing and funding Bush’s illegal war, and doing so with verve. She never met a request from the White House for war authorization that she didn’t like.Â Unlike the Kerrys and the Bidens who initially voted for authorization but later came to realize the folly of their decision, Mrs. Clinton continued to cast numerous votes for the war until last March — four long years of pro-war votes, even after 70% of the American public had turned against the war. She has steadfastly refused to say that she was wrong about any of this, and she will not apologize for her culpability in Americaâ€™s worst-ever foreign policy disaster. All she can bring herself to say is that she was “misled” by “faulty intelligence.”
Letâ€™s assume thatâ€™s true. Do you want a President who is so easily misled? I wasnâ€™t “misled,” and millions of others who took to the streets in February of 2003 werenâ€™t “misled” either. . . . Twenty-three other senators were smart enough to figure it out and vote against the war from the get-go. Why wasnâ€™t Senator Clinton?
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Barack Obama is a good and inspiring man. What a breath of fresh air! Thereâ€™s no doubting his sincerity or his commitment to trying to straighten things out in this country. But who is he? I mean, other than a guy who gives a great speech? How much do any of us really know about him? I know he was against the war. How do I know that? He gave a speech before the war started. But since he joined the senate, he has voted for the funds for the war, while at the same time saying we should get out. He says heâ€™s for the little guy, but then he votes for a corporate-backed bill to make it harder for the little guy to file a class action suit when his kid swallows lead paint from a Chinese-made toy. In fact, Obama doesnâ€™t think Wall Street is a bad place. He wants the insurance companies to help us develop a new health care plan – the same companies who have created the mess in the first place.
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And then thereâ€™s John Edwards.
Itâ€™s hard to get past the hair, isnâ€™t it? But once you do – and recently I have chosen to try – you find a man who is out to take on the wealthy and powerful who have made life so miserable for so many. A candidate who says things like this: “I absolutely believe to my soul that this corporate greed and corporate power has an ironclad hold on our democracy.” Whoa. We havenâ€™t heard anyone talk like that in a while, at least not anyone who is near the top of the polls. I suspect this is why Edwards is doing so well in Iowa, even though he has nowhere near the stash of cash the other two have. He wonâ€™t take the big checks from the corporate PACs, and he is alone among the top three candidates in agreeing to limit his spending and be publicly funded. . . . .
And he voted for the war. But unlike Senator Clinton, he has stated quite forcefully that he was wrong. And he has remorse. Should he be forgiven? Did he learn his lesson? Like Hillary and Obama, he refused to promise in a September debate that there will be no U.S. troops in Iraq by the end of his first term in 2013. But this week in Iowa, he changed his mind. He went further than Clinton and Obama and said heâ€™d have all the troops home in less than a year.
Edwards is the only one of the three front-runners who has a universal health care plan that will lead to the single-payer kind all other civilized countries have. His plan doesnâ€™t go as fast as I would like, but he is the only one who has correctly pointed out that the health insurance companies are the enemy and should not have a seat at the table.
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On second thought, would you even be willing to utter the words, “I absolutely believe to my soul that this corporate greed and corporate power has an ironclad hold on our democracy?” â€˜Cause the candidate who understands that, and who sees it as the root of all evil – including the root of global warming – is the President who may lead us to a place of sanity, justice and peace.