RSN Fundraising Banner
FB Share
Email This Page
add comment

Moore writes: "One year ago today I wrote this open letter trying to warn my fellow Americans that Trump was going to win the election that was less than four months away."

Filmmaker Michael Moore. (photo: Sara Krulwich/NYT)
Filmmaker Michael Moore. (photo: Sara Krulwich/NYT)

I Warned You Trump Would Win

By Michael Moore, Michael Moore's Facebook Page

24 July 17


ne year ago today I wrote this open letter trying to warn my fellow Americans that Trump was going to win the election that was less than four months away -- and that he would do it by winning Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Needless to say, I didn't do a very good job convincing those who were sure Hillary would win and that we had nothing to worry about with Trump the Idiot on the ballot.


I am sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but I gave it to you straight last summer when I told you that Donald Trump would be the Republican nominee for president. And now I have even more awful, depressing news for you: Donald J. Trump is going to win in November. This wretched, ignorant, dangerous part-time clown and full time sociopath is going to be our next president. President Trump. Go ahead and say the words, ‘cause you’ll be saying them for the next four years: “PRESIDENT TRUMP.”

Never in my life have I wanted to be proven wrong more than I do right now.

I can see what you’re doing right now. You’re shaking your head wildly – “No, Mike, this won’t happen!” Unfortunately, you are living in a bubble that comes with an adjoining echo chamber where you and your friends are convinced the American people are not going to elect an idiot for president. You alternate between being appalled at him and laughing at him because of his latest crazy comment or his embarrassingly narcissistic stance on everything because everything is about him. And then you listen to Hillary and you behold our very first female president, someone the world respects, someone who is whip-smart and cares about kids, who will continue the Obama legacy because that is what the American people clearly want! Yes! Four more years of this!

You need to exit that bubble right now. You need to stop living in denial and face the truth which you know deep down is very, very real. Trying to soothe yourself with the facts – “77% of the electorate are women, people of color, young adults under 35 and Trump cant win a majority of any of them!” – or logic – “people aren’t going to vote for a buffoon or against their own best interests!” – is your brain’s way of trying to protect you from trauma. Like when you hear a loud noise on the street and you think, “oh, a tire just blew out,” or, “wow, who’s playing with firecrackers?” because you don’t want to think you just heard someone being shot with a gun. It’s the same reason why all the initial news and eyewitness reports on 9/11 said “a small plane accidentally flew into the World Trade Center.” We want to – we need to – hope for the best because, frankly, life is already a shit show and it’s hard enough struggling to get by from paycheck to paycheck. We can’t handle much more bad news. So our mental state goes to default when something scary is actually, truly happening. The first people plowed down by the truck in Nice spent their final moments on earth waving at the driver whom they thought had simply lost control of his truck, trying to tell him that he jumped the curb: “Watch out!,” they shouted. “There are people on the sidewalk!”

Well, folks, this isn’t an accident. It is happening. And if you believe Hillary Clinton is going to beat Trump with facts and smarts and logic, then you obviously missed the past year of 56 primaries and caucuses where 16 Republican candidates tried that and every kitchen sink they could throw at Trump and nothing could stop his juggernaut. As of today, as things stand now, I believe this is going to happen – and in order to deal with it, I need you first to acknowledge it, and then maybe, just maybe, we can find a way out of the mess we’re in.

Don’t get me wrong. I have great hope for the country I live in. Things are better. The left has won the cultural wars. Gays and lesbians can get married. A majority of Americans now take the liberal position on just about every polling question posed to them: Equal pay for women – check. Abortion should be legal – check. Stronger environmental laws – check. More gun control – check. Legalize marijuana – check. A huge shift has taken place – just ask the socialist who won 22 states this year. And there is no doubt in my mind that if people could vote from their couch at home on their X-box or PlayStation, Hillary would win in a landslide.

But that is not how it works in America. People have to leave the house and get in line to vote. And if they live in poor, Black or Hispanic neighborhoods, they not only have a longer line to wait in, everything is being done to literally stop them from casting a ballot. So in most elections it’s hard to get even 50% to turn out to vote. And therein lies the problem for November – who is going to have the most motivated, most inspired voters show up to vote? You know the answer to this question. Who’s the candidate with the most rabid supporters? Whose crazed fans are going to be up at 5 AM on Election Day, kicking ass all day long, all the way until the last polling place has closed, making sure every Tom, Dick and Harry (and Bob and Joe and Billy Bob and Billy Joe and Billy Bob Joe) has cast his ballot?  That’s right. That’s the high level of danger we’re in. And don’t fool yourself — no amount of compelling Hillary TV ads, or outfacting him in the debates or Libertarians siphoning votes away from Trump is going to stop his mojo.

Here are the 5 reasons Trump is going to win:

  1. Midwest Math, or Welcome to Our Rust Belt Brexit.  I believe Trump is going to focus much of his attention on the four blue states in the rustbelt of the upper Great Lakes – Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Four traditionally Democratic states – but each of them have elected a Republican governor since 2010 (only Pennsylvania has now finally elected a Democrat). In the Michigan primary in March, more Michiganders came out to vote for the Republicans (1.32 million) that the Democrats (1.19 million). Trump is ahead of Hillary in the latest polls in Pennsylvania and tied with her in Ohio. Tied? How can the race be this close after everything Trump has said and done? Well maybe it’s because he’s said (correctly) that the Clintons’ support of NAFTA helped to destroy the industrial states of the Upper Midwest. Trump is going to hammer Clinton on this and her support of TPP and other trade policies that have royally screwed the people of these four states. When Trump stood in the shadow of a Ford Motor factory during the Michigan primary, he threatened the corporation that if they did indeed go ahead with their planned closure of that factory and move it to Mexico, he would slap a 35% tariff on any Mexican-built cars shipped back to the United States. It was sweet, sweet music to the ears of the working class of Michigan, and when he tossed in his threat to Apple that he would force them to stop making their iPhones in China and build them here in America, well, hearts swooned and Trump walked away with a big victory that should have gone to the governor next-door, John Kasich.

    From Green Bay to Pittsburgh, this, my friends, is the middle of England – broken, depressed, struggling, the smokestacks strewn across the countryside with the carcass of what we use to call the Middle Class. Angry, embittered working (and nonworking) people who were lied to by the trickle-down of Reagan and abandoned by Democrats who still try to talk a good line but are really just looking forward to rub one out with a lobbyist from Goldman Sachs who’ll write them nice big check before leaving the room. What happened in the UK with Brexit is going to happen here. Elmer Gantry shows up looking like Boris Johnson and just says whatever shit he can make up to convince the masses that this is their chance! To stick to ALL of them, all who wrecked their American Dream! And now The Outsider, Donald Trump, has arrived to clean house! You don’t have to agree with him! You don’t even have to like him! He is your personal Molotov cocktail to throw right into the center of the bastards who did this to you! SEND A MESSAGE! TRUMP IS YOUR MESSENGER!

    And this is where the math comes in. In 2012, Mitt Romney lost by 64 electoral votes. Add up the electoral votes cast by Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. It’s 64. All Trump needs to do to win is to carry, as he’s expected to do, the swath of traditional red states from Idaho to Georgia (states that’ll never vote for Hillary Clinton), and then he just needs these four rust belt states. He doesn’t need Florida. He doesn’t need Colorado or Virginia. Just Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. And that will put him over the top. This is how it will happen in November.

  2. The Last Stand of the Angry White Man. Our male-dominated, 240-year run of the USA is coming to an end. A woman is about to take over! How did this happen?! On our watch! There were warning signs, but we ignored them. Nixon, the gender traitor, imposing Title IX on us, the rule that said girls in school should get an equal chance at playing sports. Then they let them fly commercial jets. Before we knew it, Beyoncé stormed on the field at this year’s Super Bowl (our game!) with an army of Black Women, fists raised, declaring that our domination was hereby terminated! Oh, the humanity!

    That’s a small peek into the mind of the Endangered White Male. There is a sense that the power has slipped out of their hands, that their way of doing things is no longer how things are done. This monster, the “Feminazi,”the thing that as Trump says, “bleeds through her eyes or wherever she bleeds,” has conquered us — and now, after having had to endure eight years of a black man telling us what to do, we’re supposed to just sit back and take eight years of a woman bossing us around? After that it’ll be eight years of the gays in the White House! Then the transgenders! You can see where this is going. By then animals will have been granted human rights and a fuckin’ hamster is going to be running the country. This has to stop!

  3. The Hillary Problem. Can we speak honestly, just among ourselves? And before we do, let me state, I actually like Hillary – a lot – and I think she has been given a bad rap she doesn’t deserve. But her vote for the Iraq War made me promise her that I would never vote for her again. To date, I haven’t broken that promise. For the sake of preventing a proto-fascist from becoming our commander-in-chief, I’m breaking that promise. I sadly believe Clinton will find a way to get us in some kind of military action. She’s a hawk, to the right of Obama. But Trump’s psycho finger will be on The Button, and that is that. Done and done.

    Let’s face it: Our biggest problem here isn’t Trump – it’s Hillary. She is hugely unpopular — nearly 70% of all voters think she is untrustworthy and dishonest. She represents the old way of politics, not really believing in anything other than what can get you elected. That’s why she fights against gays getting married one moment, and the next she’s officiating a gay marriage. Young women are among her biggest detractors, which has to hurt considering it’s the sacrifices and the battles that Hillary and other women of her generation endured so that this younger generation would never have to be told by the Barbara Bushes of the world that they should just shut up and go bake some cookies. But the kids don’t like her, and not a day goes by that a millennial doesn’t tell me they aren’t voting for her. No Democrat, and certainly no independent, is waking up on November 8th excited to run out and vote for Hillary the way they did the day Obama became president or when Bernie was on the primary ballot. The enthusiasm just isn’t there. And because this election is going to come down to just one thing — who drags the most people out of the house and gets them to the polls — Trump right now is in the catbird seat.

  4. The Depressed Sanders Vote. Stop fretting about Bernie’s supporters not voting for Clinton – we’re voting for Clinton! The polls already show that more Sanders voters will vote for Hillary this year than the number of Hillary primary voters in ’08 who then voted for Obama. This is not the problem. The fire alarm that should be going off is that while the average Bernie backer will drag him/herself to the polls that day to somewhat reluctantly vote for Hillary, it will be what’s called a “depressed vote” – meaning the voter doesn’t bring five people to vote with her. He doesn’t volunteer 10 hours in the month leading up to the election. She never talks in an excited voice when asked why she’s voting for Hillary. A depressed voter. Because, when you’re young, you have zero tolerance for phonies and BS. Returning to the Clinton/Bush era for them is like suddenly having to pay for music, or using MySpace or carrying around one of those big-ass portable phones. They’re not going to vote for Trump; some will vote third party, but many will just stay home. Hillary Clinton is going to have to do something to give them a reason to support her  — and picking a moderate, bland-o, middle of the road old white guy as her running mate is not the kind of edgy move that tells millenials that their vote is important to Hillary. Having two women on the ticket – that was an exciting idea. But then Hillary got scared and has decided to play it safe. This is just one example of how she is killing the youth vote.

  5. The Jesse Ventura Effect. Finally, do not discount the electorate’s ability to be mischievous or underestimate how any millions fancy themselves as closet anarchists once they draw the curtain and are all alone in the voting booth. It’s one of the few places left in society where there are no security cameras, no listening devices, no spouses, no kids, no boss, no cops, there’s not even a friggin’ time limit. You can take as long as you need in there and no one can make you do anything. You can push the button and vote a straight party line, or you can write in Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck. There are no rules. And because of that, and the anger that so many have toward a broken political system, millions are going to vote for Trump not because they agree with him, not because they like his bigotry or ego, but just because they can. Just because it will upset the apple cart and make mommy and daddy mad. And in the same way like when you’re standing on the edge of Niagara Falls and your mind wonders for a moment what would that feel like to go over that thing, a lot of people are going to love being in the position of puppetmaster and plunking down for Trump just to see what that might look like. Remember back in the ‘90s when the people of Minnesota elected a professional wrestler as their governor? They didn’t do this because they’re stupid or thought that Jesse Ventura was some sort of statesman or political intellectual. They did so just because they could. Minnesota is one of the smartest states in the country. It is also filled with people who have a dark sense of humor — and voting for Ventura was their version of a good practical joke on a sick political system. This is going to happen again with Trump.

Coming back to the hotel after appearing on Bill Maher’s Republican Convention special this week on HBO, a man stopped me. “Mike,” he said, “we have to vote for Trump. We HAVE to shake things up.” That was it. That was enough for him. To “shake things up.” President Trump would indeed do just that, and a good chunk of the electorate would like to sit in the bleachers and watch that reality show.

(Next week I will post my thoughts on Trump’s Achilles Heel and how I think he can be beat.) your social media marketing partner


A note of caution regarding our comment sections:

For months a stream of media reports have warned of coordinated propaganda efforts targeting political websites based in the U.S., particularly in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

Adapt and overcome.

Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

+2 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2017-07-24 14:34
Michael -- I remember your letter very well and thought back then that you were probably right. The combination of Hillary's negatives, Sanders supporters not supporting Hillary, and Trump's juggernaut turned out to be the correct analysis.

Don't kick yourself because the leaders of the democratic party did not listen. They have not listened to anything that comes from the rank and file like you since at least the 1960s. They only listen to George Soros and the fun people in Hollywood.

You did not mention anything about the Russian intervening and throwing the election to Trump. I guess you were right on that, too. I did not happen. The 5 points you mentioned did happen, but Russiagate did not. It seems you were smarter then than you are now.
+13 # librarian1984 2017-07-24 19:27
Democrats: A Better Deal

Today Tucker Carlson covered the launch by Schumer and Pelosi of a 'bold' Democrat economic message.

Carlson said it's a message that might actually work to attract working class votes .. but then he showed a montage of Dem pols and pundits on tv today. None of them were talking about these issues. It was still about Russia and impeachment.

He does seem to bring on Democrats, which is interesting. Today he talked to a RI congressman who did talk about wages, healthcare, jobs, childcare, rebuilding the middle class. Those are the right words.

Charles Krauthammer said the DP have been resting on their FDR legacy, that they used to be 'the party of ideas' but are no longer. He said the only people with real ideas is the left, the Bernie Sanders people. "That's an argument that's got comprehensivene ss to it. 'We want to go the way of western Europe.' That may not be the greatest society on earth but that's their ideal ... That won't work here because we value liberty more than equality."

Carlson said the party of the rich and poor cannot be the middle class party. That's an interesting observation.


Schumer in WaPo: "When you lose to someone who's got 40% popularity, you don't blame other things -- Comey, Russia -- you blame yourself. What did WE do wrong? People didn't know what we stood for, just that we are against Trump. And still believe that."
+14 # 2017-07-24 22:42
michael has done great work but this piece TOTALLY misses the reality is that clinton, however terrible she was, WON the popular vote count by 2.9 million votes.

trump is president* because of massive disenfranchisem ent and the flipping of electronic vote count.

please now direct your attention to hand-counted paper ballots and universal paper-based voter registration rolls.
+10 # Kauai John 2017-07-26 00:46
but this piece TOTALLY misses the reality.

Michael said "Trump Wins". Trump won. Michael was right on.

Your point about Clinton winning the popular vote is moot. Gore won the popular vote so?

OTOH, yes hand counted paper ballots and an end to Interstate Crosscheck and Gerrymandering. But, in 20 years have the Democrats done anything about those issues? Nope. In fact, they actually want to downplay the problems with electronic voting machines because they don't want to discourage people from voting! How stupid is that?
+3 # jimbeama 2017-07-27 11:12
But, in 20 years have the Democrats done anything about those issues? Nope. In fact, they actually want to downplay the problems with electronic voting machines because they don't want to discourage people from voting! How stupid is that?

I't incredibly stupid. Thing is the people know. We are talking about it right her and now. The Democratic party leadership somehow believes if they don't mention it we won't know. Stupid and short sighted.
+4 # Jayceecool 2017-07-24 23:28
Like Michael Moore, I saw the inevitable result of the rampant political dysfunction and corruption that plagues this country. Unlike Mr Moore, however, I can see that the average American voter has little respect for his own responsibility to our political legacy. And that applies to both Hillary and Trump voters...
+5 # Kauai John 2017-07-26 00:56
Quoting Jayceecool:
I can see that the average American voter has little respect for his own responsibility to our political legacy.

45% of registered voters did not vote. Being one of them, I chalk that up to voting for "none of the above", something people have been clamoring about for decades.

When it is obvious the system is so corrupt it is much like being asked which toe you want to have shot off, why should voters choose the lesser of two evils?

Getting paid $400,000 (as Obama did) for one hour of work, an amount 10 people living on Kauai would be lucky to make in a year, kind of indicates you don't give a damn about the "rest of us".

It isn't like the Democrats weren't warned. Look at what happened to Susan Sarandon on Chris Hayes program. Look at the venom the Daily Kos spit out toward those who did not support Clinton. If the Democrats want my vote, address my issues.

Are they now? Nope, they're calling for a "Summer of Resistance". The same stupid "I'm not Trump" campaign that caused Clinton to lose. "The Russians did it, the Russians did it!" What crap.
+21 # Hey There 2017-07-24 23:37
If Sanders ran and wasn't pushed out from doing so the democrats would have had a better chance of defeating Trump.
The trouble with Hillary and Democrats like her is that they are promoting the same agenda to enrich the super rich at the expense of the rest of the population.
Check out welfare reform, privatization of prisons, contracting out jobs formerly held by government employees, trade agreements made and it's discouraging to vote for more of the same which is evident by the inequality that continues to grow.
+11 # PABLO DIABLO 2017-07-24 23:41
Well, at least Trump ended complacency.
This lesser of two evils bullshit is finally over.
If they can make "smart bombs", why can't they make "smart politicians"?
+5 # Kauai John 2017-07-26 01:00

This lesser of two evils bullshit is finally over.

Wanna bet?
+26 # futhark 2017-07-25 01:51
I have previously identified the Trump voters as the students who sat on the fringes of their high school class meetings, alienated by the lack of any process that would allow them to express their concerns on issues that were real to them, while the Hillary Clinton types were up in front running the meetings with factions debating the class homecoming theme colors: "Orange, pink, or green?" I was one of those kids and in my subsequent career as a secondary school educator was always depressed by the lack of any curriculum concerning HOW to run a public meeting and how to behave in one.

World's greatest democracy? Not as long as elites are allowed to set agendas for public policy in private and contrive to exclude "undesirables" from any voice in the process. Civics classes teaching how a bill becomes a law are NOT sufficient for educating citizens to participate in the democratic process. As Michael Moore points out, for Trump supporters it was sufficient that their guy was coming from outside the system and was pledging to bulldoze it or do end runs around it.

Ms. Clinton did not do herself any good in the eyes of many voters by allying herself publicly with Wall Street types in her never ending quest for campaign funding or having her machine operating covertly against Mr. Sanders to secure the nomination. A "smarter balance" curriculum has to teach students how to engage effectively in community political life. Say NO to elitism.
0 # davehaze 2017-07-25 02:37
True then after Trump's pussy scandle Mike declared that Hillary would win.
+1 # Diane_Wilkinson_Trefethen_aka_tref 2017-07-25 11:09
Quoting davehaze:
True then after Trump's pussy scandle Mike declared that Hillary would win.
Citation please.
+10 # Trumpistheswamp 2017-07-25 06:21
Heck of a job Hillary, DNC, DWS! Thanks for thwarting the will of the people, screwing beloved Bernie, and giving us Trump. Corporacrats, you missed your wake up call. Cmon Mike, Garrison, Bernie, come to the Green Party! IT'S TIME!!!
+13 # EternalTruth 2017-07-25 07:06

Did I miss something? Someone please tell me there's more to this than Michael Moore saying "I told you so."
+8 # Observer 47 2017-07-25 08:56
Uh, nope! "I told you so," is all there is here. No ideas for a workable way forward.
+5 # librarian1984 2017-07-25 10:25
Chris Hedges and Lee Fang at the Intercept have been doing some great reporting. Why do we get this drek from Michael Moore and Dan Rather instead -- and why did we just go over 24 hours with no comment updates?
+5 # Observer 47 2017-07-25 08:53
Yeah, Mike, you predicted Trump's win. But you ALSO supported Hillary instead of Bernie. So you were HUA 50% of the time.
+7 # lfeuille 2017-07-25 19:15
Not true. He support Bernie until he pulled out. He supported Hillary after Bernie quit, not instead of.
+1 # elizabethblock 2017-07-25 09:07
+6 # librarian1984 2017-07-25 12:42
Here is a chilling article about the problem with having a for-profit healthcare system:

Many of the organizations and institutions that should be guiding us toward health and protecting us are actually sponsored by the companies they should watch dog, and they promote the very products that lead to obesity, diabetes, etc.

And then Big Pharma makes sure there's a pill (or 8) you take for THAT.

And this predates Trump by decades.
+5 # librarian1984 2017-07-25 12:53
Here is an interesting, and sobering, article by Chris Hedges:

It's about Trump and Christian fascists, or Dominionists, 80% of whom voted for Trump. As Hedges reports, it seems strange to most of us that Christians would vote for misogynist, racist Trump -- but that is the same profile that attaches to many Christian leaders.
+4 # futhark 2017-07-25 20:15
The takeaway from Michael Moore's remarks is that the Democratic Party WILL NOT succeed in gaining control of the Congress, White House, Supreme Court, state legislatures, or state governors until it disavows elitism and displays an openness to communicate with the common people, listen to their concerns, and formulate policy that will serve their interests. No more candidates hobnobbing nonstop with wealthy potential donors, no more candidates with secret strategies for undercutting fellow Democrats. A clean break would be most refreshing. The Trump Republican agenda is so toxic on just about every issue that it hardly seems possible to fail to gain support with voters by consistently opposing it and putting forward workable solutions to counter each of Trump's heinous proposals.
+1 # hlb 2017-07-25 21:24
Hillary won by 3 million votes.In spite of an FBI intervention/ coup. And now obvious collusion. No one should be claiming that they know what might have happened without this right-wing interference. She might have won by 6 mill. AND we don't know what would have happened in the electoral vote. Comey's motives are now moot. But the treasonous criminal collusion should make this election illegitimate: no appointment to the Court, no cabinet appt., no executive order, no law signed should be valid. That's what Republicans complicit in their silence and Trump fear the most. Michael Moore needs to stop boasting about results that no one can be certain of. She won. And his presidency is not legitimate. That's the message that needs to be hammered home. That's the only way to stop the racism, fascism and lies. Supporting the "rust-belt" theory is just what conservatives want to hear most.
+2 # JCM 2017-07-26 13:08
Will you all just wake up! The results of this election was due to the republican crosschecking voter purging system, disenfranchisem ent and gerrymandering. Not what Hillary did or didn't do or what the DNC did or didn't do. Get it in your head we lost because they cheated and we won't win unless we can stop it. And from my little corner of earth I have no idea how.
+5 # dusty 2017-07-26 14:07
Michael forgot to mention that Hillary Clinton referred to Trump supporters as "deplorables", that had to be one of the most incoherent, senseless, and self destructive comments ever made by a candidate during the election.

THE NEW STREAMLINED RSN LOGIN PROCESS: Register once, then login and you are ready to comment. All you need is a Username and a Password of your choosing and you are free to comment whenever you like! Welcome to the Reader Supported News community.