“You have to protect the population from [Trump] like you do with a pedophile.”
Earlier this week, veteran documentarian Michael Moore delivered his own October Surprise. The Oscar-winning filmmaker and legendary muckraker suddenly unveiled the release of a previously unannounced project: Michael Moore in TrumpLand, a new film culled from two one-man shows the director performed earlier this month in the predominantly Republican town of Wilmington, Ohio. Shot, edited and released in less than two weeks, the movie largely avoids haranguing the Republican presidential nominee, with Moore devoting most of the film to Clinton’s virtues alongside polemics about the decline of the “angry white male” and need for increased gun control regulations.
Despite polls predicting Clinton to win the presidency by a large margin, Moore is far from confident. “I live beyond the wall where the White Walkers are,” he tells Rolling Stone. “I could just tell on the streets that there’s no enthusiasm [for her] whatsoever.” In his first interview since the release of TrumpLand, Moore explains why he doesn’t trust any polls, why society should treat Trump like a pedophile and how this election is nothing short of a referendum on white privilege itself.
You released this film without any warning or announcement. How did the element of surprise play into your reasons for making the film?
It’s better that I’m quiet when I’m working because there are many forces who are standing by to try and thwart my every move. [Laughs]I also just think it’s better to work that way. I don’t subscribe much to the machine even though I work within this industry. I don’t set my clock by Access Hollywood. It seems better to just focus on my work and do the best job I can.
The other part of it is that I wasn’t really going to do anything until after the Democratic convention and throughout August. As Hillary came off a great convention and Trump was imploding with one insane thing after another, I noticed supporters of Hillary Clinton doing an end-zone dance on the 50-yard line. We were two to three months away from the election and everyone’s thinking, “We’re safe now. It’s over.” Trump’s done himself in and Hillary is doing great at the debates and everyone relaxes and starts to feel relief. I started to feel like those people were contributing to Trump’s potential election. And this wasn’t the time to relax. This was the time to double and triple up in terms of what needed to be done. I didn’t see that happening.
You talk in the film about how the sentiment is more about voting against Trump than for Clinton. Is that why much of the movie focuses on your support for her versus dislike of Trump?
Yeah, a lot of it became a negative: “I need to stop Trump.” That’s a dangerous way to have your candidate win, when you’re not asking people to vote for her because of her. They’re expecting her to win because of people’s fear of him. And one thing that I think we’ve learned in this post-9/11 world is that politicians manipulating the public with fear is never a good thing. Even if it’s being done on our side, I don’t think it’s a good thing.
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