Michael Moore’s speech

· conventionology

Dave Johnson from Seeing the Forest points to this transcript of Michael Moore’s speech from Tuesday: AlterNet: Election 2004: Michael Moore’s Speech in Cambridge, Mass..
I was culling through my notes from that day, so here are some of the highlights, based on my own transcription.
To the press:

We need you to do your job. Ask the questions. Demand evidence. Don’t ever let them send us to war again without demanding evidence.

To the crowd of progressives (after mentioning how cowed everyone had been, how every protestation about the war had had to be accompanied by a mealy-mouthed disclaimer saying “I support the troops”

Of course you support the troops. You’ve always supported the troops. You’ve always been on their side.

To the press again:

You haven’t just been “embedded.” You’ve been “in bed with” … the wrong people.

On political polling that focuses on “likely voters”:

It’s cool to talk about politics now. It’s uncool to be apathetic. If you talked about politics [before] you were seen as kind of strange and wonky but that’s no longer the case, which is why Jon Stewart is so popular. That’s the big story the media has missed. There has been this big shift in the country.

On Dale Earnhardt taking his crew to see F9/11 and recommending that “all Americans” should see it:

I fell off the couch! Then I said a little prayer for George W. Bush. I said “Omigod, I hope he’s not watching this right now and eating pretzels.”

On the contradictions of capitalism:

[F9/11] made more money than any Disney film this year… will make at least a quarter billion dollars around the world by the time it’s done. This incredible [aspect[ of capitalism that has always worked in my favor… The rich man will sell you the rope to hang him with.

A Canadian journalist told me (Thank God for the Canadians. They’re just like us, only better. They’re sort of like the Red Sox, you know. Their time will come. They like us, they really do, you know, the Canadians. They like us, they just wish we’d read a little more) that the Saudi royals own [17%?] of Euro-Disney. [They wrote] a $300,000,000,000 bailout check to Eisner, brokered by … the Carlyle Group. My film was already done but i was like “can it get any worse? are they everywhere?”

On progressives not getting lazy or being prematurely triumphant about winning this election:

The other side, the unelected side who occupy our White House, they are not going to go peacefully. They like being in charge with no mandate. They actually believed they could take us to war with no mandate from the people, and they knew that they had to lie to the people [about the implied Saddam/911 connection to do it].
They are better fighters than we are. You have to give it up for them They get up at six in the morning to figure out which minority group they’re going to screw today. That’s the hate that they eat for breakfast.
Our side, we never see six in the morning… unless we’ve been up all night.

On Kerry’s position on the war:

Reporters have been asking me while i’ve been at the convention, “How do you square the fact that John Kerry voted for the war.
My answer is similar to the answer I gave to a soldier who stopped me on the street, [who told me], “I was on a ship [near] Iraq the night of the Oscars and we watched you give your speech and we booed along with the audience. i was very angry with you about what you said that night, but now that I’ve served my tour in Iraq [I see that] what you said was the truth. We were sent to war under false pretenses. I want to apologize to you for booing.”
I told him, “You owe me no apology. it is we, the American people, who need to apologize to you, for sending you into harm’s way based on a lie.
I apologize to you.
Your only crime is you believed your president. Why would you apologize for believing your commander-in-chief. You’re supposed to be able to believe in your commander-in-chief….
What we left with if you can’t believe anything that’s being said by the man that sits in the White House?
Kerry did what 70-80% of Americans did. He believed.

On the anti-war learning curve:

We’re getting better at this. During Vietnam it took years. This time, it only took months!

On good Republicans:

I get mail from Republicans. I love these letters. There are good Republicans…. They just don’t want to spend their hard earned money. [We need to tell them that]
Bush took it from them… and their children… He’s the anti-conservative. He doesn’t really believe in conservative values.

On the tactic of attacking Ralph Nader:

This is so wrong, and so misguided and so uncool to do this. [Don’t spend time] attacking Ralph Nader. Give those thinking of voting for Ralph Nader a reason to vote for John Kerry.