Michael Moore says the 'Occupiers' believe capitalism is broken and government only serves the interests of Wall Street. Anderson Cooper spoke with him about the future of the movement and the ultimate goal.
Reporter's Note: I write to the White House every day, like an insane trick or treater who just won’t go away.
Dear Mr. President,
So I understand that a good number of environmentally minded folks are demanding that you refuse the right for a new oil pipeline to be built from Canada to Texas. You can’t blame them. After all, this is the kind of issue that is custom made for their movement.
On the other hand, I am curious to see what you do about it.
In a practical sense, the decision should be easy enough. You consult with the best experts, see if it poses an unreasonable risk, then lower the boom. Of course, that decision is complicated by your calls…and those of many others…for us to move toward more energy independence. But still, it is basically a straightforward process.
In a political sense, however, this decision is much more complicated. You’ve said over and over that you favor green energy, so flying in the face of green energy voters is touchy. Then again, you DC types have always been good at counting, and I’ll bet my house right now that your strategists are asking two questions. 1) How many people will be upset if you let this go through, versus how many will be upset if you block it? And 2) Will those who are angry really hurt you in the long run anyway?
I’ve often thought that the environmental movement long ago neutered itself politically by climbing into bed so exclusively with the Democrats. All that does is tell you Dems that you really don’t have to do anything they want, because after all, they’ll vote for you anyway. And conversely, it tells the Republicans to ignore their issues, for…well, for the same reason…the green crowd is going to vote Democratic. Period.
If those who want your attention on this issue really want some clout, they would not waste time issuing potentially empty threats to you, but rather they would get serious about striking some kind of deal with Republicans.
Do they really want such a deal? Probably not, and it might be impossible anyway. But if they did that, I can almost bet they’d get more attention when they knocked on the White House door.
Hope your Friday is going well. Call if you can. Did you see the weather forecast? Potential snow on Saturday. Wow! Talk about a trick and a treat!
Last night on AC360°, Peter Schiff , CEO of the brokerage firm Euro Pacific Capital, and Princeton University Professor Cornel West had a spirited discussion about the Occupy Wall Street movement, and the wealth gap in the U.S. Tonight at 8 p.m. ET, we’ll continue the discussion when Michael Moore joins the program from the "Occupy Oakland" protests. He’s been an outspoken defender of the demonstrations. Read an excerpt from his latest blog and tell us if you agree with him. What questions do you have for Moore?
I do very well - and for a documentary filmmaker, I do extremely well. That, too, drives conservatives bonkers. "You're rich because of capitalism!" they scream at me. Um, no. Didn't you take Econ 101? Capitalism is a system, a pyramid scheme of sorts, that exploits the vast majority so that the few at the top can enrich themselves more. I make my money the old school, honest way by making things. Some years I earn a boatload of cash. Other years, like last year, I don't have a job (no movie, no book) and so I make a lot less. "How can you claim to be for the poor when you are the opposite of poor?!" It's like asking: "You've never had sex with another man - how can you be for gay marriage?!" I guess the same way that an all-male Congress voted to give women the vote, or scores of white people marched with Martin Luther Ling, Jr. (I can hear these righties yelling back through history: "Hey! You're not black! You're not being lynched! Why are you with the blacks?!"). It is precisely this disconnect that prevents Republicans from understanding why anyone would give of their time or money to help out those less fortunate. It is simply something their brain cannot process. "Kanye West makes millions! What's he doing at Occupy Wall Street?!" Exactly - he's down there demanding that his taxes be raised. That, to a right-winger, is the definition of insanity. To everyone else, we are grateful that people like him stand up, even if and especially because it is against his own personal financial interest. It is specifically what that Bible those conservatives wave around demands of those who are well off.
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