One month ago today, on August 17th, you warmly welcomed me back into your inboxes (“A Letter Is Launched”). Twenty-eight years ago I began writing and sending a free email newsletter to anyone who wanted to receive it. I referred to it as “Letters to My Friends.” Nearly one million people subscribed to it. Then social media came along and I began using that as my vehicle to reach what became nearly ten million followers.
But then the pandemic hit, the lockdown began, and I missed sending you the occasional letter with my thoughts, politics, humor, and calls to action. I decided it was time to go back to this personal connection to you.
Using the new platform called Substack, I’ve been able in this first month to share with you my gonzo history of fighting censorship (“Why I Fight And Write”), and remember some people I’ve loved and admired who are no longer with us (Ed Asner, Bobby Kennedy and my dad). And someone whom I did not admire but who was enabled by our misguided leadership and the military-industrial complex (“In The End, Bin Laden Won”).
We’ve published six podcasts, and are in the midst of publishing my series of letters I originally sent to you twenty years ago in the days and nights after 9/11 during my long road-trip from California to New York. And last Friday night, we gathered together to watch Fahrenheit 9/11 with a gazillion people from around the world.
Most importantly, we are building (or re-building) a community — a political force that cannot be stopped and will succeed.
As I was re-reading my 9/11 letters to you from 20 years ago, what stuck out to me was how lonely and in the wilderness I felt like my voice and our voices were. It was not a popular or welcome opinion to say that we should not go to war. Or that there would be no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
For that matter — it was not popular of me, more than a decade before that to warn my hometown that General Motors was on the road to collapse despite its record profits, and that it would bring us all down with it.
It was scary to take on the almighty National Rifle Association back when both Democrats and Republicans would cower to their demands.
Speaking of being in the wilderness, it was a massive uphill climb to put healthcare back on the national agenda, and make free, single-payer, universal health care our top demand.
And speaking of being booed - it was neither popular nor enjoyable to have to be the one to warn that we needed to take *him* seriously and that he was on track to win the electoral college by winning Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Ohio.
But something has changed.
In the midst of a global pandemic (during which breathing could get us killed) the Black Lives Matter demonstrations turned into the largest political movement in U.S. history. Just 3 years earlier, the students from Parkland organized the largest single-day political rally in U.S. history. And this was on the heels of the Women’s March on January 21st, 2017, which at the time, was the largest political gathering in American history. And I write you these words on the 10-year anniversary of Occupy Wall Street which helped change the county’s political language and helped us imagine a new world.
Last November, more than 81 million of us banded together to throw the previous occupant of the White House out — the largest voter turnout in U.S. history.
You, me, and everyone on this list are turning our country around. We are a political and cultural force and we are winning.
So before the month ends, I simply want to say a heartfelt thank you to all of you.
Thanks to the hundreds of thousands of you who have been on this email list for many years. And welcome aboard to those of you who have joined this free email list in the last few weeks.
I especially want to thank the thousands of you who have become paid members.
And I’d like to encourage those of you who have not become paid members to — if you can afford it — consider becoming a paid member.
While everyone on this email list will always receive all of my writings and podcasts for free, paid members (for as little as $5 per month) will allow us to do more work and better work, and allow us to do more special events like the free Fahrenheit 9/11 screening we held last week.
And as a special thank you to paid members, you will also be able to:
Join me for regular, live video Q&A sessions where we can talk together and you can ask me anything
Join me for future “Mike’s Movie Night” film screenings where we will watch movies together and discuss them afterwards
Get sneak peeks of my upcoming film, TV or book projects
Participate in a troll-free comments section
We still have so much work to do. While we have won the mass American public over to our side, the hard part is now enacting these changes that we’ve been demanding by overcoming the entrenched interests of the political, military, financial and media power structures.
It sounds daunting. But when we’ve already done the hard work of bringing the masses to our side, and taking our lonely positions and turning them into common sense that the majority of our fellow Americans believe in, it means we are on the right track. And we must keep moving forward.
I’d love for you to join me.
Join Me On Facebook Live Tonight at 9pm ET
I’ll be going live on Facebook at 9pm ET tonight. Join me there: