Who Am I to Say the Republicans Will Be Defeated?
Over the past two weeks, I’ve given you 13 reasons why we, the people, are going to give Republicans the drubbing of their lives in the November midterm election. And I’ve got 31 more reasons to give you each day until November 8th — which is just FOUR WEEKS from Tuesday— as to why the pundits and the political hacks want you to believe the Democrats are going to lose. They want you demoralized, depressed, and fearful of The Return of Trump.
My job is to tell you the Truth. Let’s start with who I am, because you have a right to know who is telling you not only how we are going to win, but that we are, in fact, going to win big this November 8th.
Who am I to say this when I have nothing more than a high school education to back it up? That, and 50+ years of criss-crossing this great, flawed country listening to its people, learning from them, witnessing the crimes committed against them by the rich and powerful of this nation. I’ve written about it and I’ve filmed the effects that this economic system known as predatory capitalism has had on the poor and working poor and the middle class — people who were promised an American Dream, but instead were given the nightmare of living paycheck to paycheck (the majority of citizens never having more than $500 in the bank on any given day), or once again being deemed second-class citizens by the Supreme Court (women).
A country where, according to a 2021 report by Duke University:
“The typical Black household’s wealth is $24,100; but for White households, it is $188,200. This translates into the typical Black household holding about 12 cents for every dollar of wealth held by the typical White family– a disparity that has remained largely unchanged [for over 30 years].”
A country where the #1 cause of home foreclosures and bankruptcy is medical debt (and how sick is it that this is the only Western Democracy where a sentence like that can be written?). Last year, not a single family in Canada, the UK, France, Germany, Japan, Australia, Italy, Spain, Argentina, Uruguay, Morocco, Tunisia, Turkey, Estonia, Slovenia, Vietnam — do I have to name every country on this list from the UN where no one is thrown out of their home because they can’t pay a doctor or hospital bill? Nowhere in the developed world. No place. Except US.
Who am I? I am not a Democrat. I belong to no Party. I was born in Flint, Michigan. I was raised in the working class, my father was an assembly line worker at General Motors and my mother a secretary and clerk. My uncle was in the Great Flint Sit Down Strike of 1936-37 that founded the United Auto Workers union. Another uncle was killed in the South Pacific in WWII. My father, also in the South Pacific as a Marine private in that war, cast his first ballot ever as a 23-year-old for FDR during the Battle of Peleliu in 1944. My mother — remember, the “secretary” — was the valedictorian of her high school class. Her employment opportunities, no matter how smart she was, were severely limited because she possessed two ovaries which, it was understood in those days, would not help her if she wanted to invent the electric typewriter or find a cure for the common flu. Like all women in the prequel to The Handmaid’s Tale (otherwise known as the 1950s), she was expected to have babies by the time she was 20. She held out until she was 33(!) — what courage! I would’ve loved to have known her then.
I do know from our very observant and smart older cousins she was thoroughly thrilled to have me and my two sisters. The three of us were the smallest family at our Catholic school. Our mother had already taught each of us to read when we turned 4.
At the end of 9th grade, the head priest at the Catholic seminary school I attended asked that I not return the following year. “You ask too many questions,” he said to me.“We (the Catholic Church) are an institution of answers, not questions.”
My eighth great-grandfather on my mother’s side was a Scottish rebel captured by Oliver Cromwell’s forces and shipped in chains with 300 other POWs to the Massachusetts colony in 1651 to work as forced laborers, just 30 years after the Mayflower landed. My 4th great-grandfather was a Minuteman hero in the Revolutionary War. My third great-grandfather on my father’s side was a Quaker war resister who was convicted for refusing to be drafted into the War of 1812. My fourth cousin twice-removed was the President of the United States, Herbert Hoover.
Just weeks after turning 18, I became (with a few scattered others) the youngest elected official in the history of the country. I founded a newspaper called The Flint Voice. The police raided us, seized our printing plates off the presses while they were literally printing that week’s edition. And that brought the national media in, made our little paper famous, and a year later President Carter signed a bill that Congress passed after the police raids on my paper and on a Boise TV station. The new law prohibited, nationwide, any police from raiding, searching or doing any seizing at a newspaper office or an electronic media outlet.
I went on to write 8 books which have been translated into over 30 languages around the world. I’ve made a dozen-plus movies and have been handed an Oscar, an Emmy, a French Oscar, the San Diego Film Critics prize AND the Oklahoma Film Critics Award. I was presented with The John Steinbeck Prize by the Steinbeck Library. I have been banned from speaking, at various times, from George Mason University, the University of Miami, and Cal State-San Marcos, amongst many others. I’ve been given an honorary doctorate degree from Michigan State University, but my high school in Michigan banned me from speaking there after graduation in 1973 and I’ve not been let back in there since. Though I would come now, if invited, and fed.
I’ve survived six attempts on my life, not counting Matt Lauer trashing me on the Today Show on the morning of my only divorce.
In 1993, the French government made my first film, “Roger & Me”, part of their national school curriculum in which all 12 to 14-year-olds would watch my film in their intro to economics class. Here in the US, the ratings board slapped an “R” rating on the same movie (as they have for all but two of my films), meaning no one under the age of 18 could see my films without a parent or guardian. Numerous schools forbade teachers from showing it in class. And while the French, British, Canadians and three dozen other countries have shown my movies on their main “free” networks (i.e., the BBC, CBC, France 1, etc), “Roger & Me” is the only one of all my movies that has been shown in my own country on one of our five “free” national networks (ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS and FOX). That was just one screening of one movie in all these 33 years — on PBS, in 1992.
So who am I to tell you to believe that better days are ahead? That we will own Roevember? I don’t have a crystal ball. But I listen. I learn. I participate. I know who my fellow Americans are and I know the loudest and most hateful ones are not the majority. We are. I’m not a cynic. If I were, I couldn’t have written those last two sentences. All I ask is that you not give in to the cynicism. You have a right to be angry and to feel the utter despair over what has become of us. How often we’ve been let down — betrayed — especially by Democrats. How those with the big bucks control what seems like every friggin’ aspect of our lives.
But they also know how we intend to one day rule over them and make them pay for their crimes against us and this planet because we intend to live and enjoy that pursuit of happiness we were promised. They know that day is coming — that’s how smart they actually are. And they know it’s not a matter of “if” but when — when we will finally have our nonviolent hands around their corporate/military/greedy “throats“ and we won’t let go until the chains are cut and we are free, starting with women, the descendants of enslaved humans, and the people whose land our ancestors stole.
So that’s who I am.
Who are you?
I’d love for us all to get to know each other in line on the early voting days this month or on November 8th itself. Don’t miss out on this! It’s gonna be the biggest cold weather party we’ve ever attended.
After all, it’s not every day you get to save your own country.
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You are a true American hero. I love you and wish everyone understood you. I am 78 years young and you (and Dave Chappelle) are the only one(s) I trust any more, aside from my family. Keep on asking too many questions. ❤️❤️❤️
Michael, thank you for being such an inspiration….I’m 75 and have seen so many changes in our government and thus, America. It has been a depressing time, so I am very grateful for your calm and wise insight. Roevember will be an exciting time….take care and I look forward to reading more of your thoughts.