Probably for the first time in his life, director Michael Moore was hesitant to discuss politics. I asked the always opinionated Michael Moore whom would he be voting for in the next presidential election during the question and answer period after the screening of his new film, Where to Invade Next at the Philadelphia Film Festival. At first, the lefty filmmaker tried to deflect but then he answered.
"Obviously, Bernie Sanders politics are pretty closely aligned with mine," said Moore. "I was surprised that he had voted against gun control as many times as he had. I did not know that. That is an issue that is really important to me. I am still kind of wrapping my head around it. The night he said that I was so... all I could tweet out on Twitter was "Deer in Vermont, discuss."
Moore's reaction to Sander's pro-gun stance is understandable considering he is the Academy Award-winning director of Bowling for Columbine, which takes on the NRA (National Rifle Association) and gun manufacturer. During the film, he asks actor Charlton Heston, who was president of the NRA, if he would apologize for leading NRA rallies in Flint, Michigan after the shooting death of a six-year-old girl. Heston refused to answer and walked out of the interview.
Warning: Spoiler alert ahead. Moore hopscotches across Europe and Northern Africa looking for the most effective solutions to society's problems. In Iceland, he contrasts Iceland's testosterone driven financial crisis with an interview with Vigdis Finnbogadottir, the first woman elected president either in Iceland or the rest of Europe. He proposes bringing back to America the meme of electing female political leaders. This is why his misogynistic response to Hillary Clinton's candidacy was so striking and may explain why women still have not broken the ultimate glass ceiling.
He said, "Hillary, we all know, messed up with the Iraq war. She said she is sorry and you have to be somewhat forgiving. Her politics are really good on a lot of other levels. It is time that we elected a woman in this country. It's not like we would be electing Margaret Thatcher."
Margaret Thatcher? Sadly, even to a liberal standard bearer, such as Moore, there are only two kinds of acceptable women: Margaret Thatcher aka the Iron Lady or Sofia Vergara. He is also not ready to forgive Clinton for underestimating Obama in 2008.
He said, "I think she is making the mistake she made in '08. I think they are probably all knocking back a couple of glasses of wine at the end of the day at Hillary's campaign headquarters laughing about that socialist, the crazy old guy, the unkempt hatter. How America will never vote for that. You could probably just replace the people but the same conversation was taking place in '08."
To be fair, Moore does criticize male politicians but in a less personal way. He mocked Trump's run for office as "incredible performance art." He excoriated Obama's decision to send 50 special forces troops to Syria comparing it to how Vietnam started.
He ranted, "We have no business sending our troops to any country. The fact that there are literally millions of refugees is because we unraveled the fabric of the Middle East. We created this situation by destroying the infrastructure, politically, economically, and religiously. We need to go to the time out room and stay there for a few years until we learn how to behave. We are no help when we send in the troops. It's not fair to the troops. Those troops, which are part of a volunteer army, signed up to defend us in case our lives were threatened. My life isn't being threatened by what is going on in Syria. I feel horrible for what is going on in Syria. As an American, I feel partially responsible. All we should do now, in terms of our responsibility, when it is all sorted out."