Our great buddy Mike is angry. For the past twenty years, Michael Moore, our everyday hero, has worked hard for us. He's documented sadistic acts against us by industry and government. He's exposed case after case of devious schemes that robbed us of our homes and our jobs, sent our children to war, and sacrificed our health. He's given us irrefutable proof that our leaders lied us to war, our insurers denied us care, and our lenders deceived us into hopelessness and destitution.
Mike's been our teacher, our ally and our devoted friend. Few people in recent memory have worked harder to inform us - ALL OF US - of the inhumanity and greed that are decaying our nation, which we perpetuate through apathy and inertia.
It is our apathy and inertia that frustrate our pal Mike. No matter how much he tries to revive us, we still don't seem to revive. We continue the same behavior that leads to our demise. We elect socio-sadist politicians who finance themselves off our sorrow. We enrich socio-sadist bankers who leave us homeless and in debt. We toil for socio-sadist employers who terminate our jobs. Despite all we've learned from Sicko, Fahrenheit 9/11 and Roger and Me, we continue to take this abuse.
The punches keep landing. The socio-sadists score blow after blow. POW! Another foreclosure. POW! Another job gone. Again and again we're down for the count. Politicians retain office, corporations turn profits, and we sell our blood to get by. We're perpetual victims. No wonder Mike's so angry that at the end of his new movie he challenges us to act.
Our pal Mike, who's never asked a thing from us, is now asking us to act - and act fast. At the end of Capitalism: A Love Story, which I saw on September 25th, Mike issues this challenge to his audience:
You know, I can't really do this anymore - unless those of you who are watching this in the theater want to join me. I hope you will. And please, speed it up."
Mike's right. He can't solve our problems on his own. He can't create a movement all alone. He's given us the truth for twenty years. He's exposed the thieves, liars and sadists we elected to office. He's shown us the thieves, liars and sadists who run the corporations that foreclose on our homes and refuse us medical treatment. Mike's shown us the enemy. If there's to be a movement to rescue our economy, to restore our humanity, and close the gap between rich and poor, WE-THE-PEOPLE have to do it. Mike's done his part. It's time that we do ours.
But what is Mike's challenge?
Here's his response to that question when asked by Chris Matthews on Hardball on MSNBC:
I want them [the American people] to start pressuring our Congress people to get the money out of Congress. We need publicly financed elections and we need the people deciding how this democracy is run.
Pushing our Congress to pass legislation for campaign finance reform is a move toward freeing legislators from entanglements with big money interests who finance their campaigns - and to whom they presume allegiance.
We can do this. We can step up to Mike's challenge. Right now in the House and Senate there is key campaign finance legislation called the Fair Elections Now Act (FENA - S. 752 in the Senate and H.R. 1826 in the House).
FENA was introduced in the Senate by Senators Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Arlen Specter (D-Pa.), and in the House by Representatives John Larson (D-Conn.) and Walter Jones, Jr. (R-N.C.). If passed, this bill allows federal candidates to run for office without relying on large contributions, big money bundlers, and donations from lobbyists. Candidates will be free from constant fundraising to focus on constituent needs.
I've called my Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer, and my Congressman Henry Waxman, to ask their support for FENA. If you visit Change Congress, you can do the same.
We live in a participatory democracy that requires participation beyond voting. As Mike tells CNN's Anderson Cooper (in the video below), Americans can't vote every two and four years, then walk away and expect our democracy will just fall in line: