Dude, Where's My Country?
by Michael Moore (Warner Books)
(This column first appeared in the February 26, 2004 issue of ArtVoice of Buffalo.)
With excellent insight Michael Moore points out in this book the central problem of contemporary politics: a great many Americans vote against their own best interests. In what I consider this book's finest chapter, "Horatio Alger Must Die", he addresses this problem head-on. Most of us in the middle class are strivers, he tells us, and we allow ourselves to be convinced that we too might someday happily join the contemporary class of greed-ridden rich. And so we little guys played the stock market - with our own personal broker, just like the rich crowd - but with about the same chance of making it to wealth that we have in our local casinos. Yes, Moore is castigated by the right for what seems at first to be his over-the-top rhetoric and it is easy to see how they do this. For example, he proposes Oprah as a presidential candidate. Is he joking? But think about it: you need only compare her with two Republicans foisted on this country by the right: Ronald Reagan and Arnold Schwartzenegger. In contrast to them Oprah is a very bright woman. She also has a following greater than the other two put together. I won't hold my breath waiting for her to run, but I find myself intrigued by the idea. Even if you don't buy into any of Moore's proposals, read this book for the well-deserved body blows he delivers to the Bush administration.