I was thinking about my recent post on Michael Moore.
He grates on people (you may have noticed). That's part of his style. But it's a mistake to dismiss everything he says because of that.
And maybe that's an easy mistake to make, because of the way he sometimes presents himself. J.J. Daley refers to him as the Rush Limbaugh of the left. Which left me wondering a number of things.
Do I ignore Rush because of his presentation?
I guess it's no surprise that I'm not going to accept the equivalence of Moore and Rush. Briefly, one reason is that Rush declares himself as an entertainer foremost. And while you might think that this is simply an attempt at honesty and that Moore is being dishonest by not making the same declaration, I would note that Moore's efforts go beyond entertainment. That is disconcerting for those who disagree with his views because they see someone with an agenda using his skills to push that agenda.
Moore responds to criticism and does try to explain his past actions. And I've seen him help people achieve their goals by using his celebrity and tenacity to help them push for a resolution to a complaint or problem. (See KMart and the sale of ammunition for one example, and his help to non-citizen hotel workers during The Awful Truth" days.) Rush really is just an entertainer, from what I have seen.
So that's how I disregard the direct comparison. But the point is noted nonetheless: conservatives rightly take issue with some of what Moore says.
And this brings me back to the piece I referenced in my previous post. The first vignette in Moore's piece is about Bush's own description of his demeanor on the night of the 9/11 attacks. Moore tries to make the point that Bush is not serious, and does not take things seriously. I buy into this idea to some extent. I think Bush is somewhat cynical and insincere.
However, I don't think it matters much. There are many people who say Bush is a decent person. Perhaps he is. What it really comes down to is who I want running the country. I have to put my visceral reaction to Bush aside when I make that decision. Personalities aside, I honestly feel Bush is wrong for the country.
Bus when we try to make this point to conservatives, we should keep personalities out of it. I understand that some people feel that this is merely a reaction to social right pressure to claim the moral high ground with their declarations of "family values" and other such nonsense. No group likes to be labeled as the right labels the left, and so it makes people feel good to strike back by looking at the faults of right-wing leaders.
But none of that is going to convince people. And we have to recognize that.
I'd promise to refrain from it myself, but I'm human. I do have a visceral reaction to the man and his bluster and air of entitlement. I have to blow off steam.
Look at what's going on all around us and at least allow me that.Posted by James at September 19, 2003 1:25 PM