January 17, 2004

Iíll Be Voting For Wesley Clark: Good-Bye Mr. Bush

Michael Moore: "This is not about voting for who is
more anti-war or who was anti-war first or who the
media has already anointed. It is about backing a
candidate that shares our values AND can communicate
them to Middle America. I am convinced that the surest
slam dunk to remove Bush is with a
four-star-general-top-of-his-class-at-West-Point-Rhodes-Scholar-Medal-of-Freedom-winning-gun-owner-from-the-South
-- who also, by chance, happens to be pro-choice, pro
environment, and anti-war. You don't get handed a gift
like this very often. I hope the liberal/left is wise
enough to accept it. It's hard, when you're so used to
losing, to think that this time you can actually win.
It is Clark who stands the best chance -- maybe the
only chance -- to win those Southern and Midwestern
states that we MUST win in order to accomplish Bush
Removal. And if what I have just said is true, then we
have no choice but to get behind the one who can make
this happen. "

Support Our Troops, Save the Environment, Repudiate
the 9/11 Coverup and the Iraq War Lies, Restore Fiscal
Responsibility to the White House, Show Up for
Democracy in 2004: Defeat Bush (again!)


http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0116-12.htm

Published on Wednesday, January 14, 2004 by
MichaelMoore.com
Iíll Be Voting For Wesley Clark: Good-Bye Mr. Bush
by Michael Moore

Many of you have written to me in the past months
asking, "Who are you going to vote for this year?"

I have decided to cast my vote in the primary for
Wesley Clark. That's right, a peacenik is voting for a
general. What a country!

I believe that Wesley Clark will end this war. He will
make the rich pay their fair share of taxes. He will
stand up for the rights of women, African Americans,
and the working people of this country.

And he will cream George W. Bush.

I have met Clark and spoken to him on a number of
occasions, feeling him out on the issues but, more
importantly, getting a sense of him as a human being.
And I have to tell you I have found him to be the real
deal, someone whom I'm convinced all of you would
like, both as a person and as the individual leading
this country. He is an honest, decent, honorable man
who would be a breath of fresh air in the White House.
He is clearly not a professional politician. He is
clearly not from Park Avenue. And he is clearly the
absolute best hope we have of defeating George W.
Bush.

This is not to say the other candidates won't be able
to beat Bush, and I will work enthusiastically for any
of the non-Lieberman 8 who might get the nomination.
But I must tell you, after completing my recent
43-city tour of this country, I came to the conclusion
that Clark has the best chance of beating Bush. He is
going to inspire the independents and the undecided to
come our way. The hard core (like us) already have
their minds made up. It's the fence sitters who will
decide this election.

The decision in November is going to come down to 15
states and just a few percentage points. So, I had to
ask myself -- and I want you to honestly ask
yourselves -- who has the BEST chance of winning
Florida, West Virginia, Arizona, Nevada, Missouri,
Ohio? Because THAT is the only thing that is going to
matter in the end. You know the answer -- and it ain't
you or me or our good internet doctor.

This is not about voting for who is more anti-war or
who was anti-war first or who the media has already
anointed. It is about backing a candidate that shares
our values AND can communicate them to Middle America.
I am convinced that the surest slam dunk to remove
Bush is with a
four-star-general-top-of-his-class-at-West-Point-Rhodes-Scholar-Medal-of-Freedom-winning-gun-owner-from-the-South
-- who also, by chance, happens to be pro-choice, pro
environment, and anti-war. You don't get handed a gift
like this very often. I hope the liberal/left is wise
enough to accept it. It's hard, when you're so used to
losing, to think that this time you can actually win.
It is Clark who stands the best chance -- maybe the
only chance -- to win those Southern and Midwestern
states that we MUST win in order to accomplish Bush
Removal. And if what I have just said is true, then we
have no choice but to get behind the one who can make
this happen.

There are times to vote to make a statement, there are
times to vote for the underdog and there are times to
vote to save the country from catastrophe. This time
we can and must do all three. I still believe that
each one of us must vote his or her heart and
conscience. If we fail to do that, we will continue to
be stuck with spineless politicians who stand for
nothing and no one (except those who write them the
biggest checks).

My vote for Clark is one of conscience. I feel so
strongly about this that I'm going to devote the next
few weeks of my life to do everything I can to help
Wesley Clark win. I would love it if you would join me
on this mission.

Here are just a few of the reasons why I feel this way
about Wes Clark:

1. Clark has committed to ensuring that every family
of four who makes under $50,000 a year pays NO federal
income tax. None. Zip. This is the most incredible
helping hand offered by a major party presidential
candidate to the working class and the working poor in
my lifetime. He will make up the difference by socking
it to the rich with a 5% tax increase on anything they
make over a million bucks. He will make sure
corporations pay ALL of the taxes they should be
paying. Clark has fired a broadside at greed. When the
New York Times last week wrote that Wes Clark has been
ďpositioning himself slightly to Deanís left," this is
what they meant, and it sure sounded good to me.

2. He is 100% opposed to the draft. If you are 18-25
years old and reading this right now, I have news for
you -- if Bush wins, he's going to bring back the
draft. He will be forced to. Because, thanks to his
crazy war, recruitment is going to be at an all-time
low. And many of the troops stuck over there are NOT
going to re-enlist. The only way Bush is going to be
able to staff the military is to draft you and your
friends. Parents, make no mistake about it -- Bush's
second term will see your sons taken from you and sent
to fight wars for the oily rich. Only an ex-general
who knows first-hand that a draft is a sure-fire way
to wreck an army will be able to avert the inevitable.


3. He is anti-war. Have you heard his latest attacks
on Bush over the Iraq War? They are stunning and
brilliant. I want to see him on that stage in a debate
with Bush -- the General vs. the Deserter! General
Clark told me that it's people like him who are truly
anti-war because it's people like him who have to die
if there is a war. "War must be the absolute last
resort," he told me. "Once you've seen young people
die, you never want to see that again, and you want to
avoid it whenever and wherever possible." I believe
him. And my ex-Army relatives believe him, too. It's
their votes we need.

4. He walks the walk. On issues like racism, he just
doesn't mouth liberal platitudes -- he does something
about it. On his own volition, he joined in and filed
an amicus brief with the Supreme Court in support of
the University of Michigan's case in favor of
affirmative action. He spoke about his own insistence
on affirmative action in the Army and how giving a
hand to those who have traditionally been shut out has
made our society a better place. He didn't have to get
involved in that struggle. He's a middle-aged white
guy -- affirmative action personally does him no good.
But that is not the way he thinks. He grew up in
Little Rock, one of the birthplaces of the civil
rights movement, and he knows that African Americans
still occupy the lowest rungs of the ladder in a
country where everyone is supposed to have "a chance."
That is why he has been endorsed by one of the
founding members of the Congressional Black Caucus,
Charlie Rangel, and former Atlanta Mayor and aide to
Martin Luther King, Jr., Andrew Young.

5. On the issue of gun control, this hunter and gun
owner will close the gun show loophole (which would
have helped prevent the massacre at Columbine) and he
will sign into law a bill to create a federal
ballistics fingerprinting database for every gun in
America (the DC sniper, who bought his rifle in his
own name, would have been identified after the FIRST
day of his killing spree). He is not afraid, as many
Democrats are, of the NRA. His message to them: "You
like to fire assault weapons? I have a place for you.
It's not in the homes and streets of America. It's
called the Army, and you can join any time!"

6. He will gut and overhaul the Patriot Act and
restore our constitutional rights to privacy and free
speech. He will demand stronger environmental laws. He
will insist that trade agreements do not cost
Americans their jobs and do not exploit the workers or
environment of third world countries. He will expand
the Family Leave Act. He will guarantee universal
pre-school throughout America. He opposes all
discrimination against gays and lesbians (and he
opposes the constitutional amendment outlawing gay
marriage). All of this is why Time magazine this week
referred to Clark as "Dean 2.0" -- an improvement over
the original (1.0, Dean himself), a better version of
a good thing: stronger, faster, and easier for the
mainstream to understand and use.

7. He will cut the Pentagon budget, use the money thus
saved for education and health care, and he will STILL
make us safer than we are now. Only the former
commander of NATO could get away with such a
statement. Dean says he will not cut a dime out of the
Pentagon. Clark knows where the waste and the
boondoggles are and he knows that nutty ideas like
Star Wars must be put to pasture. His health plan will
cover at least 30 million people who now have no
coverage at all, including 13 million children. He's a
general who will tell those swing voters, "We can take
this Pentagon waste and put it to good use to fix that
school in your neighborhood." My friends, those words,
coming from the mouth of General Clark, are going to
turn this country around.

Now, before those of you who are Dean or Kucinich
supporters start cloggin' my box with emails tearing
Clark down with some of the stuff I've seen floating
around the web ("Mike! He voted for Reagan! He bombed
Kosovo!"), let me respond by pointing out that Dennis
Kucinich refused to vote against the war resolution in
Congress on March 21 (two days after the war started)
which stated "unequivocal support" for Bush and the
war (only 11 Democrats voted against this--Dennis
abstained). Or, need I quote Dr. Dean who, the month
after Bush "won" the election, said he wasn't too
worried about Bush because Bush "in his soul, is a
moderate"? What's the point of this ridiculous
tit-for-tat sniping? I applaud Dennis for all his
other stands against the war, and I am certain Howard
no longer believes we have nothing to fear about Bush.
They are good people.

Why expend energy on the past when we have such grave
danger facing us in the present and in the near
future? I don't feel bad nor do I care that Clark --
or anyone -- voted for Reagan over 20 years ago. Let's
face it, the vast majority of Americans voted for
Reagan -- and I want every single one of them to be
WELCOMED into our tent this year. The message to these
voters -- and many of them are from the working class
-- should not be, "You voted for Reagan? Well, to hell
with you!" Every time you attack Clark for that, that
is the message you are sending to all the people who
at one time liked Reagan. If they have now changed
their minds (just as Kucinich has done by going from
anti-choice to pro-choice, and Dean has done by
wanting to cut Medicare to now not wanting to cut it)
Ė and if Clark has become a liberal Democrat, is that
not something to cheer?

In fact, having made that political journey and
metamorphosis, is he not the best candidate to bring
millions of other former Reagan supporters to our side
-- blue collar people who have now learned the hard
way just how bad Reagan and the Republicans were (and
are) for them?

We need to take that big DO NOT ENTER sign off our
tent and reach out to the vast majority who have been
snookered by these right-wingers. And we have a better
chance of winning in November with one of their own
leading them to the promised land.

There is much more to discuss and, in the days and
weeks ahead, I will continue to send you my thoughts.
In the coming months, I will also be initiating a
number of efforts on my website to make sure we get
out the vote for the Democratic nominee in November.

In addition to voting for Wesley Clark, I will also be
spending part of my Bush tax cut to help him out. You
can join me, if you like, by going to his website to
learn more about him, to volunteer, or to donate. To
find out about when your stateís presidential
primaries are, visit Vote Smart.

I strongly urge you to vote for Wes Clark. Let's join
together to ensure that we are putting forth our BEST
chance to defeat Bush on the November ballot. It is,
at this point, for the sake of the world, a moral
imperative.

Yours,

Michael Moore

© MichaelMoore.com

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Posted by richard at January 17, 2004 11:14 AM