Watching Fahrenheit 9/11–Why Republicans Republican?

This is THE movie of this weekend. I knew I¡¯d see it but I didn¡¯t expect too much of it, because I believed this movie would be ¡°preaching to the choir¡±. The hard core Republicans would never come out and see the movie, and even if they did out of curiosity, they would dismiss it as crazy liberal bias. So what good would it do? As for people on the left like me, I knew the Bush Administration is no good. Tell me something I don¡¯t know.

I was so shocked when I arrived at West Portal¡¯s CineArt theatre and found a quarter mile long lined-up to get in the theatre for the 2pm show AND all tickets were sold out until tomorrow!! Wow! It is just a documentary?!

¡°But this is San Francisco.¡± I thought to myself, and West Portal is known to be the emerging Artist colony in SF. The liberal of the liberals, of course they¡¯d be Michael Moore supporters. I almost wanted to give it up. It was after all a really sunny and warm Saturday. We didn¡¯t have to spent it in the darkness of a theater and be informed again of how depressing the current political situation is, did we? However, at Matthew¡¯s persistence, we headed toward Downtown Metroen. I thought it might be sold out there as well. But I overestimate the tourists’ appetite for political documentary. We managed to get tickets for 5pm show.

Now looking back, I¡¯m thankful for Matthew¡¯s persistence.

It is a really good movie and I¡¯m very impressed with Michael Moore as a director. As I was sitting there and crying with Lila Lipscomb as she read her son¡¯s last letter home, I thought ¡°It would be so so very depressing if after this movie, GWB still get re-elected this fall. Which kind of country is this? Which kind of world am I living in?¡±

I¡¯m not being pessimistic for no reason.

Because it happened that I just did a little research regarding American Legislation branch during the past week. I admit that I had forgotten all I¡¯ve learned about American legislation system and I never quite remember the difference between the Senate and the House. Why is it that all the ¡°wrong¡± bills get passed the House with little to no effort but always got, thank god, stopped by the Senate? However little effort it seemed, the Senate at least is trying to do the right thing. I finally had the time to do a little ¡°googling¡±. The result really depressed me.

¡°Article I of the Constitution grants all legislative powers of the federal government to the Congress, which is divided into two chambers, a Senate and a House of Representatives. The Senate is composed of two members from each state as provided by the Constitution. Its current membership is 100. Membership in the House is based on each state’s population, and its size is therefore not specified in the Constitution. Its current membership is fixed by statute at 435.

It means, statistically speaking, the House is a more accurate representation of the people of the United State because it is population based. While if we disregard the population of each state and give each state equal right, then the Senate is a better representation.

So when the House faithfully, like a little dog wagging his tail to his boss, passing every bill the Bushies ever sent it its way; it is in effect speaking for the people! The same people who will go out and vote this November.

Ok, enough of my state of depression. Let¡¯s get back to Fahrenheit 9/11.What made this movie great was the last 1/3 of the movie, when Moore give the soap box to his hometown people. Instead of politician¡¯s polished (or not so polished if you consider GWB¡¯s) speech, we heard what the poor from Flint, Michigan had to say about unemployment and about serving one¡¯s country. We got to meet Lila, a woman from a traditionally military family and who sent her daughter and son to the army. If anything would speak to the people, ordinary, hardworking, conservative American, this should, shouldn¡¯t it? That might be our only hope. That in the Bible belt and Rust Belt of the United States, in little towns and rural areas of American, people would come to the theatre and watch someone, for once, tells them what the country has being used for and what their loyalties had been manipulated.

That, was probably the best scenario.

I only know one co-worker who votes Republican. At the beginning, hyped up by the movie¡¯s power on me, I thought I should encourage him to come and watch this movie, but then I realized this movie will simply confirm his belief, that being rich and an elite of the society is good, see what would happen to you if you are poor? You had to go join the army and risk your life for the elite huge profit. So better try hard not to let the poor get any break. Keep them down. Tight and good. Yeah, go Bush!

How Depressing.

I thought of the FreshAir interview on Friday when Terry Gross interviewed Bill Clinton, who complained about Bush¡¯s tax cut giving him 200 thousand dollar back. ¡°I don¡¯t need to rub all those school children from their after-school program so I could have another 200 grand that I don¡¯t need! No millionaire I know, and I know quite some millionaires, wants this money. We all think Bush¡¯s tax cut is wrong.¡± Okay, so not all rich people are Republicans. So what makes one Republican?

It is just ideological, isn¡¯t it? How do you argue with someone¡¯s s ideology? Clinton used words like ¡°Selfish¡± and ¡°Indulgence¡± to describe the Republican party¡¯s economy agenda. So that is it. ¡°Selfish¡±. True Republican¡¯s want the tax cut because the children who lost their after-school programs are not their children. He had the extra 200 grand so he could send his kid to a private school. The true rich Republican doesn¡¯t care the social security system is going bankrupt because with the amount of wealth he had squeezed out the middle class, his lavish retirement estate in Hawaii had been secured. The true rich Republican doesn¡¯t care about the medical system going down the tubes because he doesn¡¯t need government subsidized medical plans, he had his own family doctor, or better yet, his own army of doctors.

But that kind of riches is few. So why are the rest Republicans Republican?

And why is the United States such an overwhelmingly Republican country? We debated it among ourselves and my conclusion was that in the cycle of ¡°Rise and Fall¡± of an empire, the United States has never tasted the ¡°Fall¡± part. Europe had, that explained why all Western European countries today are so overwhelmingly pro-social programs and social equality. Everyone there or at least the majority of them seems to understand that no power and wealth will last forever and we are all in this together and we should help each other out when we can. But if one has never tasted the bitterness of ¡°the Fall¡±, one thinks the good time would last forever, or one would fight with all nail and tooth to pro-long the ¡°Rise¡± part.

So time will tell.

7 thoughts on “Watching Fahrenheit 9/11–Why Republicans Republican?

  1. good article. I don’t know much. I like this one

    Jean’s Reply:
    Thank you, LK. Looks like the movie has done well over the weekend. No. 1 box office! For a documentary! I’m especially happy to learn that it sold well in even small towns and they would expand the number of theatres that would show this movie, nationwide, starting next weekend. Will it change some people’s mind about their political views? I’m keeping my fingers crossed…
  2. In places like SF, NYC or Boston, where everybody has a gay friend or two, it’s hard for people not to agree with Michael Moore – although we all know he is bias, sometimes to a ridiculous extend.

    Dont’ get me wrong, I love this guy. I’ve watched “Bowling for Columbine”, read “Stupid White Men”, “Dude Where’s My Country” and I sure will watch F911. He is brilliant and hilarious, but not persuasive enough to change a gun touting war proing religion crazed hard core republican into a peaceful gay loving tree hugger (which would need some serious miracle). However, if all the cynics and hippies who didn’t vote last time start voting against GWB after viewing the movie, Mr. Moore can die happy.

    I’ve enjoyed reading your blog. Thanks for sharing your witty thoughts and keep up the good writing. 🙂


    Jean’s Reply:
    Hi Ken,
    Thank you for your encouragment. 🙂
    Actually hippies i know do vote and they seem to take their vote rather seriously. But problem is Democrate is not quite liberal enough for them in general and a large portion of them voted for Green Party (Nader) last round. I guess you are right though. Most hippies care more about the Burning Man than about the White House Man. AND most of them don’t live in Texas or Florida or Ohio… 🙁
    I remember reading an interview with Moore, he said he didn’t feel apologitic about this movie being “Preaching to the Choir.” “I’d feel good to give the choir something to sing.” he said. He definitely succeed in that. I think the movie is aimed at the swing voters rather than hard core Republicans.
    It is a good movie. I’ve never seen any Moore movie before, but this one didn’t turn out to be quite like the in-your-face-opinionated kind i’ve been hearing about on the net.
    I’m just frustrated because i don’t understand why those poor states are such hard core Republican states. What do they stand to gain by voting Republican? How could they not see they were being used so mercilessly by their boss? I hope this movie will get them thinking somehow.
  3. great article! I also listened Clinton’s interview, couldn’t agree more with what he said about tax cut. The tax-cut policy is a good example of drinking the poison to stop the pain. It is so short-sighted and clearly biased. Your analysis is excellent!

    Jean’s Reply:
    Wow! V! I thought I’d never see this day! You, writing a comment?! 😉 j/k can’t help it. Thank you thank you! For reading my stuff and above all, for leaving a comment! wow! I can’t get over this. 🙂 I’m dancing around in my cubical if you can see me. haha.
    What “poison” is there to stop? We had a huge surplus for god’s sake! It is more like “greed” that they are trying to “indulge” rather than to “stop”. bah! 🙁
  4. I’m watching you…heh heh…

    ‘drinking poison to stop being thirsty’ is my awkward way to translate the Chinese old saying “Yin3 Jiu4 Zhi3 Ke3”. Pardon me for miswrite “pain” instead of “being thirsty”

    The intention of having the tax-cut, as GWB put it, is to stimulate the weakening economy. From that point of view, assuming there is a situation of “being thirsty”, his tax cut policy is the poison.

    Jean’s Reply:
    Ok. I see what you mean.
    But, “to stimulate the weakening economy” is just an execuse he used to legitimize his selfish and greedy action. He would have gone for tax-cut regardless what the economy is like. In reality the tax-cut has nothing to do with stimulating the economy. To keep the interest low has a lot more to do with that than his tax-cut.
    Anyway, i think we are in violent agreement regarding GWB. 🙂 When can you vote? Hurry up already! You are in the perfect geographic location to make a difference. :))))
  5. It’s good to know not all hippies are polictically cynical. 🙂 As long as the good people in CA keep their side as they did 4 years ago, the rest of them can all vote for the green party (heck, or anything green) long as they want.

    Religion – that might answer your question. People may not gain anything by voting for Republicans but they do believe in God frantically. Remember GWB actually said he was “chosen by God to become the president”? You’ll be amazed how many people believed him. Look at the same sex marriage issue, when politics mix up with religion, it’s not simple any more.

    See how liberal your friends are by asking an interesting look-into-the-future question: which president will come first, a Jew, a woman or a black?


    Jean’s Reply:
    Yeah, i’m sure we shouldn’t stereotype hippies, either. There was an interesting article written by an ex-hippie, not sure if you have read it. From Burning Man To Running Man. A good read.
    Religion is certainly one factor. But I don¡¯t think it is the whole story. My friend Gui pointed out that lots of middle-class vote Republican because they would like someday to be one of the very rich. Another friend told me that one of his gay friends votes Republican consistently. He happened to own a couple of PR firms. My friend was so shocked when he found out that his friend voted for Bush in 2000, ¡°Are you crazy? How could you vote for someone who is so opposed to the very existence of yourself!?¡± The PR guy just laughed, ¡°gotta watch out for my wallet, man!¡±
    I guess there is not one stereotype for Republicans, either.
    Not sure why your question should be an indicator for people¡¯s left leaning degree? Should it be ¡°which would LIKE to happen?¡± rather than ¡°which would happen?¡± One would be wishful thinking, and it might indicate people¡¯s priority. The latter is more practical thinking, isn¡¯t it? What would be the most likely scenario? I will say a Jew is more likely because I think there are less Jew haters in Republicans than the other two. :p Has anyone heard the rumor that Kerry might pick Hillary as his running mate?!

  6. Jew, woman, or black? I ask this question sometimes. I don’t know the order but I like to cynically joke that regardless of those 3 groups, the last in any list will be the American Indian.

    Jean’s Reply:
    But that’s such a small minority and their identity has been so blurred in the mainstream. I can imagin someone with partial Indian blood, though. Would that count?

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