Why Michael Moore is Not a Hypocrite

Michale Moore and Kathleen Glynn

Michael Moore and his wife, Kathleen Glynn, are getting divorced. The Smoking Gun has the details. Just as you would expect, it turns out that Moore is a wealthy man. His assets are reportedly worth tens of millions of dollars. He owns property in Michigan and New York, including a Manhattan townhouse. He apparently owns a $2 million dollar mansion near Torch Lake in Michigan. (This may actually belong to Glynn. The news reports are unclear about this.) Since this news has broken, the Internet has predictably been filled with comments about Moore being a “hypocrite”.

One thing thing that really annoys the hell out of me is when people argue that anyone with vaguely leftish views is a hypocrite if he or she happens to own a nice house or drive a nice car. Their assumption seems to be that anyone who cares about social justice issues is obligated to live in a cardboard box and eat out of trash cans. What’s more, these people don’t seem to understand Moore’s actual politics. If Moore were, say, an advocate of anarcho-primitivism, then, yeah, owning a mansion would make him a hypocrite. But he is no such thing. In fact, Moore’s views are not as radical as most people think.

Despite his occasional syndicalist posturings, Moore’s views are basically those of a left-of-center Democrat. In Capitalism: A Love Story he argues for worker-owned cooperatives – not incompatible with capitalism. In Sicko he argues for single payer healthcare – again, compatible with capitalism. In Bowling for Columbine, he calls for stricter gun control laws – not an anti-capitalist position. In Roger and Me, he argues for keeping factory jobs in the US – a position that many right-wingers would agree with.

Moore’s undeserved reputation as a fire-breathing Bolshevik largely stems from his notoriously ultra-left anti-war speech at the 2003 Oscars (“Time’s up, Mr. Bush!”) Yet the very next year, he endorsed the presidential candidacy of the pro-war John Kerry. (This was not a “lesser evil” calculation. Moore absolutely adored Kerry, who is now our middle-of-the-road Secretary of State.)

So, sling whatever insults you wish at Moore, but don’t call him a hypocrite. He isn’t.

2 Responses to “Why Michael Moore is Not a Hypocrite”

  1. James Robb Says:

    “So, sling whatever insults you wish at Moore, but don’t call him a hypocrite.”
    Better still, ignore him and his crass Democratic Party politics altogether. IMHO, parts of Roger and Me were quite funny as a depiction of capitalist society in economic and moral decay. Since then he has been a dead bore, with nothing useful to say about anything.

    • The Spanish Prisoner Says:

      Glad to see you’ve taken my advice, James.

      I thought ‘Sicko’ made a good case for single payer healthcare. Unfortunately it was marred by Moore gushing over Hillary Clinton. Embarrassing.

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