When the rest of country was sure Hillary Clinton had the presidency in the bag, Michael Moore was still warning that Trump could win. “The lack of enthusiasm is dangerous,” the progressive filmmaker told The Daily Beast just one week before Election Day.
Nine months later, Moore is about to open his new one-man show on Broadway and on Wednesday night he refused to accept Colbert’s “congratulations” for predicting Trump’s victory. “I’ve never wanted to be more wrong in my life,” he said on The Late Show. As a Michigan resident, he said, “I was trying to warn the rest of the country, out here, people who voted for Obama were telling me they were going to vote for him. And it was like, oh, wow.”
“And so, you know, I actually contacted the people in the Clinton campaign,” he continued, “and said, ‘I think you need to spend more time in Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, Pennsylvania.” These are the Brexit states of America. And there’s a lot of angry people. They don’t sort of like Trump that much, but they see him as their human Molotov cocktail that they want to just throw into the system that has hurt them so badly. And I couldn’t get anybody to listen to me.”
Now that Trump has been in office for more than six months, Moore said he did not expect the “daily, hourly fire hose of shit in our face” from his administration.
“You do want to read the news with a snorkel,” Colbert joked.
For instance, there was President Trump’s latest atrocity just this morning: an impromptu ban on transgender servicepeople in the military.
“He announced it today just by fiat,” Colbert said. “Didn’t talk to anybody, didn’t tell anybody. No lawyers, didn’t talk to the military, just got up this morning and said, ‘You know, let’s get those folks,’ and just tweeted it and there’s no implication of what it means. No one knows. Nobody’s answered any questions.”
“What is so disgusting about this is, if you are transgender trying to get by in this society, I couldn’t think of any more brave people to have defending this country than transgenders,” Moore said. “They should refuse to leave,” he added. “Just say, ‘We’re not going anywhere. Come get us.’”
“What we have is a commander in chief who is trans-Siberian,” Moore said. “That’s maybe the bigger problem.” He then called Trump’s troubled relationship with his attorney general, Jeff Sessions, “sad,” explaining, “Before there was Trumpism, there was Sessions-ism. Before that it was just called racism.”
The subtitle of Moore’s Broadway show is “The Terms of My Surrender,” but he assured Colbert he’s not giving up any time soon. “I will say this: I refuse to live in a country where Donald Trump is president and I’m not leaving,” he said. “So something’s got to change.”
“We have to form an army of citizens and come at him like a swarm of bees,” Moore said. “And, frankly, I suggested a few months ago that we have an army of satire, because I think the way to bring him down is with satire. His thin skin, as you pointed out so well, is so thin, all we need is 1,000 or a million little comedy shivs—nonviolent, don’t hurt him—but just under his skin because he can’t take being laughed at.”
He awarded the “first medal of honor” in that war to Saturday Night Live guest star Melissa McCarthy, “because she’s taken down the first Trump administration official with satire.”