If one thought that the 2000 presidential election, which somehow "anointed" George W. Bush to the presidency over Al Gore (via a Supreme Court decision in the Florida vote count), was a travesty, then the 2016 election, which gave the carnival barker racist real estate mogul Donald Trump the presidency over Hillary Clinton by winning the popular vote in four key swing states and capturing those states' Electoral College votes may have been the death knell for democracy in America. And nobody seemed more adept at connecting the dots of the rise of the autocratic Trump than political filmmaker and renegade Michael Moore. After all, it is Moore who, since 1989, has cut a strip or two off of corporate America through films like ROGER & ME, BOWLING FOR COLUMBINE, SICKO, and CAPITALISM: A LOVE STORY. He of course also famously cut Bush II a new one in his infamous 2004 smash hit documentary FAHRENHEIT 9/11. But now, in 2018, he has clearly outdone himself with that film's companion piece, FAHRENHEIT 11/9.
Referring to the date of November 9, 2016, when the Associated Press (probably much to their surprise) declared Trump the winner of the election, at 2:29 AM, FAHRENHEIT 11/9 carefully, and with a fair amount of righteous rage, dissects the ways in which the misogyny, bigotry, and racism that are Donald Trump not only became normalized by the press and the GOP, but by the Democratic Party being very complacent and so self-assured about Clinton's chances against Trump, and the fact that as many as one hundred million people failed to show up at the polls on November 8th, 2016 to stop Trump permanently. Moore is unsparing in his parsing out the blame all over the political spectrum, including the "establishment" Democrats, including even President Obama, who, however unwittingly, permitted the rise of Trump. Moore also focuses, as he has done before, on his hometown of Flint, Michigan, which since 2014 has been beset by a water crisis in which thousands of its residents have been poisoned by lead contamination in their water supply, and how the corporate malfeasance of Michigan's GOP governor Rick Snyder not only led to that, but even the deaths of some of those residents through them contracting Legionnaire's Disease.
But amidst all the horrors that Trump has unleashed on America since his coming down the escalator of his Trump Tower to announce his candidacy, almost as a publicity stunt to one-up NBC for paying Gwen Stefani of "The Voice" more than he got for "hosting" "The Apprentice", Moore also shows us the many ways that resistance movements have popped up against his presidency, and in what would seem to be the most unlikely places, including mass teachers' strikes in "red" states like West Virginia and Arizona, and, most prominently, the anti-NRA protests of the students at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, who saw seventeen of their fellow students and teachers cut down in an all-too-common mass shooting on February 14, 2018. To take things a step further, Moore also focuses on young, progressive-leaning candidates of the Bernie Sanders variety trying to take the Democratic Party back from corporate so-called "centrists", including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who won the seat for her congressional district in the Bronx during the summer of 2018.
A lot of his rage, however, as well as that of a lot of Americans, is channeled in FAHRENHEIT 11/9 via Trump himself, who, even with his mango-haired buffoonery, shows himself to be an absolute master manipulator of what seems to pass for The Truth in this second decade of the 21st century. The parallels between Trump's toxic rise in our time and that of Adolf Hitler in 1930s Germany are shown by Moore through old German newsreel and film footage, and they are eerily, tragically, and depressingly prescient. Trump, like Hitler before him, makes his followers believe everything bad about the world and makes them dismiss negative stories about him as "Fake News", proceeding to unleash their xenophobia, racism, and sexism on those they don't agree with. In the end, after the films' running time of 128 minutes has elapsed, one comes out feeling like they have been run over by a steamroller, even more so than in FAHRENHEIT 9/11.
But Moore, a traditionally non-partisan (though liberal-leaning) populist, in the end says that we as Americans do not have to take the toxic garbage that Trump and his minions spew out. He urges us to get up off of our couches and get active, not just voting but (like Ocasio-Cortez) running for office to change a broken political system that allowed Trump to take charge in the first place. That is an extremely positive thing to take away from the psychological horror and rage that is FAHRENHEIT 11/9.