tv All In With Chris Hayes MSNBC September 12, 2018 5:00pm-6:00pm PDT
trump, sits behind the oval office desk giving himself achlt pluses and refuses to recognize in democracy it's the voter who gives out the grades. thanks for being with us. "all in" with chris hayes is up next. he's got a special town hall right away tonight with guest michael moore. >> they're getting a little nervous in michigan. >> michigan is going to be the linchpin. >> key state, unexpectedly is michigan. >> on 11/9/2016 michigan went for donald trump. >> a 10,000 vote margin for donald trump in michigan. >> but the majority of people here didn't vote at all. >> do you regret not voting? >> tonight, michael moore is back, and he's got a brand new film. which takes on trump. >> stop resisting. >> the governor. >> governor schneider, i got some flint water for you. >> and talks to the voters, and new candidates in the states that elected trump. >> i don't [ bleep ] who you are, i'll fight you in the damn street right now. >> okay, umm --
>> all to try and answer the greatest question of our time, how the [ bleep ] did this happen? >> tonight, an "all in america" special edition. this is michael moore in trump country. now here's chris hayes with michael moore. >> good evening, from factory 2 in flint, michigan, i'm chris hayes, coming to you from the state that was at the epicenter of donald trump's slip but seismic victory. the state hadn't picked a republican for president in almost 30 years, since 1988. heading into election day, polls showed hillary clinton with a fairly comfortable lead, but in the end donald trump won here by a margin of less than 11,000 votes, the equivalent of two votes per precinct. the shock of donald trump's victory has repeated itself almost every day of his presidency, the nation for a past year and a half in a perpetual state of crisis and
upheaval. there was one person who saw this coming, filmmaker michael moore wrote in 2016 about the five reasons he thought donald trump would win, starting with president's appeal in the midwestern states like michigan, he's got a new film examining how he got here and what the stakes are in november. join me in welcoming michael moore. >> thank you. thank you. >> that's a hometown welcome. >> yes. >> you got this new movie out. it's a really remarkable film in a lot of ways. we were trying to pick out the best part of the trailer, but we couldn't. we're just going to play a big chunk of it. i want folks to get a taste. take a listen to "fahrenheit
11/9." ♪ >> i'm sick and tired of people telling me america's the greatest country. because we can whip your ass. >> i hate some of these people, but i'd never kill them. >> how the [ bleep ] did this happen? >> the american dream. is dead. stop resisting. >> the president's powers here are beyond question. >> ladies and gentlemen, the last president of the united states. ♪ >> you think that, the last president of the united states? >> it's possible. >> you really think that? >> i think it's possible, absolutely. i think that we have someone in the white house who has no respect for the rule of law, who dislikes democracy by an incredible degree, which doesn't
make him really any that much different from other billionaires or ceos because their businesses are not democracies. they rule by fiat. they decide, they make the calls and they don't like anybody else having a say. they also like to take home the bulk of the money, with them. so this is putting somebody like that in charge of a democracy is a very dangerous thing, and especially, it's more dangerous with him because he has a complete lack of ideology. he doesn't -- >> you think it's more dangerous because he doesn't believe in anything? >> absolutely. people say to me, well, if we impeach trump, we'll have pence. i go, great, at least he believes in something. i'm not afraid of having a debate with pence whether or not adam and eve rode on dinosaurs 6,000 years ago. >> i don't think pence believes that. >> he believes the bible is the word, and that the the way, and the earth is about 6,000 years old. he also believes that if you're gay, you can be converted into being straight.
i can have that debate with him too. i believe the american public will agree with me in that debate, and we have a better chance of beating back this insanity with him than with who's currently in the white house. because trump's only belief system, his only ideology is donald j. trump. that's what he believes in, me, myself and i. that's a dangerous person to have in charge of a country. >> you know, i always have this conversation with people about where we're at, what's new, what's different, that's the big question of the trump era. i was thinking about that. the name of this film references a different film, "fahrenheit 9/11" with the bush administration and the iraq war and post 9/11 was a reference to a distopic novel. what's different now? now thought the bush administration was ushering in the end of democracy. is it worse now?
is there something novel and distinct about him compared to the bush years? >> yes, again, bush believed in something. i didn't agree with him, but he actually had a belief system. that's not what's going on now. and what's the difference between 2004 and right now is that "fahrenheit 9/11" was a movie basically about the iraq war and how we got into it with someone who was not elected by the people of the united states of america. we are now in a situation where we have someone in the white house who once again was not elected by the american people. but i don't believe -- >> you mean he lost the popular vote. >> that's the only way you can mean it. >> it's not tennis sets. >> quick democracy lesson. the person who gets the most votes wins. >> right, yeah. >> that's it. >> right. >> and that's not the system that we have. because we have not taken out of the constitution one of the last vestiges of the slave era, the electoral college which was
created to appease the slave states. we haven't done that. the democrats have not led the fight since gore won to get that out of the constitution, or to support a national popular vote referendum in enough states so that we -- whoever gets the popular vote would win. >> it's interesting to think about that continuity. 2000, the shock of bush v gore and the fact the person who didn't get the most votes still got to be president. six out of the last seven elections democrats have won the majority. >> the republicans only won the popular once since daddy bush was elected in 1988. that's 30 years that the american people other than one time said we don't want the republicans in charge, we want the democrats in charge and yet the democrats hold no power, not the white house, not the senate, not the congress, not the supreme court, our state capitals, 50 state capitals, the democrats fully control eight of them. so how can this be?
this is what's so insane. if we call this a democracy, the majority of the people want the democrats, and yet they can't -- they can't find their way into the white house even when they win. >> but there's two aspects to that. you talk about this in the film. one of them is who shows up to vote on election day. right, so take aside the popular vote, state elections, rick schneider in this state of michigan where we are, in midterm elections there's been very low turnout in the 2016 election there's a crazy statistic in the film, 87,810 michiganders who went to the trouble of going to the polls. >> stood in line for an hour or two. >> went in the voting booth and didn't mark president. >> right. they voted for every other office on the ballot, all the way down to the two lowest offices we have in our counties in michigan, our register of deeds and drain commissioner. all right? these people voted for drain
commissioner, and left the top box blank for president. and if you look at the ballots, it's mostly -- they were voting for democrats. so these are people who generally would lean liberal, lean to the left, and they went in there and that's the way they wanted to make their statement, that they were not going to vote for the person that they didn't think was going to represent them. as you said, nearly 90,000 michig michiganders did that. amazing statistic. >> this city is the site of one of the perhaps worst failures of governance in america in recent memory. puerto rico is up there right now. this city, as you record in the film, is a place where you can't blame people for feeling jaded and cynical and pretty pissed off about their government. >> yeah, right. let me put it a different way. where you're sitting right now, chris, you're sitting in the city that created the middle class. before the great sitdown strike
of 1936-37 in flint, michigan there was no middle class. there was the rich and then everybody else worked seven days a week, including their 12 and 14-year-old children. that's what it was until this town said no more and the workers took over the factories for 44 days in the middle of winter, gm shut off the heat, they shut off the water, they brought in all these -- they got the national guard to come in. there were machine guns lining these -- right outside this building here. and the people of flint would not give up, they would not relent and at the end of 44 days they got the first major contract ever for an industrial corporation, had to recognize a union. and because of that, because we got the union in this town, it was like dominos all over the country, everybody else started striking, everybody else got unions. and by the time of the next generation, the children of these men and women, they had full and free health care, no
deductibles, no co-pays, full and free dental care. they had free eyeglasses and vision. if you were a member of the uaw, you got a free lawyer if you ever needed a lawyer, you got a free lawyer from the union. i mean, they got to send their kids to college. everybody got to buy a house if they wanted to. they had a couple cars. they had a cottage up north. and all without -- with maybe not even a high school education. they created the middle class of this country right here in this town. so that's where we're sitting, okay? what happened here was not the fault of the governance of the people here in the city. these were elected mayors and elected city councils in flint, detroit, pontiac, benton harbor, a few others, majority black cities, and the governor, this governor, schneider, came in, and said as a person who doesn't like democracy about as much as trump doesn't like it said i'm taking over, declared an emergency, and all of a sudden the mayors and the city councils
were gone and he installs his own cronies who don't have to answer to the people of this city. >> this is the democratic crisis that happens here and the results people poisoned, which we're going to talk about in just a bit, i think you argue convincingly in the film is a future that america faces if things don't change. i want you to stick around, and i want to bring into the conversation some people that political journalists never talk to, ever. everyone's obsessed with trump voters. we're going to talk to some non-voters, i think it's the first time ever on tv. much more to come from flint, michigan, including a look at the city's water crisis. we're going to talk to some of those folks decisive in the election, not the base, not swing voters, non-voters. we're coming right back. >> had we had an inspiring candidate in 2010, we wouldn't have rick schneider. if we can have candidates that speak to people, we won't have --
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in flint the number is something like 800,000 african-american voters chose not to vote. hillary lost in michigan by two votes per precinct on average, two votes per precinct, 10,000 and some votes was it. so where are we left? >> yeah. >> michael moore's new movie "fahrenheit 11/9" comes out september 21st. it deals with donald trump's election win. leading to the news media's near obsession with trump's base. but his base, those who appear to support him through hell and high water, did not win him that election. it was swing voters who had gone from voting for obama to voting for trump, and crucially nonvoters, registered voters who stayed home on election day and a significant number of people who showed up on election day but did not cast a vote for
president. it is those folks, the non-voters, and the undervoters we never talk about. with me now, one who sat out in 2016. let me start with you, zachary, why didn't you vote? >> well, it's a kind of complex reason. but i think there's a law in michigan, for instance that makes it really hard for college-age students to vote. and i think that's -- we actually have a lawsuit from the college federation of college democrats that's going against that law right now. >> so i remember this in college, it's happened in lots of states, they don't -- republican officials particularly don't love have a lot of students vote. >> absolutely not. >> so they tend to put in as many obstacles. >> it's hard for college students to go home and vote on that day when they have classes the next day, or, you know, anything like that. and then there's another -- there's other reasons as well. i mean, if i'm being frank, the
candidate wasn't inspiring to me. and, you know, i'd seen the devastation that -- like the any blue will do, mentality will have, i've grown up in the city and i've seen trade deals dessimated the city, every job, and those policies were implemented by bill clinton, and they weren't repudiated by hillary clinton. >> there are people watching this right now throwing things at the television. >> i'm sure. >> i want you to respond, they are shaking the screen being not inspiring enough, this is not a performance for you. >> the thing is, like i think that that mentality goes really well if you in your life right now, you're doing great. and like to you the election doesn't matter. but to me, like it's not enough to say that you're not as bad as the other guy. i need real change. for me, democrats hadn't offered that, and they weren't offering it. >> do you feel differently now? on election night, that night --
>> no, actually -- >> i feel more convinced that i need to -- in fact, that's the reason i've gotten so involved in michigan politics is because i feel like without a change in our party, we won't -- it's going to continue to happen. >> please listen to the rest of what he said, because as a non-voter, people say oh, they're apathetic, they don't care, they're ignorant, they're lazy, what it's done for him is he's gotten involved politically and he's fighting the law we have here. let me make the law clear. if you are a student at michigan state in east lansing, in the southern part of the state, but your home is in hougton, or market in the upper peninsula, essentially you have to leave and drive 600 miles -- >> to go vote. >> to go vote. that's how they set up because they don't want young people voting because they know where young people lean. >> jill, let me ask you, you did vote and you're active politically. how do you -- were there people in your lives that didn't vote?
do you talk to folks? how do you think about people that didn't vote in that last election? >> i think it's about having an open dialogue, and actually listening to what people have to say instead of projecting your views on people. and i feel like we've had a major disconnection with listening and actually listening with the intent of hearing them out. and trying to figure out what are ways that we can improve our political system, whether you're a democrat or not, so we can actually be inclusive and people will willfully vote for you instead of you having to guilt trip them. >> how about you samantha, what was your head space, what were you thinking in 2016? >> i wasn't going to vote for the lesser of two evils. that's not something that i was going to participate and i was going to perpetuate an evil, either way evil is evil. when i got to the box, there was no way that i was going to vote for either trump or hillary. i don't regret that decision at all. and, in fact, since then, i
actually ran for state representative this past primary election. i didn't win it, but very similar to you, i got involved in politics to the point where i was like, you know what, i'm going to run. >> if you're running for office and you're saying i want you to vote for me, which you just did. >> yes. >> how do you say i want you to vote for me if you didn't vote the last time? >> because i was door knocking, i door knocked over almost 10,000 doors, what i kept hearing from people is these politicians don't reflect me. i went to elderly homes and i actually had a woman come up to me that had never voted in her life, ever, and she's in a retirement home and she told me i'm going to vote for you because you're like me. you speak like me. i heard that so many doors. and unfortunately i entered the race very late. i only had three months. but that proved to me that the politicians that we have right now they don't represent us. all over the country. >> will you vote in 2018?
>> it depends on who's up. >> really? >> yes. >> how about you, gabriel? >> i chose not to vote in 2016 because, just like samantha, i couldn't see voting for the lesser of the two evils. donald trump, which we all have our own issues with him, and you see the things he says, he doesn't represent the presidency before. as a child, that was something to look forward to, the president, something people inspire to. now you have donald trump, and it doesn't even have -- hold the same esteem anymore. >> look at the primary in april of 2016. one of our largest turnouts ever in flint, the primary between hillary and bernie, and hillary wins in flint, but she loses the state. look at how many here voted in november. usually it's the other way around, more people vote in the general, less in the primary. more people in flint voted in the primary than in the general. i would want to know, if i were running the democratic party, why did people stay home knowing
that the result was going to be possibly donald j. trump? that's some serious anger at what the system has done to fail this city. >> how do you think, jia, about the last two years? there's a lot of people who feel, in different sectors i talked to, that we're in a national emergency. and i think it depends on who you talk to, but when i talk to immigration lawyers, particularly, as a group they're like it's never been this bad, this is all unprecedented, this is horrible, it's a national emergency. if you talk to a lot of legal folks, they feel that way, but not everyone feels that way. how do you think about it? >> it is an emergency. it's -- in flint it's a disaster zone. four years later, today is the 1,600 days since we've had access to clean, suitable drinking water. so for us to be dealing with this four years later, and we're still waiting for pipes to be replaced, infrastructure to be fixed, we're still -- people are
still paying astronomical water bills, people are still losing hair, skin rashes and other health elements and people died from legionnaires, and meanwhile our politicians haven't done enough to meet the needs of the people, it does make people feel like we don't matter. and then, you know, if we don't matter, why should we vote for you? i hear that a lot. so what i do -- i'm a card carrying michigan democrat. >> do you think, given the origins of the crisis here, which was initiated by an election in 2010. >> yes. >> i mean, i think people would agree, right, the crisis here started because of 2010, someone got elected, they took a bunch of steps, they passed laws, the emergency manager law, they passed a law, took away the ability to govern yourself, right? >> that's right. >> took away democracy. >> took away democracy, right, made a decision that no one here was able to veto that poisoned people. >> yes. >> so those are the stakes of that election in 2010.
like do you think of zachary, 2018, having similar stakes? >> yes and no. i think they have similar stakes and i think that we need to not repeat the same mistakes we made in 2010. had we had an inspiring candidate in 2010, i dare say we wouldn't have rick snyder. if we can have candidates that speak to people, we won't have to worry about republicans. >> inspiring doesn't -- the difference is whether people get poisoned or not. who cares if they're inspiring? isn't -- >> that's where i'm -- i'm sorry. >> the difference in -- like the government should not poison its people. >> right, right. >> so it's going to matter in america who has political power and wields it to poison or not poison people. >> correct. that's why the people of flint, not even knowing who snyder was. they didn't vote for him. they voted for the democrat. >> i want to reset for people
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>> just put them in as 3.5 then. >> so the parents aren't able to start taking immediate action to help the child with lead poison. >> they think their child is fine, my child tested low. >> if there was one part of michael moore's new film "fahrenheit 11/9" that most filled me with wrath and rage is the poisoning of the people in this city in flint, michigan. makes me want to know who is being held accountable.
trymaine lee got that question answered. >> everybody that signed the application needs to go to jail. >> there is other people involved that are not being charged. if they were a person on the street and they poisoned a whole town of people, or even one person, they will be put in jail. >> for me, of course, the governor is where the buck stopped. >> governor snyder. >> he has to be held accountable. >> reporter: are there people who you believe committed crimes that have yet to be charged? >> we have charged 15 people. we've had several pleas. people have already been adjudicated. we have had people that have been bound over to trial and to the circuit court. >> reporter: a pretty high profile name, nick lyon, the head of the health department being charged with manslaughter? >> the simple answer to your question is yes. so i don't know of any other government agency director that
has ever been charged in our country at this level. here, what's unprecedented in the united states is when the government pays for the defense, the defense experts, the witnesses, their lawyers. i've never seen this much money, ever. i'm going up against goliath. >> reporter: clearly you believe he played a role in the poisoning of the people in this city. >> i charged nick through a system where i had peer review. and we did that, and a judge found that our charges merited probable cause that a crime was committed and he committed it. >> reporter: so the people of flint have been looking for justice for a very long time. are they finally getting it? >> justice is going to be 12 people sitting in a box, a jury box, making a decision one way or the other.
and justice will be what those 12 people decide. >> and "all in" reporter trymaine lee joins me now, and michael moore, and april cook hawkins, the health department whistle blower who you saw in that movie clip. trymaine, let me start with you, it's a high profile trial in which the head of the state health department has been charged with manslaughter. >> two counts of manslaughter. people in this community can tell you stories about family being affected, people who died and the state will say that a dozen people died. but there's evidence to suggest many more died. so while people here know what happened they also know there was a coverup. there's an e-mail trail. they know exactly who should be held responsible. nick lyon is a big name, but perhaps just the tip of the iceberg. the idea that for more than a dozen months people in the city were poisoned. the frustration and anger you hear in people's voices, not only has it affected their
children, but as of now, no one has been held accountable. >> ariana, your son, as someone who has lived this firsthand, seen it firsthand, how do you feel about the prosecutions, about accountability and whether anyone's been held to account? >> i'm angry. it's taken way too long. if this would have been a normal person on the street, they would have been tried by now, be in jail by now and have justice. for this to be going on for so long, it makes me angry. but the lawyers are sitting up, sucking up all this money that we are still suffering, our pipes are still not replaced. this is a problem. >> people are watching this, there are some people watching this who kind of remember about the flint water thing, and then maybe it's drifted away from their mind, you're living this every day. what can you tell them about what the reality is here now four years later. >> four years later, my son, for example, we still can't safely use our water, he can't take a bath without telling me it burns.
his rashes are back. things are not better. i'm still scared to use the water. i don't want to let my younger kids use the water. i have an 11-year-old who's facing memory loss. he's 11, can't remember what happened yesterday. these are the reality of things happening to our babies right now. >> still? >> still, to this day. >> people in here, you -- are people using their water at home? >> no. >> you still don't have clean water here? >> no. >> there are people in here who once a week, if they have a relative in detroit an hour away, take their children for their once a week shower an hour away just to take a shower. >> that's true. >> you worked inside the state agency, or i guess the county agency. >> for the county. >> you worked for the county. and you saw this unfolding. do you think there's sufficient accountability? >> i feel like people need to be held accountable down even to the health department. >> do you think crimes were committed? >> i do. >> why were you -- do you feel
you were told to lie? >> yes. >> and why do you think they tried to cover it up? >> on a health department level i believe there was not enough people. they didn't have the capacity there to handle such a case. so with two caseworkers, that's all they had. >> and so they just said mark them down 3.5 and move on? >> correct. >> i've got to imagine, michael, let's say -- let's say something happened where the resources were brought to flint to actually clean the water, okay? they clean the water, they got fresh water back, using the great lakes, which is 84% of the world's fresh water, the most incredible fresh water supply known to humans on the earth. the trust that has been disrupted here, i just can't imagine how anyone can trust anything they are told, ever again. >> no. >> like how -- they lied and poisoned you. >> right, and covered it up.
>> and they covered it up. >> covered it up and tried to get -- even the lowest workers on the chain, like april, to lie for them. how they thought they were going to get away with this is amazing. and it's -- and they're not going to. and -- >> but are they? that's my question. you say this in the movie that this was the microcosm in some ways where this was the test run for what can someone get away with? the american city we are sitting in right now was poisoned by its own government. >> yeah. >> not its own government, the state government, was poisoned and there's a few prosecutions. but everyone else is going to ride off in the sunset. >> nick lyon is still running the state health department. >> facing manslaughter charges. >> indicted for manslaughter -- >> if that was me i wouldn't have my job. >> snyder is still in office, still sits in the governor's chair today and his republican attorney general is running for governor in this november's election. and let me just say this. let's say when they decided to
take flint off the pure glacial waters of lake huron. >> it was there and they decided to stop doing that. >> we didn't have a mayor, the manager, the dictator said this is the way it's going to be, you're going to drink from the flint river, and that was that, and nobody had any say in it. and so let's say -- let's say they didn't know that that was going to poison the people, even though i could take you down to the river right now and you're not a scientist, and you will figure out, you're not going to drink from that river, no matter how many freaking filters i put on that water for you. >> right. >> so let's say -- so at a certain point, after a few days or weeks of hearing complaints and then the governor sends somebody quietly to flint and he reports back, oh, you've got to switch back to the lake huron water. you've got to get into damage control. this is all -- and he does nothing from the moment that he
and his staff knew that the people of flint were being poisoned, even if they didn't set out to poison them, if i saw somebody slip some arsenic into our tea a half hour ago and i just sat here and said nothing and did nothing -- >> you are guilty. >> i am guilty and i can be arrested because i knew you were going to die because you were going to drink that tea. >> i think people -- people vaguely know, they know what happened with the water in flint, or vaguely know about it outside of flint. i think something they don't know at all is something that appears in the film that i think a lot of people, if they see the movie are going to walk out and be like what the hell was that, i'm going to play this footage of the film, footage of flint, the city we're in, flint, michigan, something being done to flint, michigan, i want to play it and have you explain. >> for context, this is 14 months after the poisoning began. so the people have already been poisoned now for 14 months.
and then this happened. >> take a look. >> this is not normal in flint. [ bleep ]. wow, where is that? why are they so low? >> what the hell was that? >> that was the federal government now, the department of defense, sadly under president obama, deciding to use flint as target practice, as training for the u.s. army. and with no notice to the people in flint, one night they just start bombing flint. it's lowell junior high school, they went into the old detroit
northern building firing guns. and the people and some of the people are here that took some of the video footage said to the police what's going on here? are we under attack? it looked like a terrorist attack, and it was our own u.s. army. and the army guy said, no, there's just so many abandoned buildings here, we thought it would be great for target practice. they just started bombing these buildings. >> do you remember that night? >> i remember hearing those loud bombs and not knowing what the heck was going on or where it was coming from and just following my friend who was just up here like -- if i wouldn't have followed her feed i wouldn't have known about it. what is happening to us? >> was that just one night you started hearing gunfire? >> yeah, literally. >> it went on for ten days. >> a week and a half, yeah. >> went on for ten days, wasn't covered in the national media. you couldn't get away with that stuff in the old days.
you can do that because this is a majority black city, the poorest city in the united states. >> final thought here, as folks here in flint, for people that are watching this, what do you want to tell people about what you've learned over the last four years, and what does flint need from us and the rest of the country? >> it needs for people to be avoc, it needs for people to see that what happened in flint could happen to your neighborhood and your kids and your family. don't take stuff for granted. don't take the water for granted. some stuff you just have to open your eyes and see, you know, you can't look at media and think that everything is okay in flint. like people have for the last past four years. we've been suffering. >> they're always testing things out here. if we close down all the factories, would the people rise up? nope. if we destroyed their economy, what would happen? nothing. could we poison the water and actually kill people with legionnaires disease, what would
happen to us? governor is still sitting in the chair today. and could we just bomb this city and nothing would happen? it's an underreported story, thank you for reporting it on this show. >> we're talking about the sort of stakes for what happens next in this coming election. i want to thank you guys so much for joining me. stick around, don't go anywhere. >> in the film, you make i think an extremely provocative and it will be surely controversial, there's a whole portion about the rise of the nazis and nazi germany. you even have a section in which you have literally hitler with donald trump's voice. >> it's funny.
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the democratic party should be recruiting extraordinary americans that get on the same fwus as their constituents. understand what it feels like for a teacher not to be paid for lack of resources. >> the definition of electoral insanity is trying to re-elect these same guys over and over again, and expecting our country to be any different. >> we're not ready to give up on the party, just ready to take it over and put people in there that get it. >> take it over? >> take it over, michael. >> the america of 2018, questions of who is running and who is voting. who is active and who is not?
we will see if people in this city, this state, this country, feel like they have a personal stake on what's happening this election day. michael moore is still with us. [ applause ] 25 years old? >> 26. >> 26. and nadine jawad, a graduate of the university of michigan, great to have you guys here. [ applause ] i'll start with you. what do you see as the stakes for what happens in 50 plus days from now? >> yeah, the stakes are obviously very great, and we need to make sure we're engaging the right populations. i feel so often communities of color, youth feel they're not represented by the current state of our democracy.
there's a lot at stake right now. we need to make sure we're mobilizing the right communities. >> you've been doing stuff with college kids. show that working out? >> it's been awesome. this upcoming midterm, there will be a competition across the big ten. students will compete to see who has the greatest turnout and greatest improvement. >> so matched up against each other. >> so you won two years ago. >> i did. >> that was the first time you were elected. why did you run? >> before i was elected i was a teacher. i walked into my classroom first day of school and got appointed department chair at the age of 22. that signalled to me how bad a state our schools were in. i was teaching in detroit and for me, that was the impetus
that we needed real change. so i decided to run 20 minutes south of detroit and we won in a district that trump won by 12 points. >> it's been a problem for the democratic party recently, it's been hard to get democrats to come out to vote. they've been outturned out by republicans, particularly whiter, older constituencies have come out. when you're going around, you won 2016, the stakes at the state level of what state government means, because that's true across the entire country, like what are you telling them? >> the stakes are really high. this election is one of the most important ones of their lifetime. that we have a chance to move the direction of our state in a positive direction. if you do not vote, your voice is silent and you are not advocating for the values we care about. so it's about making sure we maintain investment in our
infrastructure, that we promote and improve our public schools, that we protect our clean water and provide families like here in flint with clean water. it's not just in the city of flint. in my own district, just last week we heard that the state has now told us do not eat the fish in our river because of contamination. so it's affecting communities all over michigan. and we need to make sure we're standing up to corporate interests that are doing all the polluting. >> how do you feel about the stakes this midterm in >> the stakes are very high. there's a lot on the ballot. we have a chance to really take over some things. and making sure that we are keeping community first. so we have to remember this is not necessarily about the person, it's about the community as a whole. >> you mean not about the person, not the candidate. >> it's not about the candidate, but the community as a whole and making sure that person actually
r represents the community they come from. >> it's like, who are they going to listen to when they're in power. >> making sure they listen to their constituents and not just corporate interests. >> this -- there's something kind of existential about this election. in the film, you make i think an extremely provocative and it will be surely controversial. there's a whole portion about the rise of the nazis in nazi, germany. you even have a section which you have literally hitler. >> it's funny. [ laughter ] >> it's chilling, and i think there's a real -- people are torn about that comparison for a lot of reasons. donald trump is not hitler. this is not nazi germany. what is the point of that comparison and what does it say
about what happens in the fall matters? >> the point is not so much about hitler and the nazis. i wrote a book in the '80s that inspired this film some almost 40 years later. and the person who wrote this book said that the fascism of the 21st century would not come with concentration camps or swastikas, but a smiley face and a tv show. and that's how they'll take over the people, just by wooing them in that way. and i think that -- look, the good news here, you see it on this stage, is that this is what america is, and what it looks like. [ applause ] i think all of them know, and they're working on this. look, almost 2/3 of this country right now the people eligible to vote are either women, people of
color, or young people between the ages of 18 and 35. or a combination of those three. that's 2/3 of america. this is not the old white guy that you say -- >> it's not 2/3 of the electorate. that's the thing. that's it. who governs america depends on whether those people vote. >> we have to run candidates that are going to listen to the people and represent the people, as the young man said in that clip. we need to run extraordinary ordinary americans for office. we want a leader who inspires the masses to work for the greater common good or all. >> he's talking about somebody that's ordinary, somebody that's already fighting nor the community, that's already there, that knows our problems and knows our struggles, and has already been there. every day, people -- not somebody that just comes in because they're a father or not
because they need a job. but somebody that actually cares about what happens to all of these people that's here. you know, any one of these people, these water warriors that's in here, these are the people that should be in office. [ applause ] but because of how the politics is ran in this state, that's not the case, because we don't have the money. we don't have the power. we don't have the say so. so just like all of these people that came and they constantly, constantly protest, we constantly knocked on doors and said we need help. we weren't heard. four years later, we weren't heard. where are all these politicians running for office? where are all these people that's actually in office but haven't seen any of these faces? how do you represent me if you're never in the community?
[ applause ] >> one of the things i'll say with that, one of the ways that we're going to be successful, particularly for the new electorate, for people who are emerging as nontraditional candidates, you have to take your message to the people. you can't just rely on tv commercials or the mailers. you have to knock on the doors. so we knocked on 60,000 doors in my election. we took the message to the people, and that's how you win. >> one thing i will say, having knocked on doors myself, whatever your politics are, conservative, liberal, whatever, there is no better practice of democracy than knocking on a bunch of people's doors. whatever you believe, whatever you think. i'm not saying only do it if you're liberal, but go knock on doors, talk to fellow american citizens, and you'll learn a ton. thank you all. and my great thanks to michael moore. >> thank you. >> thank you for coming to
flint. [ cheers and applause ] >> thank you to everyone who joined us here tonight. thank you to flint for having us. and a big thank you to michael moore. good night. "the rachel maddow show" starts now. thanks to you at home for joining us this hour. happy to have you with us. this is a busy news night. it's been a busy news day. u.s. senators have submitted their written questions for supreme court nominee brett kavanaugh. some of those questions, some of those lines of questioning i think will be seen as news in themselves, including at least two senators asking supreme court nominee brett kavanaugh pointed, detailed questions about a potential gambling problem. and the prospect of other people paying off brett kavanaugh's debts. that was an unexpected turn. we'll have more on that ahead tonight.