Michael Moore and the Democratic convention of 1864

By Les Kinsolving

In August of 1864, when the Democratic National Convention met in Chicago, the following plank was added to the platform which was passed by the majority of delegates:

This convention does explicitly declare, as the sense of the American people, that after four years of failure to restore the Union by the experiment of war … justice, humanity, liberty and the public welfare demand that immediate efforts be made for a cessation of hostilities, with a view to an immediate convention of the states, or other peaceable means, to the end that at the earliest practicable moment peace may be restored on the basis of the federal union of the states.

When they learned about this from the newspapers, how did the terribly bloodied – but still advancing – Union armies in Virginia and Georgia feel?

What did they think of this Democratic Party platform when they considered how many hundreds of thousands of their comrades had been killed in action, or badly wounded, in service of their country?

Since the Democratic nominee, Gen. George McClellan, personally repudiated this platform, it would seem obvious that his fellow soldiers felt about this Democratic platform the same way that today’s U.S. armed forces in Iraq will feel about Michael Moore’s latest alleged documentary, “Fahrenheit 9-11.”

I have not seen this Bush-basher, nor will I, for reasons of conscience, add anything to his income. But I can review the reviewers whose occupation demands attendance at even the worse cinematic dishonesty. Among these is that hard-left columnist Christopher Hitchens, who wrote: “To describe this film as dishonest and demagogic would almost be to promote those terms to the level of respectability.”

Wasn’t it Baltimore’s own H.L. Mencken who wrote: “Nobody ever went broke underestimating the taste of some of the American people”?

  • Like those who, by last Sunday, had shelled out $50 million for Michael Moore and his fraudulent film.

  • Like Time magazine, which devoted a cover story that called Moore’s film “fascinating.”

  • Like the New York Times, whose reviewer, A.O. Scott, actually called the film: “A powerful and passionate expression of outraged patriotism.”

  • Like the Los Angeles Times, which contended Moore’s work is “[e]xcellent, provocative and uncompromising. This landmark in American political filmmaking demands to be seen.”

  • Like the Chicago Tribune, which reported that this is “Michael Moore’s toughest, funniest, gutsiest picture yet!”

  • Like USA Today, which called it “[t]he year’s must-see film. Compelling, funny and, most of all, entertaining.”

There is, reports WorldNetDaily, yet another rave review, from the even further left-wing People’s Weekly World:

The movie is a documentary that the American people themselves are part of. It follows the dark history of the Bush administration, hatched from the rotten egg of a stolen election. It shines a light on the dark corners of the Bush family’s brazen disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of African-American voters in Florida, the Bushes’ early – and oily – alliance with the ruling Saudi families, including the Bin Ladens, and the unspeakable toll on America’s working-class families.

The People’s Weekly World, which joined all those Big Media in saluting this Michael Moore film, is the newspaper of the Communist Party USA.