Michael Moore's Action Plan: 15 Things Every American Can Do Right Now
By Michael Moore, MichaelMoore.com
Posted on October 22, 2009, Printed on October 23, 2009
It's the #1 question I'm constantly asked after people see my movie: "OK -- so now what can I do?!"
You want something to do? Well, you've come to the right place!
'Cause I got 15 things you and I can do right now to fight back and try
to fix this very broken system.
Here they are:
FIVE THINGS WE DEMAND THE PRESIDENT AND CONGRESS DO IMMEDIATELY:
1. Declare a moratorium on all home evictions. Not
one more family should be thrown out of their home. The banks must
adjust their monthly mortgage payments to be in line with what people's
homes are now truly worth -- and what they can afford. Also, it must be
stated by law: If you lose your job, you cannot be tossed out of your
2. Congress must join the civilized world and expand Medicare For All Americans.
A single, nonprofit source must run a universal health care system that
covers everyone. Medical bills are now the #1 cause of bankruptcies and
evictions in this country. Medicare For All will end this misery. The
bill to make this happen is called H.R. 3200 (but only with Rep.
Anthony Weiner's amendment). You must call AND write your members of Congress and demand its passage, no compromises allowed.
3. Demand publicly-funded elections and a prohibition on elected officials leaving office and becoming lobbyists. Yes,
those very members of Congress who solicit and receive millions of
dollars from wealthy interests must vote to remove ALL money from our
electoral and legislative process. Tell your members of Congress they must support campaign finance bill H.R.1826.
4. Each of the 50 states must create a state-owned public bank like they have in North Dakota.
Then congress MUST reinstate all the strict pre-Reagan regulations on
all commercial banks, investment firms, insurance companies -- and all
the other industries that have been savaged by deregulation: Airlines,
the food industry, pharmaceutical companies -- you name it. If a
company's primary motive to exist is to make a profit, then it needs a
set of stringent rules to live by -- and the first rule is "Do no
harm." The second rule: The question must always be asked -- "Is this
for the common good?" (Click here for some info about the state-owned Bank of North Dakota.)
5. Save this fragile planet and declare that all the energy
resources above and beneath the ground are owned collectively by all of
us. Just like they do it in Sarah Palin's socialist Alaska. We
only have a few decades of oil left. The public must be the owners and
landlords of the natural resources and energy that exists within our
borders or we will descend further into corporate anarchy. And when it
comes to burning fossil fuels to transport ourselves, we must cease
using the internal combustion engine and instruct our
auto/transportation companies to rehire our skilled workforce and build
mass transit (clean buses, light rail, subways, bullet trains, etc.)
and new cars that don't contribute to climate change. (For more on
this, here's a proposal I wrote
in December.) Demand that General Motors' de facto chairman, Barack
Obama, issue a JFK man-on-the-moon-style challenge to turn our country
into a nation of trains and buses and subways. For Pete's sake, people,
we were the ones who invented (or perfected) these damn things in the
FIVE THINGS WE CAN DO TO MAKE CONGRESS AND THE PRESIDENT LISTEN TO US:
1. Each of us must get into the daily habit of taking 5 minutes to make four brief calls: One to the President (202-456-1414), one to your Congressperson (202-224-3121) and one to each of your two Senators (202-224-3121). To find out who represents you, click here.
Take just one minute on each of these calls to let them know how you
expect them to vote on a particular issue. Let them know you will have
no hesitation voting for a primary opponent -- or even a candidate from
another party -- if they don't do our bidding. Trust me, they will
listen. If you have another five minutes, click here to send them each an email. And if you really want to drop an anvil on them, send them a snail mail letter!
2. Take over your local Democratic Party. Remember
how much fun you had with all those friends and neighbors working
together to get Barack Obama elected? YOU DID THE IMPOSSIBLE. It's time
to re-up! Get everyone back together and go to the monthly meeting of
your town or county Democratic Party -- and become the majority that
runs it! There will not be many in attendance and they will either be
happy or in shock that you and the Obama Revolution have entered the
room looking like you mean business. President Obama's agenda will
never happen without mass grass roots action -- and he won't feel
encouraged to do the right thing if no one has his back, whether it's
to stand with him, or push him in the right direction. When you all
become the local Democratic Party, send me a photo of the group and I'll post it on my website.
3. Recruit someone to run for office who can win in your
local elections next year -- or, better yet, consider running for
office yourself! You don't have to settle for the incumbent
who always expects to win. You can be our next representative! Don't
believe it can happen? Check out these examples of regular citizens who
got elected: State Senator Deb Simpson, California State Assemblyman Isadore Hall, Tempe, Arizona City Councilman Corey Woods, Wisconsin State Assemblyman Chris Danou, and Washington State Representative Larry Seaquist. The list goes on and on -- and you should be on it!
4. Show up. Picket the local branch of a big bank that took the bailout money.
Hold vigils and marches. Consider civil disobedience. Those town hall
meetings are open to you, too (and there's more of us than there are of
them!). Make some noise,
have some fun, get on the local news. Place "Capitalism Did This" signs
on empty foreclosed homes, closed down businesses, crumbling schools
and infrastructure. (You can download them from my website.)
5. Start your own media. You. Just you (or you and
a couple friends). The mainstream media is owned by corporate America
and, with few exceptions, it will never tell the whole truth -- so you
have to do it! Start a blog! Start a website of real local news (here's an example: The Michigan Messenger). Tweet your friends and use Facebook to let them know what they need to do politically. The daily papers are dying. If you don't fill that void, who will?
FIVE THINGS WE SHOULD DO TO PROTECT OURSELVES AND OUR LOVED ONES UNTIL WE GET THROUGH THIS MESS:
1. Take your money out of your bank if it took bailout money and place it in a locally-owned bank or, preferably, a credit union.
2. Get rid of all your credit cards but one -- the kind where you have to pay up at the end of the month or you lose your card.
3. Do not invest in the stock market. If you have
any extra cash, put it away in a savings account or, if you can, pay
down on your mortgage so you can own your home as soon as possible. You
can also buy very safe government savings bonds or T-bills. Or just buy
your mother some flowers.
4. Unionize your workplace so that you and your coworkers have a say in how your business is run. Here's how to do it (more info here).
Nothing is more American than democracy, and democracy shouldn't be
checked at the door when you enter your workplace. Another way to
Americanize your workplace is to turn your business into a worker-owned cooperative.
You are not a wage slave. You are a free person, and you giving up
eight hours of your life every day to someone else is to be properly
compensated and respected.
5. Take care of yourself and your family. Sorry to
go all Oprah on you, but she's right: Find a place of peace in your
life and make the choice to be around people who are not full of
negativity and cynicism. Look for those who nurture and love. Turn off
the TV and the Blackberry and go for a 30-minute walk every day. Eat
fruits and vegetables and cut down on anything that has sugar, high
fructose corn syrup, white flour or too much sodium (salt) in it (and,
as Michael Pollan says, "Eat (real) food, not too much, mostly
plants"). Get seven hours of sleep each night and take the time to read
a book a month. I know this sounds like I've turned into your grandma,
but, dammit, take a good hard look at Granny -- she's fit, she's rested
and she knows the names of both of her U.S. Senators without having to
Google them. We might do well to listen to her. If we don't put our own
"oxygen mask" on first (as they say on the airplane), we will be of no
use to the rest of the nation in enacting any of this action plan!
I'm sure there are many other ideas you can come up with on how we
can build this movement. Get creative. Think outside the
politics-as-usual box. BE SUBVERSIVE! Think of that local action no one
else has tried. Behave as if your life depended on it. Be bold! Try
doing something with reckless abandon. It may just liberate you and
your community and your nation.
And when you act, send me your stories, your photos and your video -- and be sure to post your ideas in the comments beneath this letter on my site so they can be shared with millions.
C'mon people -- we can do this! I expect nothing less of all of you, my true and trusted fellow travelers!
Michael Moore is an Academy Award-winning filmmaker and author. He directed and produced Roger & Me, Bowling for Columbine, Fahrenheit 9/11, and Sicko. He has also written seven books, most recently, Mike’s Election Guide 2008
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