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Mark Bello
Mark Bello
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Michael Moore: One Thing

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My wife and I are spending a little time in New York City. There are many things to love (or not love) about New York, but our favorite place is Broadway; we love the theatre.

Monday evening we had the opportunity to see Michael Moore’s one-man Broadway show, The Terms of MY Surrender. I know what you’re thinking: Michael Moore and Broadway? Strange combination. While a conservative or a Trump fan (not necessarily the same animal) may not like the show, speaking for my wife and me, we thought it was fabulous.

Without ruining the experience for anyone who plans to see the show, I would like to share a few key points. Michael Moore begins with a rant that asks a simple question. “How the F*&%$# did this happen? He is not speaking about how he found himself on a Broadway stage; he is referring to the election of President Donald Trump. It is no secret that Moore does not like our 45th president, even though he was one of the first to predict that Trump would win the election.

Aside from lamenting about Trump’s victory, Michael Moore spent a significant amount of time imploring the audience to get involved. He suggests (and so do I) that we all must do at least “one thing” to get involved and make sure that Democrats take back the house, senate, and presidency in 2018 and 2020. He encourages calls to local, state and federal representatives. He encourages us to run for political office or to help someone else do so. Of course, Michael Moore doesn’t just talk the talk; he walks the walk. And, he has done so despite multiple attempts on his life, and death threats from right wing zealots.

Before he became famously liberal, Michael Moore, as a teenager, was the reluctant winner of an essay contest about Abraham Lincoln. He decided to write about The Elks Club’s requirement that a person be Caucasian in order to join the club. The press got wind of the story and the publicity generated by the essay was a major reason why the Elks Club was forced to change its racist policies. At age 18, Moore got himself elected to the Michigan Board of Education. His purpose for doing so was to get rid of principals, assistant principals, and teachers who he felt were abusive. He succeeded in obtaining their resignations.

In 1985, Ronald Reagan announced plans to lay a wreath at the graves of Nazi SS troopers while he was in Germany attending an upcoming G-7 summit. One of Michael’s friends, a Jewish person, had lost most of his family in the Holocaust. Michael and his friend decided to travel to Germany and, somehow, protest Reagan’s visit. He and his friend made the trip, obtained fake press credentials, went to the cemetery and, with Pierre Salinger and ABC News filming, unveiled a banner as Reagan arrived. The banner read: We Came From Michigan, USA, To Remind You: They Killed My Family.

Michael Moore has gone on to become an Oscar winning film maker (he tells the story of how someone ‘keyed’ his Oscar) and has taken on issues from auto companies abandoning cities, to Columbine, to health care, and, finally, to Flint, Michigan, where Republican governor, Rick Snyder created the Flint water crisis that caused some 10,000 children to be lead poisoned and an entire metropolis to be ruined.

I have no desire to run for office, but I have worked on the campaigns of many pro-justice candidates. My career has always been dedicated to my “one thing” — obtaining justice for those who could not do so without someone like me – an experienced trial lawyer by their side against a powerful defendant.

Recently, as my career winds down, I have decided to do “one more thing”. I’ve written two novels, Betrayal of Faith and Betrayal of Justice. Both depict David v. Goliath challenges with a courtroom backdrop. In Faith, a troubled lawyer takes on a powerful church that is attempting to cover-up clergy child abuse. In Justice, the same brave lawyer takes on the government and white supremacists that try to railroad a Muslim woman for a crime she did not commit. Hopefully, people who I could not reach with my law practice will read these books and become passionate about justice and the law. Hopefully, the young and impressionable will read these books and seek the path of the bully pulpit rather than the path of the bully.

There is only one Michael Moore and, if you are planning a trip to NYC during Michael’s 12-week Broadway run, I encourage you to see his show. I also encourage anyone who reads this to do your “one thing” to change our current political nightmare.

Moore suggests, in his Broadway show, that each of us download an app named 5calls.org. This is a site that helps you contact your elected representatives to make your voice heard. Doing so could be your “one thing” and an easy one at that. Doing your “one thing” may include running for office or joining a political campaign. It may be protesting gerrymandering of congressional districts, protesting a candidate, or even writing an article or a book. DO SOMETHING, anything. Change the world. I believe in the power of you!

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