Where to Invade Next?

Each time I go to see a Michael Moore film, I walk away feeling a mixture of gratitude and despair.

His latest work “Where to Invade Next?” is not, as the title may suggest, about the US foreign policy, but rather examines the aspects of social welfare across other countries (like paid leave, gender equality and healthy school lunches). He then proceeds to ‘claim’ them for America by planting a flag where he goes. Hence the title. It’s the best/funniest M. Moore film I’ve seen in a while.

He dramatically overglorifies Europe, but his lack of knowledge is understandable; he doesn’t actually live there and the locals are proud to present their best side. But Europe has its own problems. Bullying, the demand to conform, awful weather.

I’m glad to have grown up in Europe — playing in the mud without a care in the world. Our town did not have a police station — it was a small, Dutch, protestant town surrounded by onion fields. There was no threat of gun violence or war and we could always go to the doctor when something was up.

I’m also glad to be living in the US right now. It’s completely different and I am enthralled. But this country’s system is pretty screwy. What happened in the 70’s to make middle class prosperity come to a sudden halt and see basic human rights were taken away form citizens? Michael Moore makes an attempt at answering but could never quite tell the whole story.

The exciting thing was to see and feel the fiery dissatisfaction among the viewers. A small room packed about 30 folks applauded when the film was over. The American people are upset with the government but feel powerless to do anything about it. This is at the heart of Trump’s success; it’s called a ‘protest vote’ and to me it doesn’t matter whether you see Sanders or Trump as the representative of your dismay — when a vote against the establishment becomes too powerful to contain, sociopolitical change is within reach.


Categories: Being Dutch in the USATags: , , , ,

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