But something has happened to the movie. A small clip, featuring Mr. Moore first showing empathy for working-class Trump supporters, then assuming the posture of a Donald Trump voter and delivering a scathing indictment of our current political/plutocratic system, has been isolated from the film, repurposed, and gone viral among Trump supporters. Indeed, the clip is almost as rousing and compelling as any Trump event:
Mr. Trump, who orchestrated an astonishing takeover of the moribund and corrupt Republican party, has even retweeted the video himself.
I agree, @MMFlint- To all Americans, I see you & I hear you. I am your voice. Vote to #DrainTheSwamp w/ me on 11/8. https://t.co/D7nBwkogBb— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 27, 2016
In response, Mr. Moore has affected an amused attitude:
Hey everyone - Trump, Jr. & right wing thinks my movie called "TrumpLand" is pro-Trump! Haha. Pls don't tell them otherwise! #satire #irony pic.twitter.com/difR93uzTg— Michael Moore (@MMFlint) October 26, 2016
Haha, indeed. But the joke is on Mr. Moore.
Whether he intended it or not, “TrumpLand” IS “pro-Trump,” and there is no #irony in that. Once Mr. Moore let his work out into the world, he lost control over its perception. Like Sid Phillips in “Toy Story,” Trump’s fans have refused to accept Mr. Moore’s interpretation of his own work and have turned it into a rallying cry in favor of their candidate.
Sid Phillips appropriated corporate-approved, licensed toys to create his own unique artistic masterpieces. As a result, he was the "villain" of the first Toy Story movie, which was an allegory for corporate anxiety in the age of the internet. Now, Trump fans have rallied around an appropriated segment of Michael Moore's TrumpLand movie.
Mr. Trump’s fans have been doing that for a long time. A recent study suggested that 91% of media coverage of Mr. Trump was negative. In response, his fans have rallied around him, attacking those who have overwhelming attacked their candidate.
Obviously they feel that Mr. Moore’s impassioned monologue represents them in a way that they find inspiring. Whatever is in the rest of "TrumpLand," it's those four minutes that will make the most impact. There’s not a damn thing Mr. Moore can do about that now.