The problem with the modern American liberal is that they take things too darn seriously, says Michael Moore. The director of the Academy Award wining Best Documentary, Bowling For Columbine and author of the best-selling book, Stupid White Men was in Columbus October 30 as part of a 39 city tour to promote his new book, Dude, Where’s My Country?

Invited by the Students for Economic Labor and Justice, Committee for Justice in Palestine and the Council for Graduate Students, Moore spoke to a standing-room crowd of over 400 wildly enthusiastic students at the Ohio Union East Ballroom. Moore delayed his remarks step out to the front lawn of the Ohio Union to address a crowd of another 400 or so whom had been turned away. He told both audiences, “There’s hope that things are going to change and we’re going to remove George Bush.”

By an odd coincidence, the author of Dude, Where’s My Country was in the city at the same time as President Bush, the dude Moore says stole the country in the election of 2000. The president was in Columbus for a Republican fund-raiser.

“Usually it takes years for the lie to be exposed, but this only took a few months,” Moore said in a withering dissection of the war in Iraq. He told the audience that those opposed to the war had no reason to apologize for that opposition nor feel compelled to assert their patriotism. “Anyone who attacks you for dissenting is the one who hates America,” he said.

“If you said anything bad against the war, you immediately had to follow up with ‘I support the troops,’ ” Moore said.

“You’ve always supported the troops,” Moore continued. “It’s they–the Bushes, the Cheneys, the Rumsfelds, the Wolfowitzs–that hate the troops. They sent them into harm’s way and for what?”

Moore lamented the loss of 358 American soldiers and suggested, “I would like Halliburton to build a sacrificial altar and every time one of our boys dies over there they should have to sacrifice a mid-level executive.”

Moore’s two hour long talk ranged from ripping into the Bush Administration’s excursion into Iraq, the coming fall of right-wing media outlets like Fox News and even a blistering critique into the non-working lighted arches of the Short North.

“What’s up with those arches?” Moore asked as the crowd burst out in laughter. “Half of them were on and half of them were off and half of them were trying to come on.”

With his new book coming fast on the heels of Al Franken’s withering satire of conservative authors in general and Bill O’ Reilly of Fox News’s The O’ Reilly Factor Moore lauded Franken for baiting the notoriously prickly O’ Reilly and Fox into an ill-fated lawsuit.

“They got exposed as a joke,” Moore chortled. “They have been defanged by humor and liberals have forgotten to use humor as a weapon.”

Moore says he believes the grumpiness of conservatives, “is the sound of a dying dinosaur.” He sees the 2004 elections as an opportunity to prove America is turning back to the political Left for answers and the right-wing is afraid of losing power if Bush is defeated.

“You know the Angry White Guy is a minority. Only 35 percent of the electorate is white males,” he said. “Two-thirds are women and minorities and they taught us how to treat minorities, so they know what’s going to happen with them.”

Moore says that if original Angry White Guy and admitted drug addict Rush Limbaugh was illegally purchasing massive amounts of OxyContin, he should be forever referred to as “Rush Limbaugh: Druglord,” and added, “Let’s start convicting a few people before they get a fair trial because they happen to be white.”

“What would someone from the Columbus Dipshit...errr...Dispatch, think of that?” Moore said.

The city’s daily newspaper failed to mention the Academy Award winning director’s appearance in Friday editions of the Dispatch.

Moore declined to endorse any presidential candidate though in Dude, Where’s My Country? He writes a strongly in favor of Wesley Clark. In response to a question why he had not mentioned Congressman Dennis Kucinich, Moore said while he liked Kucinich’s politics he doubted whether Kucinich could win the Democratic nomination. He added, “Saying the war was wrong didn’t start with Howard Dean. It started with the Dixie Chicks.”

He also cautioned that “the Left has got to stop being so elitist” and it had to welcome disaffected Republicans, independents and Democrats that are less than “pure” on the issues. “We can’t say because Dennis was pro-life on abortion or Clark voted for Ronald Reagan, we won’t vote for you.”

“We have to welcome these people back,” Moore added. “2004 isn’t the year to make statements. This is a year to win.”

Next up for Moore is finishing his next film, Fahrenheit 911, which is about America since the September 11 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington. The movie’s title is a nod to the Ray Bradbury story about book burning, Fahrenheit 451. Moore says his title refers to “the temperature where truth burns.”

Jeff Winbush is a freelance writer and frequent contributor to ALIVE and The Columbus Post.

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