By Michael Moore
29 October 2003
Operation Ten-Minute Oil Change
"We cannot leave this election to the Democrats to screw it up again.
It will require the active participation of all of us to get out there
and snatch our country back. I am writing this as best I can, as
personally as I can, to each of you who read Stupid White Men
(more than 2 million Americans), each of you who saw Bowling for
Columbine (over 30 million of you) and all of you who have come to
my Web site (over a million a day). That's enough for a small army, and
so I once again want to call out Mike's Militia to rise up and beat
back the Invasion of the Bushies.
True, we don't have the money and the media outlets they have -- but
we've got something better: We've got the people on our side. And
unless they declare martial law or suspend the election, unless they've
got Katherine Harris sucking chads in all fifty states, then there is no
good reason why we shouldn't be able to beat them.
As your commander in chief, I hereby instruct you to engage in
"Operation 10-Minute Oil Change." By doing something for just ten
minutes each day, we will be able to remove the oil slick of Bush and
his oil buddies who now sit in the White House. I ask each of you to
perform the following guerrilla activities between now and November 2004.
They will take only ten minutes each day:
- 1. Talk to anyone and everyone who will listen about
every which way Bush has been bad for the country and bad for them.
This election, like all elections with incumbents, is more a referendum
on the incumbent than on the opponent. If the electorate comes to
believe that the incumbent has hurt the country or the pocketbook of the
average citizen, then the voters will usually vote for whoever is
winning against him. So the first focus must be to convince people you
know that a change is in order.
- 2. Join the campaign of the person you believe has the best
chance of beating Bush. Join more than one if you can't make up your
mind right now.
- 2. Download a poster from your candidate's Web site and
stick it in your window or your yard. Order a bumper sticker and put it
on your car.
- 3. Sign up to run for precinct delegate (if there's still
time for the 2004 caucuses and primaries. If not, see if you can attend
the caucus meetings or the country convention). You must find a way to
get in on the ground floor with those who will ultimately pick the
candidate at the national convention.
- 4. There is still time for YOU to run for local office in
the upcoming election. Why not YOU? It's not like there's a great
brain trust lining up to be on the village council. Just do it!
- 5. Buy a few copies of the following books and pass them
around to your friends and family and your conservative brothers-in-law:
The Best Democracy Money Can Buy; Perpetual War for Perpetual
Peace; Bushwhacked!; Thieves in High Places; The Great Unraveling; and
Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them. They all contain great bits
of useful information that, once shared with any sane person, will only
increase the size of Mike's Militia.
- 6. I need each person who reads this book to pledge to give up
their four Saturdays in October 2004 to go out and work for the
candidates who are going to put an end to the Bush regime in D.C. Just
four Saturday afternoons for your country. I know this is more than the
ten minutes I asked of you -- but you're in too deep now to quit! There
are a number of things you can do: Go door to door for a congressional
candidate, hand out literature on the street, make phone calls from a
candidate's headquarters to get out the vote, put up yard signs, lick
stamps, send e-mails, call in to talk shows, hound the opponents, hold
rallies, host neighborhood potlucks. This election will be about one
thing - Getting Out the Vote.
- 7. For the more committed among you, why not travel to a
congressional district that is one of the swing districts where
there's a chance to boot a Republican out? Many of us think nothing of
getting on a bus and traveling a thousand miles to Washington, D.C., for
a demonstration. Why not travel to Paducah, Kentucky, to work for a
week or a weekend for a candidate who has a shot at winning? Your
presence could make the difference. It's a little more work than
carrying a sign and chanting slogans, but the results may be worth it.
(You can go to my Web site
to find out those districts I've targeted where they need our
8. Election Day: Take a Non-voter to Lunch -- and to Vote! What
if each one of you who plans to vote in 2004 convinced just one
person who isn't planning to vote to go with you to the polls? DO
NOT try to convince someone who has completely checked out of voting to
check back in; doesn't work that way. People don't usually remarry the
first spouse and they usually don't go to the same movie twice. So skip
the moral argument of the good citizen speech and just say to Bob -- who
has been bitching about everything from Bush to his 401(k) -- "Hey, I'm
heading over to vote. Let's get the hell outta here!" When you get to
the polls, ask him to come on in with you, it'll only take ten
minutes. Trust me, he'll go along. It's just like when someone
says, "Here-have-a-beer." You often aren't in the mood for one but you
don't want to turn your friend down, and, besides, what can it hurt?
Your job, between now and next election day, is to identify one friend,
family member, co-worker or fellow student who has views similar to
yours but will probably not bother to vote unless you actually go with
him or her to the polling place. In many congressional races, the
outcome is decided by only a few thousand votes. If I'm lucky, there
are over a million of you reading this book right now. All it would
take to switch the balance of power is for just 10 percent of you to
take one or two of your non-voting friends to the polls with you. It
really is that simple.
9. Finally, here's an idea to get even more non-voters out to the
polls. We used to do this back home in Flint. Everyone who votes
(in most states) is given a receipt with a number on it when their ballot
is deposited in the ballot box (some states also hand out little "I
Voted" stickers). Hold a big concert or party in your town on election
night when the admission ticket is simply the voter receipt stub or
sticker. Announce that you are going to hold a raffle with these voter
stubs and the winner will receive whatever prize your cohorts
are able to give (we used to give out $1000, though one year someone
donated a car to give away). This was especially effective in getting
young people out to vote, and I've seen Black and Latin communities
have a lot of success in getting people who otherwise feel
disenfranchised to give it one last chance. Make sure you follow your
local election and raffle laws, but if you try it, you may be surprised
how well it works. Sure, it would be nice if people voted just because
it is their sacred right, but, let's face it, we live in
twenty-first-century America and, unless it's a phone-in vote on
Total Request Live, the majority has no enthusiasm to get
involved. Whatever it takes to jumpstart their batteries again, I'm for
There you go. You have your marching orders. Don't fail me, and don't
fail yourself. They out-smarted us once -- and they're supposed to
be the stupid white men! Let's not let it happen again. There's just
too damn many of us to have it end up any other way. We love our
country and we care about the world in which our country exists. There
is no reason to sink into some self-centered despair or cynicism. There
is every reason to put this book down right now, pick up the phone, walk
out the door, and make a difference.
Dude, where's your country? It's right outside your window, just
waiting for you to bring it home.
Tim's Bill of Rights
1800 Cedar Street
Berkeley, California 94703
Telephone: (510) 841-4106
noon til six, Monday thru Saturday