Filmmaker Michael Moore Saturday urged members of the Democratic National Committee to pick Rep. Keith Ellison as the organization's new chairman, saying he is the "fearless leader" needed to bring the party back to power while urging the party to own up to its role in Hillary Clinton's 2016 loss.
"Twice in the past 16 years we, the American people, have overwhelmingly voted for the Democrat for President, only to end up watching the losing Republican be seated in the Oval Office," Moore said in Facebook post Saturday, just hours before voting was to start. "What other group or sports team or political party who wins a contest is declared the loser?"
In the past six out of the past seven presidential elections, Moore said, Democratic candidates have won the popular presidential vote, but now, the party holds no power in any of the government branches, and that means it is time for the DNC to make a "serious change in direction."
Ellison, of Minnesota, is the first Muslim member of Congress and has been an "outspoken advocate for tolerance, peace, diversity, and justice," said Moore, and his background as an organizer is now needed more than ever.
He also urged the party to own its role in Clinton's loss.
"In the end, you know where the buck stops," he said. "It stops with a campaign that wouldn't visit Wisconsin for 7 long months, and a party lost in its own bubble, popping corks at the close of an admittedly great convention, celebrating four months in advance, the election of President Hillary Clinton.
"When you blow it this big, with all due respect, you have to admit your failure and either move on or stay and work with Rep. Ellison in the bottom-up, grassroots Midwestern organizing that has to be done," he continued. "I look forward to doing my part in making that happen."
"Born and raised in Detroit, he moved to Minnesota where he did the serious grassroots organizing that helped turn Minnesota from electing Republicans to electing Democrats," said Moore. "That he has the backing of so many Jewish Americans, from Chuck Schumer to Gloria Steinem, is indicative of how he is a beloved figure in our national politics, not something you can say about many politicians in Congress."
The party needs a leader of the people, not the establishment, said Moore if it hopes to win back the Rust Belt's union members and the working class.
"There's a reason the Auto Workers union, the Steelworkers union, the Teamsters, the AFL-CIO and many other unions have backed Keith and not our recent Labor Secretary," said Moore of Tom Perez, who like Ellison is a top contender for the chairmanship.
"This is not a knock on Tom, a good and decent man," Moore continued. "The point here is that we need to start winning and start now. You need to think outside the box and make a powerful statement to the blue states we lost and to the youth who came alive last year and led a voter revolution to support [Bernie Sanders] a man three times their age."
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