We can blame Donald Trump’s rise to power on a lot of things, including the idiotic racism of white people, the Russians, James Comey, the Democrats’ insistence on treating him like a “normal” political opponent and not a dangerous monster, and Bernie Sanders’ decision to pout for a while when he lost instead of trying harder to convince his supporters to vote for Hillary Clinton, but Michael Moore’s new documentary Fahrenheit 11/9 pins some of the blame squarely on Gwen Stefani. This comes from Billboard, which says Moore argues that Trump’s decision to pursue politics was all because he found out that Stefani was paid more for being a judge on The Voice than he was for hosting The Apprentice.
Supposedly, Trump’s plan was to hold some rallies and show NBC how much people love his folksy brand of dangerous ignorance, at which point the network would realize that a racist businessman famous for being a huge asshole was more valuable than a pop star on a smash-hit music show. As Moore tells it, though, the plan “backfired” and “then we got stuck with him.”
However, the problem with this theory is that this shit is b-a-n-a-n-a-s. Even if we accept the premise that Trump wanted to hold rallies just to make a point to NBC about how he deserved more money than Gwen Stefani, that’s an absurdly simplistic justification for the mess we’re in now. It’s like Seth Meyers’ theory that Trump wanted to stick it to everyone who laughed at him at the 2011 White House Correspondents’ Dinner, except that it requires an absolute egomaniac to dramatically underestimate his popularity—which, given what we’ve seen from Trump, seems impossible.
Moore’s theory lets everyone off the hook a little, including everyone working for Trump’s campaign and the people who voted for him, as if everyone (from the racist voters to James Comey) was just a tumbling domino that couldn’t respond to Trump in any other way. In Moore’s defense, though, it is a very cute idea and it probably plays better in context