Tomtom, imagine that you think Michael Moore is basically correct (big picture) in his view on Bush and on Iraq. You now have a messenger who is opening people’s eyes to what’s really going on in the world. Many people are dying senselessly, and the world is being made more dangerous so that a few Saudi-connected oil barons (or a Jewish Neocon cabal or whoever is the ultimate bad guy in his movie – I haven’t seen it) can profit.
If that’s the way you look at it, then your question becomes amazingly easy to answer: Moore betters America by opening people’s eyes to the underlying truth – the fact that his “documentaries” themselves contain exaggerations and falsehoods is a minor complaint compared to the overall good he does by working to change US policy.
If you think that Moore basically has it wrong, then you could still argue that it is good for the system to have an open and vibrant political debate, with opinions heard from all sides. In that sense you could say that, like neo-Nazi websites or other forms of political speech that you disagree with [color=darkred]“It is good that the system promotes the expression of a wide range of positions – but in my opinion that particular position, if enacted as policy, would be bad for America.” [/color]
This is, however, more an argument that free speech and political debate betters America, rather than the speakers themselves. On the other hand, I suppose one could maintain that without the speakers there would be no speech. I can see this point to a certain extent, but I have trouble applying it to groups with whom I disagree. Can I really state, for example, that neo-Nazi websites and pamphlets have “bettered America”?
Anyway, for most people I doubt any of this analysis figures in the equation. I suspect most Moore supporters feel that he betters America because he is basically communicating an underlying truth, even if he has to stretch the facts in his films to get the message across. Most Moore critics probably feel that he harms America not so much by using deception in his medium, but rather because his underlying message is wrong, and if adopted as policy, would make the world a worse place.
In the end I doubt [color=blue]“Has MM bettered America?” [/color]is fundamentally any different from asking [color=blue]“Is MM’s message essentially correct[/color]?”. If there is a difference between these two questions (i.e. if someone believes that he is fundamentally wrong but still betters America by adding to the political debate), then maybe that person is the one who can help me accept that neo-Nazis better America as well.
It’s not good to let any kid near a container that has a skull and crossbones on it, because there might be a skeleton custume inside and the kid could put it on and really scare you. – Collected Wisdom of Jack Shushu