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Can Michael Moore’s Trump Documentary ‘Fahrenheit 11/9′ Really ‘End’ the President?

Michael Moore green hat
Thos Robinson/Getty Images

After spending months covertly filming a documentary about Donald Trump called Fahrenheit 11/9, Michael Moore finally decided to announce it to the public — with a gigantic, and risky, promise:

No matter what you throw at [Trump], it hasn’t worked. No matter what is revealed, he remains standing. Facts, reality, brains cannot defeat him. Even when he commits a self-inflicted wound, he gets up the next morning and keeps going and tweeting. That all ends with this movie.

What, exactly, “ends”?

We’ll get to that in a moment, but let’s note first that this is obviously a bit of promotion and publicity. Moore and the Weinstein brothers, who purchased the rights to the film which will be released at the upcoming Cannes Film Festival, want people to buy tickets to see Fahrenheit 11/9, so they’re building anticipation using some showmanship and exaggeration. That’s perfectly fine.

When Moore says that Donald Trump has been more or less invincible since he started his presidential campaign, he’s correct. Over the last two years, Trump has shattered multiple political rules and norms previously thought to be ironclad, unbreakable — from insulting Senator John McCain’s POW status, to refusing to release his tax returns, to openly mocking and ridiculing members of his own party, to outright lying repeatedly, shamelessly, relentlessly. (Someone even wrote a song about it.)

Then there was that Access Hollywood tape where Trump bragged about sexually assaulting women, a bombshell nearly every political pundit in the country was certain would, at last, sink him. And still, tens of millions of Americans voted for him.

Trump famously boasted, “I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, and I wouldn’t lose any voters, okay? It’s, like, incredible.” He is almost certainly right about that (especially if the person he shot was a liberal).

So clearly national politics has changed irrevocably. How does Moore plan to address that? What does he have on film? What in the world even could finally stick to Trump enough that his base of loyal voters would forsake him?

Maybe Moore has something that will shake things up enough to bring down the president, but he should be careful not to make promises he can’t keep. Trump claimed on the campaign trail that he would build a wall along the southern border to keep out illegal immigrants, a perfectly normal stance for a Republican presidential candidate to take. But then he added that he would also somehow get Mexico to pay for the wall, an idea so obviously ludicrous that the phrase “Mexico will pay for it” became a meme.

Moore may be making the same mistake by saying, “That all ends with this movie.” If Fahrenheit 11/9 doesn’t have something really juicy — maybe evidence of those urinating Russian prostitutes? Proof that Trump personally owes Vladimir Putin millions of dollars? — we could easily see Moore’s opponents on the right adding a “That all ends with this [whatever]” every time someone criticizing Trump is found to be less than 100 percent honest.

Hyperbole is a powerful rhetorical tactic. Trump himself wrote (or at least his ghostwriter did) in The Art of the Deal:

That’s why a little hyperbole never hurts. People want to believe that something is the biggest and the greatest and the most spectacular. I call it truthful hyperbole. It’s an innocent form of exaggeration — and a very effective form of promotion.

So maybe that’s all this is. Maybe in the coming months, as the release of the movie approaches, the rhetoric will ratchet down and we’ll learn exactly what Moore wants to say about Trump. But can he “end” the president? That seems highly unlikely.

Then again, every day the odds of Trump’s impeachment grow better, so maybe Fahrenheit 11/9 can land the final blow and vindicate its maker’s words. But if not, you may end up seeing a lot of this:

Michael Moore that all ends with this movie
Getty Images

NEXT: WATCH JIMMY KIMMEL TEACH KIDS HOW TRUMP'S LIES BECOME FACTS

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