“Hope is passive,” Moore said about [his new Trump documentary]. “Hope gives you permission to let someone else do the work. Hope leads people to believe that tax returns, or a pee tape, or the FBI or an adult film star will save the country. Hope, and the passivity that comes with it, is what helped get us here to begin with. It’s the lazy way out. We don’t need hope. We need action.”

Passive faith in some sort of just teleology seems very much part of the fabric of American society, displayed both by those with a belief that some diety will right all wrongs and those who see themselves as humanists while retaining a similar faith in some universal truth force. Wrenching Americans away from video screens and into a struggle for political power will involve redefining selves as something other than passive consumers of mass media.

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