To Better Understand Americans

Eileen, bless her heart, reminded me today of my favorite movie monolouge ever. And so I share part of it, because I think this is what people in a lot of places, from Salem to Tallahassee to Nigeria to (oh, is she going there?) Lambeth Palace (She went there!) don’t quite understand about us.

America isn’t easy. America is advanced citizenship. You gotta want it bad, ’cause it’s gonna put up a fight. It’s gonna say “You want free speech? Let’s see you acknowledge a man whose words make your blood boil, who’s standing center stage and advocating at the top of his lungs that which you would spend a lifetime opposing at the top of yours. You want to claim this land as the land of the free? Then the symbol of your country can’t just be a flag; the symbol also has to be one of its citizens exercising his right to burn that flag in protest. Show me that, defend that, celebrate that in your classrooms. Then, you can stand up and sing about the ‘land of the free’.”

I’ve known Bob Rumson for years, and I’ve been operating under the assumption that the reason Bob devotes so much time and energy to shouting at the rain was that he simply didn’t get it.

Well, I was wrong.

Bob’s problem isn’t that he doesn’t get it. Bob’s problem is that he can’t sell it! We have serious problems to solve, and we need serious people to solve them. And whatever your particular problem is, I promise you, Bob Rumson is not the least bit interested in solving it. He is interested in two things and two things only: making you afraid of it and telling you who’s to blame for it.

From the movie The American President.

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One response to “To Better Understand Americans

  1. And too bad we’ll never have a President with that kind of vision!