(I’d say something, but a character named Mr. Smith said it all when he went to Washington. Isn’t it interesting that under a president who doesn’t want ‘buisness to go on as usual’ that nothing has changed? Didn’t a little while ago a senator say that it was ‘business as usual’ for the representatives to agree to ‘sweetheart deals’ to get a certain measure passed? Mr. Smith wouldn’t sell his vote like that. The thing is that so many have been in the machine or molded by old cogs that they see no need to right themselves. That’s alright though, we’ll straighten them out eventually. It is interesting that these days you can vote to prevent a fillibuster, to keep a senator from bogging things down with his or her right to free speech. At this point, we’ve gotten an offer on the house and even though we’re selling it “AS IS” our realtor insists on us making some major changes. We just don’t have the money to spend, we can’t afford to pay the mortgage, continue to rent, and build the other house as well as pay to update the mortagage house. We’ve worked all our lives to have good credit, we haven’t any credit card debt, but it just isn’t enough in this market.)
H.V. Kaltenborn: “[Announcing on the radio] Half of official Washington is here to see democracy’s finest show, the filibuster, the right to talk your head off, the American privilege of free speech in its most dramatic form. The least man in that chamber, once he gets and holds that floor by the rules, can hold it and talk as long as he can stand on his feet providing always, first, that he does not sit down, second, that he does not leave the chamber or stop talking. The galleries are packed. In the diplomatic gallery are the envoys of two dictator powers. They have come here to see what they can’t see at home. DEMOCRACY IN ACTION.”
Jefferson Smith: “[After reading the Declaration of Independence] Now, you’re not gonna have a country that can make these kind of rules work, if you haven’t got men that have learned to tell human rights from a punch in the nose.
[The Senate applauds] It’s a funny thing about men, you know. They all start life being boys. I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if some of these Senators were boys once. And that’s why it seemed like a pretty good idea for me to get boys out of crowded cities and stuffy basements for a couple of months out of the year. And build their bodies and minds for a man-sized job, because those boys are gonna be behind these desks some of these days. And it seemed like a pretty good idea, getting boys from all over the country, boys of all nationalities and ways of living. Getting them together. Let them find out what makes different people tick the way they do. Because I wouldn’t give you two cents for all your fancy rules if, behind them, they didn’t have a little bit of plain, ordinary, everyday kindness and a – a little lookin’ out for the other fella, too…
That’s pretty important, all that. It’s just the blood and bone and sinew of this democracy that some great men handed down to the human race, that’s all. But of course, if you’ve got to build a dam where that boys camp ought to be, to get some graft to pay off some political army or something, well that’s a different thing. Oh no! If you think I’m going back there and tell those boys in my state and say: ‘Look. Now fellas. Forget about it. Forget all this stuff I’ve been tellin’ you about this land you live in is a lot of hooey. This isn’t your country. It belongs to a lot of James Taylors.’ Oh no! Not me! And anybody here that thinks I’m gonna do that, they’ve got another thing comin’.
[He whistles loudly with his fingers in his mouth, startling Senators who are dozing or reading other materials] That’s all right. I just wanted to find out if you still had faces. I’m sorry gentlemen. I-I know I’m being disrespectful to this honorable body, I know that. I- A guy like me should never be allowed to get in here in the first place. I know that! And I hate to stand here and try your patience like this, but EITHER I’M DEAD RIGHT OR I’M CRAZY.”
[His voice very hoarse, from his filibuster] Just get up off the ground, that’s all I ask. Get up there with that lady that’s up on top of this Capitol dome, that lady that stands for liberty. Take a look at this country through her eyes if you really want to see something. And you won’t just see scenery; you’ll see the whole parade of what Man’s carved out for himself, after centuries of fighting. Fighting for something better than just jungle law, fighting so’s he can stand on his own two feet, free and decent, like he was created, no matter what his race, color, or creed. That’s what you’d see. There’s no place out there for graft, or greed, or lies, or compromise with human liberties. And, uh, if that’s what the grownups have done with this world that was given to them, then we’d better get those boys’ camps started fast and see what the kids can do. And it’s not too late, because this country is bigger than the Taylors, or you, or me, or anything else. Great principles don’t get lost once they come to light. They’re right here; you just have to see them again! I guess this is just another lost cause, Mr. Paine. All you people don’t know about the lost causes. Mr. Paine does. He said once they were the only causes worth fighting for. And he fought for them once, for the only reason that any man ever fights for them. Because of just one plain simple rule: ‘Love thy neighbor.’ And in this world today, full of hatred, a man who knows that one rule has a great trust. You know that rule, Mr. Paine. And I loved you for it, just as my father did. And you know that you fight for the lost causes harder than for any others. Yes, you even die for them. Like a man we both knew, Mr. Paine. I wouldn’t give you two cents for all your fancy rules if, behind them, they didn’t have a little bit of plain, ordinary, everyday kindness and a little looking out for the other fella, too.
[After reading several letter demanding that he end his speech] Well, it looks like this is a lost cause, doesn’t it? But then, a man once told me that the only causes worth fighting for are the lost causes.
[To Senator Paine] A man we both knew. You think I’m licked. You all think I’m licked! Well, I’m not licked. And I’m going to stay right here and fight for this lost cause, even if this room gets filled with lies like these; and the Taylors and all their armies come marching into this place. Somebody will listen to me.[After talking for pretty much a whole day, Mr. Smith collapses.]”