Wednesday, September 27, 2006

A Call to a Generation.

This is a speech I'm hoping to deliver real soon. Somewhere. I think we need it.



I’d like to begin by saying the next person who tries to get my vote by convincing me that they’re the only thing between me and oblivion is going to get punched in the face. And if you try to get my vote by telling me what’s wrong with the other guy? That’s at least good for a punch in the gut.

I'm so tired of trying to be nice about it that I’m giving it up. "Everyone has their opinions," I used to say. But not any more. Because that doesn't change the fact some opinions are just bad for business. If you don't agree with me, go on and go. It's probably for the best. But if you want to get on with the business of making this country a better place, join us.

Seriously, we’re old enough to do something about it now. I’m starting my campaign tomorrow. When will you start yours? When will you say, “I’m going to make the world a better place, starting with making my world a better place?"

Better breeds better.

So if it takes our parent's generation to wreck the country our grandparents made great, let it be us who saves it. If our parents can borrow us into a hole so deep our kids will be paying to get out of it, let it be us who saves it. If our parents can pollute our atmosphere such that our kids can’t breathe, let it be us who saves it.

If our parents can use yesterday’s weapons in a futile effort to "win" today’s wars, let it be us who saves it in the hope our kids don’t have to have wars.

Safe.

Think about it. We all want the same things from our short little lives. Whether we live in Timbuktu, Khatmandu or Kalamazoo, we know our time here is limited. We would all just assume not spend our lives fearing for them. We all want peace and safety and lazy days in the park and Sunday papers and coffee and ice-cold martinis and dinner with friends and travel and seeing our families and the chance to tell Jennifer Connelly "it's over because Uma and I are getting married." And we want to do it without the fear of getting killed.

But we’re never going to do it all without the fear of getting killed until we stop the fear. And start spreading a little more hope. Here. There.

Everywhere.

So unless we want to spend the rest of our lives under perpetual orange alerts, supposed foiled attacks (after all how can you prove something that didn’t happen was supposed to?) and dumping out lip balm and eye drops before we get on a plane and we still don't even know if the guy in 34G packed his suitcase full of explosives and perhaps connected out of an airport that doesn't screen checked bags and could send the whole thing spiraling down at the push of a cell phone button, let's drop that divisive crap and realize it’s doing no one any good. We are, quite literally, in the same boat.

Perhaps this is nothing more than a hearty "fuck you" to everyone in congress, Republicans and Democrats. Everyone who doesn't do anything except run for reelection and align themselves with the right people who are often the worst, most divisive people we have. Why should the most extreme people make decisions for the rest of us? Fuck them.

And to those politicians, I don't give a shit about your free lunch, private jet, overpaid life. I give a shit about mine and everyone else's who's tired of listening to you point fingers at each other because you're all clearly focused on your own futures, not ours. Do something. Be the public servants your jobs were designed to be.

Or lose in November. After all, we're not electing you to look pretty and make talk-show appearances. Or to run for president. Or sell fucking books. We're electing you to represent our hopes. We're electing you to represent our dreams. We're electing you to make our lives better than they were 4 or 6 years ago. And though it will be hard and require sacrifice, to make our kids' and their kids' lives better. Maybe even allow them to go outside from time to time without collapsing from funked up air.

I'm tired of being a country of nagging whiners who bitch at each other like some goddamn Survivor re-run. What happened to being hopeful? What happened to the optimism that came from knowing when we put our minds together there was nothing we couldn’t do, no reason to think tomorrow wouldn't be better than today? One might even say we had nothing to fear but fear itself.

What happened to the same hopeful people who were a light of hope for half a century starting with the Marshall Plan right on through the end of a bloodless cold war?

Where have you gone Joe DiMaggio? A nation turns its lonely eyes to you.

Coo-coo-ca-choo, Mrs. Robinson.

Hearts.

Minds.

That's all you can ever win.

You can’t win a "war on terror.” It would be easier to win a war on "lying" or "jealousy."

So let’s all stop acting like we live in the right half of the country and everyone else is wrong. Let’s stop acting like it’s someone else’s fault. As the kids say, whatev.

We all live in the same country. Last I checked, it’s called America.

And that’s our flag up there.

Good night. You’ve been great.

[hold for applause]

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