Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Movie Quote To Live By 

American Rhetoric has posted one of my favorite movie speeches of all time. It's from The American President, with Michael Douglas and Annette Benning, written by Aaron Sorkin. This speech comes toward the end of the film, after Michael Douglas' character Andrew Sheperd (the American President of the title) has resisted character debate baiting from Richard Dreyfus' character Senator Bob Rumson.

In these times of presidential elections and patriot-baiting, this monologue still rings true.

I recommend reading it through, but this excerpt is a good example:

America isn't easy. America is advanced citizenship. You've 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 cannot just be a flag. The symbol also has to be one of its citizens exercising his right to burn that flag in protest. Now show me that, defend that, celebrate that in your classrooms. Then you can stand up and sing about the land of the free.

Posted by Beth Henderson at 4:55 PM