"For the record: Yes, I am a card-carrying member of the A.C.L.U. But the more important question is why aren't you, sir?
This is an organization whose sole purpose is to defend the Bill of Rights, so it naturally begs the question.
Why would a senator, his party's most powerful spokesman and a candidate for president, choose to reject upholding the Constitution? If you can answer that question, then, folks, you're smarter than I am, because I didn't understand it until a couple of minutes ago. Everybody knows American 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 my opponent for years. I've been operating under the assumption that the reason he devotes so much time and energy to shouting at the rain was that he simply didn't get it. Well, I was wrong.
My opponent's problem isn't that he doesn't get it. His problem is that he can't sell it. Nobody has ever won an election by talking about what I was just talking about.
This is a country made up of people with hard jobs that they're terrified of losing. The roots of freedom are of little or no interest to them at the moment.
We are a nation afraid to go out at night.
We're a society that has assigned low priority to education and has looked the other way while our public schools have been decimated. We have serious problems to solve, and we need serious men to solve them. And whatever your particular problem is, friend, I promise you, My opponent is not the least bit interested in solving it. He is interested in two things and two things only: Making you afraid... and telling you who's to blame for it. That, ladies and gentlemen, is how you win elections."
Now that took courage! Don't you agree? There is only one problem...That speech is from a movie...It never happened...And that is what is wrong with America.
Oddly, there was a great presidential debate on TV last night on the West Wing. Too bed we never get real candidates like that. Here's the thread that put me on to the speech above.