"You see, boys forget what their country means by just reading 'The Land of the Free' in history books. Then they get to be men, they forget even more. Liberty's too precious a thing to be buried in books, Miss Saunders. Men should hold it up in front of them every single day of their lives and say, 'I'm free to think and to speak. My ancestors couldn't. I can. And my children will.' Boys ought to grow up remembering that." ~James Stewart as Senator Jefferson Smith in Mr. Smith Goes To Washington
This is a critical time in our country in more ways than just financially. We know that America did not instantly become "post-racial" as soon as Barack Obama was inaugurated. In news images, we've seen Teabaggers hold up signs reading "Time to Take America Back." The only people in this country who should hold up those signs are Native Americans. They were here before the Mayflower landed. I love the kind of USA that Sen. Smith filibustered for in Mr. Smith Goes To Washington. The older I get, the more golden that movie is to me. I love Clarissa Saunders played by Jean Arthur. She's the smart dame in the boys' club, the insider who's become hip to how Washington works. I understand the spine of that character -- how Saunders' battered idealism and political disappointments were replaced by a layer of self-survival and shrewd skepticism over her seven years working in our nation's capitol: "...when I first came to Washington, my eyes were big blue question marks. Now they're big green dollar marks."
Mr. Smith Goes To Washington -- a classic that should be aired on one of the three senior networks once a year in prime time...like It's A Wonderful Life.