“When Benjamin Franklin left Independence Hall just after the second drafting, he was approached by a woman on the street. The woman said, ‘Mr. Franklin, what manner of government have you bequeathed us?’ And Franklin said, ‘A Republic, madam—if you can keep it.’
“The responsibility of a country is not in the hands of a privileged few. We are strong, and we are free from tyranny as long as each one of us remembers his or her duty as a citizen. Whether it’s to report a pothole at the top of your street or lies in the State of the Union address, speak out! Ask those questions. Demand that truth. Democracy is not a free ride, man, I’m here to tell you. But this is where we live. And if we do our job, this is where our children will live. God bless America.”
The above is a quote from the movie Fair Game (2010). It comes near the end, as Ambassador Joe Wilson (played by Sean Penn) addresses a lecture hall full of young people. The lies he refers to are, of course, the lies used by the Bush White House to justify the invasion of Iraq. Because Wilson exposed their lies in the New York Times, his wife, Valerie Plame (played by Naomi Watts) was in turn exposed as a CIA officer. This was yet one more crime committed by a dishonorable administration.
Fortunately, the movie isn’t simply about airing political grievances. (Sean Penn has done a bit of that!) It also educates about nuclear proliferation. Go to www.takepart.com/fairgame.