Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
written by Lewis R. Foster & Sidney Buchman
Jefferson Smith: Did you ever have so much to say about something, you just couldn't say it?
Saunders: Try sitting down.
Jefferson Smith: I did - I got right back up again.
Saunders: Now look. Let's get down to particulars. How big is this thing? Where's it gonna be? How many boys will it accommodate? You've got to have all of that in it, you know.
Jefferson Smith:Yeah, yeah, and something else, Miss Saunders. The uh, the spirit of it. The idea - the - (he snaps his fingers) How do ya say it?
(He walks to the window in which the lighted Capitol Dome is seen and points out to it)
Jefferson Smith: That's what's got to be in it!
Jefferson Smith: The Capitol Dome.
Saunders (quietly sarcastic): On paper?
Jefferson Smith: I want to make that come to life for every boy in this land. Yes, and all lighted up like that too! You see, you see, boys forget what their country means by just reading 'the land of the free' in history books. And 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 want to grow up remembering that. (Saunders looks at Jefferson with a new expression - she has stopped taking notes) And that-that steering committee, or whatever it is, they've got to see it like that. And I know Senator Paine will do all he can to help me, because he's a wonderful man, isn't he Miss Saunders? You know, he knew my father real well.
Saunders (uneasy): He did.
Jefferson Smith: Yeah, yeah. We need a lot more like him, his kind of character, his ideals.
(Then later, describing the land where he envisions the boys camp to be)
Jefferson Smith: I've been over every single foot of it. You could have no idea. You just have to see it for yourself. I don't know. The prairies and wind leaning on the tall grass and lazy streams down in the meadows, angry little midgets of water up in the mountains, cattle moving down the slope against the sun. Campfires and snowdrifts. You know, everybody ought to have some of that sometime in his life. My dad had the right idea. And it all worked out. He used to say to me: 'Son, don't miss the wonders that surround you because every tree, every rock, every anthill, every star is filled with the wonders of nature.' And he used to say to me: 'Have you ever noticed how grateful you are to see daylight again after coming through a long dark tunnel?' 'Well,' he'd say, 'Always try to see life around ya as if you'd just come out of a tunnel.'
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