Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

Part One

After deciding upon the name for my crowdsourcing campaign, I kept thinking about the movie that had inspired it.

I have watched many old, black and white movies, and I always loved Jimmy Stewart, but this was one I hadn’t seen before. So, I decided that it would be a good idea to watch it.

And I’m so glad I did. I highly recommend it!

As I watched this movie, several scenes really hit me, and I had to go back and re-watch them and transcribe what they said.

First, was a scene after Jeff (Mr. Smith) had been confronted and falsely accused by his fellow senators. All in an effort to discredit Mr. Smith and get him to give up – which he decides to do. But on his way out down darkened hallways, suitcases and briefcase in hand, overcome with emotion, he sits down. Where his secretary, Clarissa Saunders, finds him.

Having already been brought to tears watching the scene where false accusations and lies are slung at the one man who is honestly trying to do good for the people, this scene caused tears to flow freely down my cheeks.

When he says the words, “a man I’ve admired and worshipped all my life,” memories and emotions came flooding in. I know that pain. I will never forget how deeply it hurts to come to realize that someone or something that you had trusted, given your all to, that you had admired – even worshipped – isn’t at all what you believed them to be. What you wanted them to be.

Throughout my lifetime, I have heard and read my share of “fancy words,” spoken by men who claimed authority and inspiration. So many requirements and high – if not impossible – standards. I have given too much of my life to trying to fulfill those requirements. Only to find out what those same men actually do.

It’s enough to make anyone want to throw their hands in the air and give up.

As I watched through blurred, teary vision, the words that were spoken by Mr. Smith resonated within me. They found a home. They were familiar. I have asked myself similar questions in my dark moments: What can I do? Are my hopes just silly aspirations? What’s the use of trying?

But, like Clarissa Saunders reminded Mr. Jeff Smith, there is always something you can do. Just don’t give up, and don’t give in. Trust your soul.

We have power in each other’s lives. The power to lift each other up. To encourage each other. To just be there to say, “I know you can do it.”

I want to thank each and every one of you who have in any way said to me, “I know you can do it.” Those words, those actions, that positive energy all matters. It means worlds to me. And, I know you can do it too.

Together we can stand up for something bigger.

For Part Two, click HERE.

For anyone interested, I am inserting the transcription of this scene below:

Mr. Smith – You sure had the right idea about me, Saunders, when you told me to go back home and keep filling those kids full of hooey. “You’re just a simple guy,” you said, “still wet behind the ears. A lot of junk about American ideals.” Well, it’s certainly a lot of junk, alright. I don’t know, this is a whole new world to me. What are you going to believe in? When a man like Paine, Senator Joseph Paine, gets up and swears that I’ve been robbing kids of nickels and dimes – a man I’ve admired and worshipped all my life.

Mr. Smith – A lot of fancy words around this town, some of them are carved in stone. I guess the Taylors and Paines put them up there so that suckers like me could read them, and then when you find out what men actually do…

Mr. Smith – Well, I’m getting out of this town so fast – away from all the words and the monuments and the whole rotten show.

Saunders – I see. When you get home, what are you going to tell those kids?

Mr. Smith – Well, I’ll tell them the truth. Might as well find it out now as later.

Saunders – I don’t think they’ll believe you, Jeff. You know, they’re liable to look up at you with hurt faces and say, “Jeff, what did you do? Quit? Didn’t you do something about it?”

Mr. Smith – Well, what do you expect me to do? An honorary stooge like me against the Taylors and Paines and machines and lies…

Saunders – Your friend, Mr. Lincoln had his Taylors and Paines. So did every other man whoever tried to lift his thought up off the ground. Odds against them didn’t stop those men, they were fools that way. All the good that ever came into this world came from fools with faith like that, you know that Jeff. You can’t quit now. Not you. They aren’t all Taylors and Paines in Washington. That kind just throw big shadows, that’s all.

Saunders – You didn’t just have faith in Paine, or any other living man, you had faith in something bigger than that – you had plain, decent, every-day, common rightness. And this country could use some of that. Yeah, so could the whole cock-eyed world. A lot of it. Remember the first day you got here? Remember what you said about Mr. Lincoln? You said he was sitting up there waiting for someone to come along? You were right. He was waiting for a man who could see his job and sail into it. That’s what he was waiting for. A man who could tear into the Taylors and pull them out, into the open. I think he was waiting for you, Jeff. He knows you can do it. So do I.

Mr. Smith – Do what, Saunders?

Saunders – You just make up your mind you’re not going to quit, and I’ll tell you what. I’ve been thinking about it all the way back here. It’s a 40-foot dive into a tub of water, but I think you can do it.


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