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September 03, 2002

A Real Vision

Dave Weinberger has done something I've thought about many times but have never actually gotten around to: He's written The Speech I Want To Hear, a fictional speech by a fictional presidential candidate that describes the kinds of things Weinberger wishes politicians were talking about. Besides just being a great exercise, the speech contains some real big-picture vision for the future. For example, Weinberger writes:

We will raise the quality of the natural environment not just for our own people but for every person who breathes the earth's air, eats its fruit, or drinks its water. Our goal is, at the end of 20 years, to be confident that the world will sustain us and our children's children's children.

Doesn't that sound great? Think about it for a minute: How many of us can say we're confident that the world will sustain us and our children's children's children? I certainly can't, and the research I've read is pretty conclusive—if we continue current practices and trends, our children's children's children might not be able to survive on our planet. So why isn't this a major U.S. priority?

Now think about this: Instead of taking up nearly the entire world's time and energy debating whether the U.S. should go kill more people (attack Iraq), what if our president was leading the global community to create sustainable ways of living so that there's something left on our planet worth fighting for even years from now? Wouldn't that make you more proud to be an American?

Final question: Could you compose a 5-minute speech outlining your ideal vision for the future? I'm not sure I could do it with the kind of political spin necessary to win support for it, but it seems like we'd all be better voters and citizens if we'd run through an exercise like this every couple of years. Kind of an Imagineering thing. (See Item 6. And no, that's got absolutely zero to do with juggernaut Disney.)

Final final (and unrelated) question: Is Weinberger serious when he says David Chase, creator of the too-good-to-be-true show, "The Sopranos," should kill Tony Soprano?!?

Posted September 3, 2002 09:31 AM | general politics

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