Let Us Dialogue InteractivelyOn a Bridge to the 21st Century

My fellow Americans: Thank you for focusing on this latest in our series of national town meetings concerned with the defining questions of this defining moment, when the fall is in urgent dialogue with the winter, and the sound of the catalogues dropping on doorsteps is heard from coast to coast. Nothing could be more appropriate than to let the national conversation multiply, and resonate, and resound, and fill the airwaves with the sweet sounds of participation and consensus, so that we may put division behind us and move forward. Come now and let us reason together, as the prophet Lyndon Johnson used to say, in his unique contribution to the centuries-long dialogue with the prophet Isaiah, who of course was of the Jewish persuasion, but was also an inspiration for Christians everywhere and for our Moslem friends, too, putting the “inter” in interact, you might say. In our multicultural melting pot, when we tell each other our stories, we have a lot of stories to tell, don’t we? If we can only hear each other speaking our minds, then we can grow the environment and balance the global budget at the same time, and we owe it to our children to do just that, because it takes a global village to build a global bridge around the globe.

Speaking of the globe, there are those who say that the globe is growing warm just a little bit too fast, that if we’re not careful we might find ourselves on a fast track to a meltdown of a whole heck of a lot of infrastructure, but I am not one of those naysayers who drag their feet while ramping their way up the cloverleaf where their grandchildren are going to live, and you didn’t hire me to do that, did you? No, you hired me the way you would shop for a sports utility vehicle. You wanted something maneuverable, with a lot of get-up-and-go, maybe not the best in the world at miles per gallon, but you can’t have everything, can you? And then you hired yourselves a bunch of Republicans to answer the questions you didn’t want me to answer, which is fine. We have an oil company leader here on the platform, and we have a fine young fellow who pumps the gas. We want to hear from the polluters and we want to hear from the polluted. It takes all kinds, and they all have something to tell us.

But as I was saying about global warming, which is a serious problem. What I was saying was, we should do our part to reduce our emissions, sure, but a billion Chinese and a whole lot of Indians and Pakistanis have to do their part, too. There are more of them than us, after all. I mean, if an American is going to be asked to give up his or her sports utility vehicle, then some Indian peasant can give up that old cow of his which is just standing around making disgusting noises and adding to the methane supply of the atmosphere, right? The developed countries have invested a super amount of resources to squeeze a whole lot of fuel out of old fossils, and nobody is going to tell us to leave our vehicles in a state of malaise or something while they expect us to give them a bunch of little bitty old solar-driven ox-carts and teach them to drive. And I’ll tell you, I’ve listened to the Europeans tell us that we should cut back, but where do they get off telling us what to do when we produce two and a half times as many emissions per person as the Europeans do every year? I mean, there’s a reason why we’re a superpower, you know. The Europeans, the Japanese, they’re good people, of course, but they make a bunch of raggedy-ass tinny little cars, which they’re good at, and then they want to talk us out of the vehicles we’re good at. That’s not my idea of fair, and I know it’s not your idea of fair. We’re proud of our vehicles, and everyone in the world knows that we can smash clear through their little suckers. Our foreign friends got themselves stuck in the era of big government, let me tell you. That’s why they worry.

You know, Americans are not a worrying people. We are an interacting people. You elected me to interact with you. You elected a Congress to have a whole lot of interactions with me, and you elected me to have a whole lot of interactions with them. You wanted a national dialogue and, boy, I tell you, that’s what you’ve got. Now I don’t have all the answers. You didn’t elect me to be some kind of know-it-all. You elected me to host the national conversation. Some of you may say that we should not be asking everyone their opinions but instead we should just be doing the right thing. I just want to say, I hear you. I hear you loud and clear. Some of you want me to tell the national story. I respect your opinion. You have a right to say that, and it’s an important part of the dialogue. But you did not elect me to ram a national story down your ears. That’s not the way we do things. We have the Smithsonian for that. We have a whole lot of talent in this great country, from Bob Dylan to Charlton Heston. Talk about dialogue! We have George Lucas, we have Steven Spielberg. And speaking of our national artists, from this day on, each and every one of you will be able to continue our conversation by going to the Presidential Web site that has been generously placed on-line by the Dreamworks company in a unique public-private partnership. Don’t stop clicking on tomorrow.