Chris-in-the-Morning from the "Democracy in America" episode of Northern Exposure, 1992:
My friends, today when I look out over Cicely, I see not a town but a nation's history written in miniature. Inscribed in the cracked pavement, reverberating from every passing flatbed. Today, every runny nose I see says "America" to me. We came here, we paved roads, we built industries, powerful institutions. Of course, along the way we exterminated untold indigenous cultures and enslaved generations of Africans. We basically stained our Star-Spangled Banner with a host of sins that can never be washed clean.
But today, we're here to celebrate the glorious aspects of our past. A tribute to a nation of free people, the country that Whitman exalted, "The genius of the United States has not best or most in its executives or legislators, nor in its ambassadors or authors, or colleges or churches, or parlors, nor even in its newspapers or inventors, but always most in the common people." I've never been so proud to be a Cicelian. I must now go out and fill my lungs with the deep clean air of democracy.
Tags: Northern Exposure, democracy, Walt Whitman