I have a nightmare.
I have a nightmare that sometime before the 2010 elections, the scales will fall from your eyes and you will see us as we really are.
I have a nightmare that you will read C. S. Lewis’s The Screwtape Letters and realize that it is not fiction.
I have a nightmare that you will read Plunkitt of Tammany Hall and get firsthand instruction in how we steal elections.
I have a nightmare that you will read Machiavelli’s The Prince
and realize that we got there way ahead of you.
I have a nightmare that you will read Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead and recognize us in the figure of Ellsworth Toohey — the “friend” who is in fact your mortal enemy.
I have a nightmare that you will read Dickens’s Bleak House and see us in the character of Mrs. Jellyby, the “telescopic philanthropist,” who lets her own family go to hell while she frets over the fate of an African tribe.
I have a nightmare that you will re-watch Saving Private Ryan and realize that Corporal Upham, the liberal stickler for process played by Jeremy Davies, saves the German prisoner’s life only to get most of his platoon killed, including Tom Hanks. And then commits the very war crime he tried to stop.
I have a nightmare that while you’re enjoying the scatological dialogue and ultra-violence of Pulp Fiction, you’ll realize that Vincent Vega, the unbeliever, dies unredeemed in Butch Coolidge’s bathroom, while Jules, who accepts the reality of miracles, grants absolution to Pumpkin and Honey Bunny and is thus saved.
I have a nightmare that you will go back and watch any B-movie made between 1933 and 1963, like Gun Crazy, and see an America that was not afraid of inanimate objects like firearms, and instead blamed the man for the crime.
I have a nightmare that some of you are old enough to recall a time when the law was an honorable profession, the Constitution was not so deconstructed that, essentially, all that is left of it is the Commerce Clause, and your doctor charged a fee for service and made house calls.
I have a nightmare that when you think of the late Ted Kennedy, resting peacefully at Arlington Cemetery, all you will be able to see is Mary Jo Kopechne, gasping for air in the Oldsmobile while the senator returned to his hotel room and went to sleep.
I have a nightmare that you will remember that Sirhan Sirhan was a Palestinian who hated Bobby Kennedy because of his support of Israel.
I have a nightmare that you’ll realize that, far from being a right-wing nut, Lee Harvey Oswald was a self-proclaimed Marxist who defected to the Soviet Union, came home with a Russian wife, agitated on behalf of Castro’s Cuba, tried to re-defect to Russia, returned to Dallas, brought his rifle to work, and killed JFK with a classic marksman’s shot group: miss, hit, kill.
I have a nightmare that you’ll remember that, in the week leading up to the murders of George Moscone and Harvey Milk, there was no right-wing “climate of hate” in San Francisco as Nancy Pelosi, aka Maerose Prizzi, would have you believe. Instead, the city was riveted by the murders of Congressman Leo Ryan and journalists Don Harris, Bob Brown, and Greg Robinson at the Port Kaituma airstrip on Nov. 18, 1978. This was followed by the “revolutionary suicides” of hundreds of Jim Jones’s radical-leftist Peoples Temple followers, most of them African American. One of the suicide notes read, “I, Marceline Jones, leave all bank accounts in my name to the Communist Party of the USSR.”
I have a nightmare that people will eventually realize that Dan White, who shot Moscone and Milk not over gay rights but over Moscone’s refusal to give him back his seat on the Board of Supervisors, was a Democrat.