copyright © 2003 Jeff Goode

Every American's a Critic

by Jeff Goode

(A SPEAKER and CHORUS OF FOUR actors to play all the other parts.)

(NOTE: Chorus lines are interjected in the beats, overlapping with each other and with the main dialogue. The Speaker should not wait for them to finish. In general, treat this as a monologue, with only the pauses necessary to make the speech work as a solo piece.)


Everyone's a critic.


Everyone in America, at least.


In Europe, maybe it would be considered inconsiderate.

          CRIT: Bloody wanker.
          BRIT: I say!

But here in the Land of the Free it is our patriotic duty to be critical of everything all the time.

          SIDEKICK: Well, except the government.

Especially the government.

          SIDEKICK: But not the President.

Especially the President.

          SIDEKICK: How do you figure?

It's right here in the Constitution. Have you read it?

          SIDEKICK: Do I have to?

The Bill of Rights gives us not one, but THREE separate freedoms that let us criticize the President anytime, anyplace.

          Freedom of Speech!
                    The Press!

Plus ONE to let us shoot back at him if he really gets out of line.

          Woo hoo! Right to kick ass!
                    Bear Arms, you nimrod.

The Founding Fathers did not go to all that trouble to protect our right to tell the President what a swell job he's doing.

          (The PRESIDENT, a CRITIC and a TRIBUNAL.)

          CRIT: Mr. President, I'd just like to say "nice work" and thanks for the tax cut.
          PRES: How dare you approve of my actions! Tribunal!!
          TRIB: Yes, your Majesty?!
          PRES: Off with his head!!

Au contraire - pardon my French - the reason we have Freedom of Speech is because they wanted us to call the President on his bullshit when we think he's NOT doing a good job.

          CRIT: Excuse me, Mr. President, it's about your economic policy....
          PRES: How dare you question my magical God-sent wisdom! Tribunal!!
          TRIB: Jawohl, mein Fuhrer?
          PRES: Take him to the camps!
          TRIB: Sorry, boss. No can do. Freedom of Speech.
          PRES: But you can't seriously expect me to explain myself to the populace? That would make me answerable to the voters.
          TRIB: Looks that way. Sorry.

          SIDEKICK: Yeah, okay, but not during "war time", right?

Wrong! Especially during Wartime. The Framers of the Constitution had just finished the biggest war in their history when they wrote the damn thing.

          Fucking Constitution.
                    Piece of shit.

The right to bear arms? To not have soldiers billeted in your house? These are WAR-TIME rights. And we have them because Our Forefathers knew from first hand experience that WARTIME is the ONE TIME when standing up for what you think is right is as scary as it's ever going to be.

                    Peace lover!
                              Baby killer!
                                        Yeah! Fucking baby killing hippies!

And they wanted YOU to know that in THIS country at least, you will always be free to point out when the government is doing something screwy.

          Hey, you know what's fucked up?
                    No, what?
                              Tell me!

But there is nothing more flagrantly out of whack than a world in which War has become the BEST option.

Yeah, that's fucked up.
          Fu-u-u-cked up.
                    Fu-hucked uh-hup.

You will never see a clearer indication that the President does not have a handle on a problem than when he is about to send people to their deaths to solve it.

          You gotta fight terrorism with terrorism.
                    Fight atrocities with atrocities.
                              If we stop the killing in the Middle East, then the terrorists win.

And it is at those times that if anybody has a better idea how to do things, it is their sacred patriotic duty to say so.

          Ooh! I got one!
                    I know what to do!
                              Me, too! Pick me!
                                        Pick me! Pick me!

So anyone who suggests that freedom of speech is Un-American.

Anyone who thinks the Bill of Rights should be rationed like cheese during war time is a traitor to this country.

Attorney General John Ashcroft is a traitor to this country.

          Benedict Ashcroft

This is a government of the people. Not of his majesty. Not of der Fuhrer. The People. A Democracy, we call it. Where the Majority rules.

          Majority kicks ass!
                    Fuck the President!
                              Yeah, fuck him!
                                        And the horse he rode in on!

Not the emperor. Not the queen. The Majority.

So when our President actually comes right out and says that he does not have to listen to voices of protest, no matter how many they become...

                    He said what?
                              What the---??
                                        Even if it's all of us?

That, my fellow Americans, is an impeachable offense.

There are nations in this world where the people don't speak out against their rulers and simply follow orders without question. They are called DICTATORSHIPS.

          George W. Hitler
                    George W. Castro.
                              George W. Stalin
                                        George W. Hussein.

But in this country, everyone has a voice. And anyone who thinks we don't. Or we shouldn't.

          Can go back to Communist China!
                    or Soviet Russia!
                              or Nazi Germany!

Has betrayed this country far worse than any terrorist ever could.

          George Bush is a divider, not a uniter.
                      Bush gives comfort to terrorists.
                                The Enemy Combatant-in Chief.
                                          "I want to be known as the annihilation president!"

          PRES: Everyone's a critic.

We have to be.