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Speech on Lost Causes October 17, 1939

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Jefferson Smith as played by James Stewart in Frank Capra's Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, gives a heartfelt speech on the floor of the Senate as he fights against the political machine.

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JEFFERSON SMITH: I guess this is just another lost cause Mr. Paine.

All you people don't know about lost causes - Mr. Paine does. He said once they were the only causes worth fighting for. And he fought for them once - for the only reason any man every fights for them; because of just one plain simple rule - love thy neighbor.

And in this world today full of hatred, a man who knows that one rule has a great trust. You know that rule Mr. Paine. And I loved you for it just as my father did. And you know that you fight for the lost causes harder than for any other - yes you even die for them; like a man we both knew Mr. Paine.

You think I'm licked. You all think I'm licked. Well I'm not licked! And I'm going to stay right here and fight for this lost cause even if this room gets filled with lies like these. And the Taylors and all their armies come marching into this place. Somebody will listen to me. Some-

[MR. SMITH faints; Senator Paine leaves the chamber]

MAN: He's okay, he just fainted.

BOY: He's okay!

[gunshot]

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Speech on Lost Causes- October 17, 1939

- Jefferson Smith
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