All characters belong to Aaron Sorkin, John Wells Productions, Warner Bros., & NBC. Standard disclaimers apply. Please send feedback. In The North Violet
There's some land in New Hampshire. Beautiful land, the kind you only find in the north of this country. Some yahoo of a Governor passed a law saying you can't tear any of these historical barns down, but maybe you could build something there.
It shouldn't be a library, nothing for the public. There isn't enough room. Something personal instead -- a man could build a place there for his family. And there would be something righteous about that. There is something honest about taking up tools and timber and constructing something solid.
They say all politicians lie.
It's strong land; it's seen its share of sunlight and rain, of biting winds and gentle zephyrs. The trees that grow on the wooded acres are hardy and noble. There are oaks, birches, and maples, all reaching out as if Earth was trying to embrace Heaven. The sap runs in the spring, and in the fall the leaves are better fireworks than you'll find anywhere in the world.
You could clear-cut that land, but it wouldn't feel quite right. If you have to cut those trees down, it should be done with a saw in your hands, like a man, like the first settlers here would have done. You thank the land for what it gives you. You honor the traditions.
They say all politicians lie. They also say a good man can't get elected President.
Maybe they're right on both counts.
There are fields on this land. The grass is long and soft and sweet; it smells pure. There are wildflowers and clover, dandelions and brambles. Above them, there's the brave o'erhanging firmament. The clouds and the sun have a beauty that speaks for itself. You find a space under this sky, on this land, and you make it your own.
First you dig the foundations. Then you start to build the frame. You have the wood, a saw and a hammer and nails, your two hands, and that's all people have needed for hundreds of years. There's the sawdust that you leave, and there's your own sweat. That's how you create something, a shelter that will stand. You build the frame, and you wall it in, and you roof it over. You make it strong enough to guard you from the weather.
My best friend told me that he believed a good man could become President. But then again, he's a politician. I'm not sure he'd say that if he'd known everything there was to know.
The sin of omission is still a sin. It's on my conscience. And I'm a politician. Politicians lie.
If you built a house on this land, it would give you a kind of peace. There would not be forty reporters to worry about whether you had the flu, whether you bummed a cigarette from someone, whether you were healthy enough to do your job. The weight of the world would not be on your shoulders. It would just be you, out in the field, among the trees, breathing in and breathing out. All of the sawdust, all of the sky -- it would only be there for you.
It would only be me. And my wife, and my daughters. And my friends are part of this too, now. If my choices have taken them down, have taken something away from them -- their faith, their idealism, their jobs -- that's on my conscience. I will have to carry it.
With two hands, and the earth and the air, a man could build something that would stand against nearly anything. It would not change the world. The ground would not shake with the fall of every tree, with every hammer blow. No one's lives would be saved, or changed, except your own -- except my own.
It would be a shelter. It would be a home. It would be honest work, in the traditions of generations that have gone before. More honest than the work a politician does. More honest than I am, and I have believed I was a good man.
There's some land in New Hampshire, and I could build something there. Sometimes, I just want to go home.