wpostServer: http://css.washingtonpost.com/wpost2

Most Read: Opinions

direct signup

Today’s Opinions poll

Should Congress deal with the immigration crisis -- tens of thousands of unaccompanied minors at the border -- before its August recess?

Submit
Next
Review your answers and share

Join a Discussion

There are no discussions scheduled today.

Weekly schedule, past shows

ComPost
About Petri |  Get Updates: On Twitter ComPost on Twitter |  On Facebook Petri on Facebook |  RSS RSS
Posted at 10:18 AM ET, 04/15/2011

AT-AT for America — President Obama and all patriots, it’s time!


In this photo provided by Legoland, guests look over a Star Wars battle scene made of legos during the opening of Miniland Star Wars on March 31. (Sandy Huffaker - Associated Press)
Mr. President, tear down this shield generator!

President Obama, AT-AT for America needs your support — and the support of all patriotic Americans. It’s a humble project that began as the dream of Oklahoma City’s Michael Koehler — to build a full-sized, fully functional (well, minus the firepower) AT-AT walker, as seen in “The Empire Strikes Back.”

Yes, it’s a geek’s dream. But it’s much more than that. It’s about getting our national mojo back. It’s about embracing the traditional American response to times of crisis: Build something really large! The Civil War gave us the Capitol — later generations, the World’s Largest Ball of Twine — and, now, we can add to that legacy with a projected 73-foot tall functioning AT-AT walker. As Koehler told me via phone, “We don’t really do things to be awesome anymore. ” With your support, that can change.

Next week, the project will launch a page on the start-up funder Kickstarter.com; already, Mr. Koehler has received offers of help from all corners of the globe and raised more than $300 through PayPal.

Mr. President and my fellow Americans, this is our chance.

If there’s one thing America needs, it’s to stop importing our fully functional AT-AT walkers from abroad.

And if there is one thing Americans excel at, it’s building things that were not supposed to exist. This is the story of our country — starting with small-scale models, we built something huge that worked. Sure, those models were Greek and Roman historical models of government, but the general idea is the same.

With an AT-AT, there will be nothing we can’t do as a nation. The Force will be with us. Winning the Future? You betcha!

“Holy [Chinese Expletive],” China will murmur, gazing at our massive walker. “Debt? What debt? Please, take your time paying us back. No interest! No pressure! We thought America was weakening. Any nation that contains people capable of voting for Donald Trump seemed, at first glance, to be on its last legs. But an America that can produce a fully operational AT-AT — that’s a country that can achieve anything. At this rate they’ll put up a Death Star next, just because a few geeks thought it would be epic.”

President Obama, restoring our national prestige is in your hands.

I’m not saying your next budget should include funding for this, but consider: If the government is going to take our money and spend it on things, shouldn’t it at least spend them on things that are AWESOME? I assume that this is why Galactic voters were so gung-ho about the Empire. “Hey, I don’t have civil liberties,” they thought to themselves. “But dang, they’re making a giant moon-shaped space station capable of exploding an entire planet! Props.”

I realize that this is simplistic, and that no one will ever give me TARP money to spend again. But it’s tax season, and if I’m going to mail my money somewhere strange, I want it to result in the erection of an AT-AT walker.

So it’s time to look beyond partisan divisions. Whether your lightsaber (and state) is red or blue, we can all agree on one thing: Imperial walkers are really, really cool. They can be the new national bird.

“We’ve been so caught up with not getting along lately,” Koehler said. “Let’s do something that everybody can agree will be pretty darn cool.”

The project’s site includes a letter to President Obama asking his support, and it concludes with the ringing phrases:

If you want the country to be more united than divided, if you want the country to look toward a bright future instead of a divided past, if you want America to make something awesome again, then join us.
One Nation. One Dream. One AT-AT.
Thank you and God Bless America.

By  |  10:18 AM ET, 04/15/2011

Tags:  Star Wars, America

 
Read what others are saying
     

    © 2011 The Washington Post Company