Excerpted from “The Tonight Show,” September, 1991, on the occasion of the Soviet Republics’ movement toward independence:
To me, democracy means placing trust in the little guy, giving the fruits of nationhood to those who built the nation…Democracy is people of all races, colors, and creeds united by a single dream: to get rich and move to the suburbs away from people of all races, colors, and creeds.
Democracy is buying a big house you can’t afford with money you don’t have to impress people you wish were dead. And, unlike Communism, democracy does not mean having just one ineffective political party; it means having two ineffective political parties. Democracy means freedom of sexual choice between any two consenting adults; Utopia means freedom of choice between three or more consenting adults. But I digress.
Democracy is welcoming people from other lands, and giving them something to hold onto — usually a mop or a leaf blower. It means that with proper timing and scrupulous bookkeeping, anyone can die owing the government a huge amount of money.
Yes, democracy means fighting every day for what you deserve, and fighting even harder to keep other, weaker people from getting what they deserve. Democracy means never having the Secret Police show up at your door. Of course, it also means never having the cable guy show up at your door. It’s a tradeoff. Democracy means free television. Not good television, but free.
And finally, democracy is the eagle on the back of a dollar bill, with 13 arrows in one claw, 13 leaves on a branch, 13 tail feathers, and 13 stars over its head–this signifies that when the white man came to this country, it was bad luck for the Indians, bad luck for the trees, bad luck for the wildlife, and lights out for the American eagle.