JOSH: You got a phone call while you were in there.
DONNA: From who?
J: Europe in 1939.
J: Yeah, I jotted it down. Apparently they’re at war, but we’ve taken a firm stand as an isolationist nation and refused to get involved. Our resources are our own and their problems are on the other side of the world. Though, they do have problems. It sounds to me from what they said on the phone that France, Austria, and England are getting absolutely pounded by the Germans, and with no end in sight. They say that by 1941 they’re gonna desperately need our help if they have any chance of survival. But I think they’re just being hysterical. This son of a customs agent with the Charlie Chaplin mustache ain’t going anywhere. But there’s no telling that to Franklin Roosevelt, who’s trying to convince his country they need to get involved. That’s why he came up with this.
D: An eighth-grade social studies textbook?
J: Turn to the page I flagged.
D: The Lend-Lease Act.
J: Yeah. Simply put, a loan of arms to Russia and Britain, with the understanding that they’d pay us back when the war was over. And he said this, he said, “If your neighbor’s house is on fire, you don’t haggle over the price of your garden hose.” Frank Kelly in South Carolina wouldn’t… There are too many things in the world we can’t do. Mexico’s on fire. Why help them? Because we can.
‘Bad Moon Rising’ in The West Wing created by Aaron Sorkin