January 20, 2005

Like....Mirror.... pt 2

I ended my last post stating that the last 1/3rd of the Inaugural Address addressed domestic issues. Having read the text I realize that the domestic policy issues were limited pretty much to a single paragraph:

"In America's ideal of freedom, citizens find the dignity and security of economic independence, instead of laboring on the edge of subsistence. This is the broader definition of liberty that motivated the Homestead Act, the Social Security Act, and the G.I. Bill of Rights. And now we will extend this vision by reforming great institutions to serve the needs of our time. To give every American a stake in the promise and future of our country, we will bring the highest standards to our schools, and build an ownership society. We will widen the ownership of homes and businesses, retirement savings and health insurance - preparing our people for the challenges of life in a free society. By making every citizen an agent of his or her own destiny, we will give our fellow Americans greater freedom from want and fear, and make our society more prosperous and just and equal."

Bush goes on to discuss the situation at home not in policy terms, but in personal terms. For the duration of the speech Bush sounds more like Joel Osteen than Condi Rice.

"In America's ideal of freedom, the public interest depends on private character - on integrity, and tolerance toward others, and the rule of conscience in our own lives. Self-government relies, in the end, on the governing of the self".

Here is where GWB transforms from a mere freedom-fightin' chief executive to a would-be national and personal spirit guide.
"That edifice of character is built in families, supported by communities with standards, and sustained in our national life by the truths of Sinai, the Sermon on the Mount, the words of the Koran, and the varied faiths of our people.

Americans move forward in every generation by reaffirming all that is good and true that came before - ideals of justice and conduct that are the same yesterday, today, and forever."

Andrew Sullivan and others will, no doubt, interpret that as "code words" for anti-gay marriage, I expect. Bush is saying that the truth that was true yesterday will still be true tomorrow so let's keep it true today. I don't think he meant it to be specific to any aspect, but I can't speak for the speechwriters, mheh. (I support civil/legal unions of loving homosexual couples so shut up.)

I call myself a "Social-Federalist". I jokingly say that it's "just to confuse people," but I mean it. Freedom isn't just about liberty, it requires the opportunity to build on it. Some, by virtue of their circumstances, can find few opportunities. Yet, they deserve freedom from want and freedom from desolation. Why? Because we, as Americans, believe that Freedom is our best future, so we'd better take good f#*@&ng care of those who find their talents and/or starting points to be just a bit too hard to overcome in an opportunistic world. It's all about balance, m'friends. I could tell ya the story of Kevin, but nevermind.

Anywho, George speaks:

"In America's ideal of freedom, the exercise of rights is ennobled by service, and mercy, and a heart for the weak. Liberty for all does not mean independence from one another. Our nation relies on men and women who look after a neighbor and surround the lost with love.

Beautiful. Nixon once said that, among the world's leaders, "there are poets and there are pragmatists. Mao is all poet." I'd say that Bush is more poet than pragmatist, meaning that he is an idealogue more than a wonk. I'd put him up there with Reagan, Roosevelt, Kennedy, Madison and Lincoln. Plato's "philosopher kings" dream come true.

Pragmatists might include Nixon himself, Clinton, Wilson and Johnson. But, mainly and thankfully, they've been left to reign in other lands.

"Americans, at our best, value the life we see in one another, and must always remember that even the unwanted have worth."

Ooo. A not so thinly veiled abortion reference. That's tact.

"And our country must abandon all the habits of racism, because we cannot carry the message of freedom and the baggage of bigotry at the same time."

The conviction with with he delivered this line almost made me get up and cheer. I thought that his delivery, overall, was a bit lacking. But this was one is his bestestly delivered lines. Woo Hoo!

And, as if invoking the "thousand years is as a day and a day is as thousand years" line from the Bible:

"From the perspective of a single day, including this day of dedication, the issues and questions before our country are many. From the viewpoint of centuries, the questions that come to us are narrowed and few. Did our generation advance the cause of freedom? And did our character bring credit to that cause?"

Celebrating everyday's generous and unselfish character is his mission in life; you can see it in his eyes. He believes in love and People and has faith in Humanity. A dreamer. Just like us.
Some comentary I've heard asked why GWB never addressed the "great divide", the purpleness of our thought and country. Well, he did right next:
"These questions that judge us also unite us because Americans of every party and background, Americans by choice and by birth, are bound to one another in the cause of freedom. We have known divisions, which must be healed to move forward in great purposes - and I will strive in good faith to heal them. "

But it gets better...

"Yet, those divisions do not define America."

"We felt the unity and fellowship of our nation when freedom came under attack, and our response came like a single hand over a single heart."


"And we can feel that same unity and pride whenever America acts for good, and the victims of disaster are given hope, and the unjust encounter justice, and the captives are set free."
"We go forward with complete confidence in the eventual triumph of freedom. Not because history runs on the wheels of inevitability; it is human choices that move events. Not because we consider ourselves a chosen nation; God moves and chooses as He wills. We have confidence because freedom is the permanent hope of mankind, the hunger in dark places, the longing of the soul.

When our Founders declared a new order of the ages; when soldiers died in wave upon wave for a union based on Liberty; when citizens marched in peaceful outrage under the banner "Freedom Now" - they were acting on an ancient hope that is meant to be fulfilled.
History has an ebb and flow of justice, but history also has a visible direction, set by liberty and the Author of Liberty.

When the Declaration of Independence was first read in public and the Liberty Bell was sounded in celebration, a witness said, "It rang as if it meant something."

In our time it means something still. America, in this young century, proclaims liberty throughout all the world, and to all the inhabitants thereof. Renewed in our strength - tested, but not weary - we are ready for the greatest achievements in the history of freedom.

May God bless you, and may He watch over the United States of America.

This man is neither ahead of his time nor behind it, and neither are we. This is such a moment for now. I live my life to be a good person, and I know that we're all alike in that. So, we know that it's not up to government to see after us; it's up to us to after each other.

Kerry supporters are welcomed and will be respected. But, please, wont ye at least aknowledge that Freedom can't be attained by cowering from conflict? Wont you finally admit that Peace is present only when Liberty is secured? Wont you admit that beating the shit out of tyrants is the only way to preserve our own sacred Liberty?

Posted by Tuning Spork at January 20, 2005 09:37 PM

"Wont you admit that beating the shit out of tyrants is the only way to preserve our own sacred Liberty?"

I hate to be pessimistic, Spork, but anyone who doesn't believe it after 9/11 -- even if he didn't believe it before 9/11 -- is unlikely to be moved by words, regardless of how inspiring some may find them.

Posted by: Freedom's Slave at January 22, 2005 11:37 AM
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