January 25, 2005
Bush's Inaugural Address - in other wordsBy Edward L. Daley
If you haven't heard the President's second inaugural speech, or at least read the transcribed version of it by now, chances are you're not very interested in American politics. Either that or you have a very short attention span, and just haven't managed to get through its roughly 2,300 words without being distracted by something else.
Granted, it wasn't the most emotionally—charged speech ever delivered; however, it was quite well—crafted. I hear that Mr. Bush himself penned a good deal of it, and in spite of the fact that he failed to lend much emphasis to the various salient points therein, it was, nonetheless, a pretty good speech.
Not only have I heard it several times to date, but I've also read the transcript of it more than once. Like most major political speeches, it tends to be somewhat preachy and repetitive, so I have taken it upon myself to pick out the few parts which I found to be the most significant, and included them here for your perusal.
Following each quoted passage below, you will find my own interpretation of what President Bush meant, and upon reading those remarks you will gain, if nothing else, some insight into how a person like myself actually thinks. That should certainly be of some value to all you leftists out there. After all, the first rule of warfare is to know thine enemy, and politics is just war with less bloodshed.
FROM THE SECOND INAUGURAL ADDRESS OF GEORGE W. BUSH — 01/20/05:
"At this second gathering, our duties are defined not by the words I use, but by the history we have seen together... For as long as whole regions of the world simmer in resentment and tyranny — prone to ideologies that feed hatred and excuse murder — violence will gather, and multiply in destructive power, and cross the most defended borders, and raise a mortal threat."
Look around you... there are mass murderers everywhere, and we can no longer just sit around and wait for them to attack us.
"There is only one force of history that can break the reign of hatred and resentment, and expose the pretensions of tyrants, and reward the hopes of the decent and tolerant, and that is the force of human freedom."
Freedom is like a wave upon the ocean. You can either ride it to shore, or you can flail against it and perish.
"The survival of liberty in our land increasingly depends on the success of liberty in other lands. The best hope for peace in our world is the expansion of freedom in all the world."
Ignoring dictators and terrorists in other countries endangers America, so we're not going to leave them alone.
"Across the generations we have proclaimed the imperative of self—government, because no one is fit to be a master, and no one deserves to be a slave."
We've got freedom, why shouldn't everyone else have it?
"So it is the policy of the United States to seek and support the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world."
We're going to help liberate oppressed people everywhere.
"This is not primarily the task of arms, though we will defend ourselves and our friends by force of arms when necessary."
Using force to stop tyranny isn't our first choice, but it is a viable option.
"The great objective of ending tyranny is the concentrated work of generations. The difficulty of the task is no excuse for avoiding it."
We cannot destroy evil's armor right away, but we can sure as hell make a dent in it.
"America will not pretend that jailed dissidents prefer their chains, or that women welcome humiliation and servitude, or that any human being aspires to live at the mercy of bullies."
It is our moral obligation to free people from oppression.
"America's belief in human dignity will guide our policies, yet rights must be more than the grudging concessions of dictators; they are secured by free dissent and the participation of the governed."
We won't settle for the half measures of dictators, and we expect all patriotic people to stand up and be counted.
"All who live in tyranny and hopelessness can know: the United States will not ignore your oppression, or excuse your oppressors. When you stand for your liberty, we will stand with you."
If oppressed people start a revolution, we'll back their play.
"Division among free nations is a primary goal of freedom's enemies."
To all the democracies of the world: Don't be like France.
"I ask our youngest citizens to believe the evidence of your eyes. You have seen duty and allegiance in the determined faces of our soldiers. You have seen that life is fragile, and evil is real, and courage triumphs. Make the choice to serve in a cause larger than your wants, larger than yourself — and in your days you will add not just to the wealth of our country, but to its character."
Hey kids, stop embracing the selfish ways of liberalism. As JFK said, ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.
"In America's ideal of freedom, citizens find the dignity and security of economic independence, instead of laboring on the edge of subsistence... 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."
Individual liberty beats socialism every time.
"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."
You can't build a house on sand, just like you can't build a life on immorality, a family on promiscuity, or a society on atheism.
"Americans, at our best, value the life we see in one another, and must always remember that even the unwanted have worth."
Abortion isn't just a "choice".
"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."
Try not to behave like Robert Byrd, for God's sake.
"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."
Freedom isn't merely a word, it's a way of life.
In the final analysis:
All Americans are fortunate to live in a country which is anchored by the principle that all people are created equal, with certain unalienable rights. We enjoy the kind of freedoms that most other people only dream about, because millions of our forebears sacrificed all to secure our way of life. Inaction in the face of despotism runs contrary to everything this country is about, and behaving as if the people of other countries are not as interested in, or as worthy of, individual liberty as we are, is the epitome of arrogance.
Allowing tyrants and thugs to run the lives of human beings anywhere is not only dangerous to America and the free nations of the world, it is morally reprehensible. America and its allies are not the sole beneficiaries of freedom. That is a gift from God to all human beings, and it is up to those of us who have it, to share that gift with everyone else.
Edward L. Daley is the owner of the Daley Times—Post