Wednesday 21 January 2009

Inaugural: Mr President says...

Well, it was a barnstorming speech. You have to admit it.

But does he mean it?

And what did he leave out?

Barack Obama has made it clear, in his very short period as a US Senator, that he is one of the least pro-life members of Congress.

Will he be the least pro-life US President ever?

Does he really think that nurses should kill babies that managed to survive the abortion process alive?

Does he really think that Catholic and other hospitals should be forced to do abortions against the consciences of doctors, nurses, managers and donors?

If so, how is that in any way "liberal"?

A US TV show compared the words of President Obama with those of President Bush and much was expressed in similar terms - war on terror, strength of America will not be defeated by terrorists, supporting the troops, defending freedom, the importance of markets in the economy and so on. Nothing Socialist there.

Does he meant it?

We shall see.

Here are a few extracts:

"...In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned. Our journey has never been one of short-cuts or settling for less. It has not been the path for the faint-hearted — for those who prefer leisure over work, or seek only the pleasures of riches and fame. Rather, it has been the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things — some celebrated but more often men and women obscure in their labour, who have carried us up the long, rugged path towards prosperity and freedom.

For us, they packed up their few worldly possessions and traveled across oceans in search of a new life.

For us, they toiled in sweatshops and settled the West; endured the lash of the whip and plowed the hard earth.
For us, they fought and died, in places like Concord and Gettysburg; Normandy and Khe Sahn.

Time and again these men and women struggled and sacrificed and worked till their hands were raw so that we might live a better life. They saw America as bigger than the sum of our individual ambitions; greater than all the differences of birth or wealth or faction.

...Nor is the question before us whether the market is a force for good or ill. Its power to generate wealth and expand freedom is unmatched, but this crisis has reminded us that without a watchful eye, the market can spin out of control — and that a nation cannot prosper long when it favours only the prosperous. The success of our economy has always depended not just on the size of our Gross Domestic Product, but on the reach of our prosperity; on the ability to extend opportunity to every willing heart — not out of charity, but because it is the surest route to our common good.

As for our common defence, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals.

...We are the keepers of this legacy. Guided by these principles once more, we can meet those new threats that demand even greater effort — even greater cooperation and understanding between nations.

...We will not apologize for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defence, and for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken; you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you.

As we consider the road that unfolds before us, we remember with humble gratitude those brave Americans who, at this very hour, patrol far-off deserts and distant mountains. They have something to tell us, just as the fallen heroes who lie in Arlington whisper through the ages. We honour them not only because they are guardians of our liberty, but because they embody the spirit of service; a willingness to find meaning in something greater than themselves. And yet, at this moment — a moment that will define a generation — it is precisely this spirit that must inhabit us all.

For as much as government can do and must do, it is ultimately the faith and determination of the American people upon which this nation relies. It is the kindness to take in a stranger when the levees break, the selflessness of workers who would rather cut their hours than see a friend lose their job which sees us through our darkest hours. It is the firefighter's courage to storm a stairway filled with smoke, but also a parent's willingness to nurture a child, that finally decides our fate.

Our challenges may be new. The instruments with which we meet them may be new. But those values upon which our success depends — honesty and hard work, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism — these things are old. These things are true. They have been the quiet force of progress throughout our history. What is demanded then is a return to these truths. What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility — a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation, and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task.

This is the price and the promise of citizenship.

This is the source of our confidence — the knowledge that God calls on us to shape an uncertain destiny..."

Great stuff - but does he mean it?


Fred Preuss said...

Even for an American, this picture of a bald eagle descending with the sun's rays behind it would be over the top.
It's nice when foreigners try to keep an open mind when they look at our country, but please, I assure you that this is unnecessary.

Tribunus said...

Too bad, Freddy, old thing. I ain't removing it simply because you don't like it. Get used to it, buddy.

Fred Preuss said...

I'm not saying remove it, just that you may be flattering us Yanks unnecessarily.

Tribunus said...

Well, you've only to read some of my other posts to see that I can be pretty unflattering about your country, too!

Try looking up the posts labelled "Dumb ass Yank" for starters.

The original idea of the eagle is, in any case, not Yankee but Roman imperial. The Founding Fathers merely borrowed it from the Romans and the Holy Roman Empire.

Fred Preuss said...

You do realize, of course, that adding the word 'ass' to another adjective as an intensifier is a Yankism of the most obvious sort?

Tribunus said...

Indeed! That's why I used it - so that even "Dumb ass Yanks" could understand.