A new day for America
The President's inaugural address crystallizes the theme of his first administration, forged in the fire of conflict, and places America on a new path it has never taken before.
I heard Sean Hannity, while driving home from a security conference today, discussing the address with Michael Reagan, and Reagan pointed out something that I think was profound. He said (paraphrasing) that in the past America has sought freedom for itself and "realism" for the rest of the world. This led us, at times, to support tyrants because they were the lesser of two evils or were, it was believed, in the best interest of the security of the US.
Now, George Bush articulates a new path for America one that melds our national drive for freedom with our national interests worldwide.
In his words
We are led, by events and common sense, to one conclusion: 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.Many have been appalled in the past by America's treatment of tyrannies. We have coddled dictators and ignored the worst and most despicable of human rights violations. No more. America will now stand for its values throughout the world. No more will America speak of freedom while ignoring slavery. No more will America spout ideals while disregarding oppression.
America’s vital interests and our deepest beliefs are now one. From the day of our Founding, we have proclaimed that every man and woman on this earth has rights, and dignity, and matchless value, because they bear the image of the Maker of Heaven and earth. 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. Advancing these ideals is the mission that created our Nation. It is the honorable achievement of our fathers. Now it is the urgent requirement of our nation’s security, and the calling of our time.
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.
This is a grand moment, when the ideals of the "progressive" merge with the pragmatism of the patriot when America's purpose is the same as its policy.
We will persistently clarify the choice before every ruler and every nation: The moral choice between oppression, which is always wrong, and freedom, which is eternally right. 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.Dare we hope that the days of giving foreign aid to countries that despise us and mistreat their own citizens are over?
We will encourage reform in other governments by making clear that success in our relations will require the decent treatment of their own people. 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. In the long run, there is no justice without freedom, and there can be no human rights without human liberty.
The President closed with this.
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.All enslaved men hope, in the quiet desperation of their souls, for a day when they are free when their lives are no longer determined by others, but driven by the desires of their own heart when their lives are guided by their own consciences and not by the greedy and selfish desires of others.
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.
How could America possibly have a more worthy goal than to support the fires of freedom?
UPDATE: Captain Ed appears to agree with my analysis of the speech. He has links to others' analyses as well.