Obama’s Inauguration Speech: “America’s Possibilities Are Limitless”
Obama’s optimistic speech — briefer and more to the point than this viewer had expected — set the stage for a second term focused on more change and progress for Americans unified by a desire for freedom and opportunity:
“This generation of Americans has been tested by crises that steeled our resolve and proved our resilience. A decade of war is now ending. An economic recovery has begun. America’s possibilities are limitless, for we possess all the qualities that this world without boundaries demands: youth and drive; diversity and openness; an endless capacity for risk and a gift for reinvention. My fellow Americans, we are made for this moment, and we will seize it – so long as we seize it together.”
Here are a few other lines that pointed toward Obama’s second term agenda:
- “[W]hile freedom is a gift from God, it must be secured by his people here on Earth.”
- “[W]e have always understood that when times change, so must we; that fidelity to our founding principles requires new responses to new challenges; that preserving our individual freedoms ultimately requires collective action.”
- “We understand that outworn programs are inadequate to the needs of our time.”
- “The commitments we make to each other – through Medicare, and Medicaid, and Social Security – these things do not sap our initiative; they strengthen us. They do not make us a nation of takers; they free us to take the risks that make this country great.” [This was a major, final smackdown of Ryan-Romney “Randism” and a warning shot at anyone who wants to weaken these crucial social programs.]
- “We, the people, still believe that our obligations as Americans are not just to ourselves, but to all posterity. We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations.”
- “We, the people, still believe that enduring security and lasting peace do not require perpetual war.”
- “We will defend our people and uphold our values through strength of arms and rule of law.”
- “We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths – that all of us are created equal – is the star that guides us still; just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall.”
- “Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law – for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well.”
- “For now decisions are upon us, and we cannot afford delay. We cannot mistake absolutism for principle, or substitute spectacle for politics, or treat name-calling as reasoned debate. We must act, knowing that our work will be imperfect.”
After having watched and re-read the entire inaugural address, I don’t believe there has been one in my lifetime that presented so liberal an agenda.
UPDATE: Looks like James Fallows agrees with me.