.by Frank Wynerth Summers III on Wednesday, January 23, 2013 at 1:13pm ·.
President Barack Hussein Obama has begun his second term in office. When he was inaugurated the first time things were close to flawless as far as spectacle goes. Nobody in the mainstream media questioned whether YoYo Ma and Yitzak Perlman should have played air guitar on their cell and violin. The historic event was covered as a good thing from almost every point of view by almost everybody although there was so much bad about his background, record and associations from so many points of view. This year people have noted that his record is not perfect and it is hard not to notice the troubles in the world and the country after four years. People can argue about roots and causes but this is no utopia nor paradise he has brought us into. Beyonce may have lip-synched or lip synced and that seems to matter to some people. Katy Perry was found to have large breasts in front of children and that might not be perfect. The Islamic dressed looking First Daughters outfits are universally extolled. Today, on the 23rd we have Secretary of State Clinton finally testifying about Bengazi. The endless parade of emotional discussions in this “no drama” Presidency continues.
He gave his Inaugural Address starting at 11:55 A.M. EST on the gallery and extended features of the US Capitol building on January 21, 2013. I will use that speech as the framework for this essay in the form of a Facebook note to be copied into my blog discussing his second term.
The PRESIDENT of the United States returned to office stood before a crowd one third of the size of the crowd that attended his first inuguration. The day was cold and yet this crowd was among the largest crowds ever to attend an inauguration. Americans were still in uncertain positions in terms of their hour by hour survival in Algeria and three had just died recently. The first Ambassador killed in the line of duty had not yet been fully processed by Congress because his Secretary of State begged off for health reasons. The US had lost its credit rating for a lower rate. Unemployment was high in much of the nation. People wondered what he would address in his address to the nation. How would he react to the right and the far right among his nation’s citizens. Then many others wondered about issues raised during the campaign. The long and oft lauded orator began to speak:
PBHO: “Vice President Biden, Mr. Chief Justice, members of the United States Congress, distinguished guests, and fellow citizens:” There was nothing too radical about these words. He had certainly not declared war on anyone in his homeland so far. Here was a man who had received millions and millions of votes and who lived in the White House. What would he say to our country now?
“Each time we gather to inaugurate a President we bear witness to the enduring strength of our Constitution. We affirm the promise of our democracy. We recall that what binds this nation together is not the colors of our skin or the tenets of our faith or the origins of our names. What makes us exceptional — what makes us American — is our allegiance to an idea articulated in a declaration made more than two centuries ago:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
He set out his usual and basic philiosophy. He set out his same and ordinary and constantly repeated campaign. He may have led some people to confuse the Constitution with the Declaration of Independence but he was not confused himself. He is the Messiah of his own Gospel. That is not as blasphemous as it sounds. Christ was and is a great leader and all leaders are a bit like him. Translating the deeper message Obama says “I am the product of a foreigner a black man who sired me on my white American mother and left this country because he hated it. I am the son of this Afro Communist Muslim who had a very minority name here and would not honor minorities in his land and hated what you believe. But his desire to save his country from foreigners was good and you as native boorn Americans do not have that right. I am the fulfillment and the American truth.” But those are my words not his. His words are almost the same innocuous crap we have all cheered for in the mouths set in friendly white faces many times. I return to his words below. In my Facebook Note his words will be in italics. In the blog they will be lucky to appear at all and this may get very confusing.
PBHO: “Today we continue a never-ending journey to bridge the meaning of those words with the realities of our time. For history tells us that while these truths may be self-evident, they’ve never been self-executing; that while freedom is a gift from God, it must be secured by His people here on Earth. (Applause.) The patriots of 1776 did not fight to replace the tyranny of a king with the privileges of a few or the rule of a mob. They gave to us a republic, a government of, and by, and for the people, entrusting each generation to keep safe our founding creed.
And for more than two hundred years, we have.”
This is both patriotic and fundamentally sound language. It is not universally accepted but it is universally acceptable as an effort to make sense of America. He starts with the Revolution and the War of Independence.
He calls those in that struggle patriots. He addresses faith and religion in a positive and supportive way. The radical potential of previous language is put aside and there is a return to the secure. What is to follow?
PBHO: “Through blood drawn by lash and blood drawn by sword, we learned that no union founded on the principles of liberty and equality could survive half-slave and half-free. We made ourselves anew, and vowed to move forward together.”
Louisiana’s flag bears the motto, “Union, Justice and Confidence” . For this former Confederate State at least it is somewhat true that a vow has been made to move forward together. For the rest it is perhaps a bit of poetic license but it is not far off the mark. For some it is a multiple reminder of the continuing American nightmare. It references the inflamatory words of Lincolns speech where he spoke of blood drawn by the word atoning for blood drawn by the lash. H eclearly accentuates that his is not the same country that went into the War between the States but rather is a new country arising from that event. This is the idea made famous in the DW Griffith film Birth of a Nation which originally was named The Klansman. But now there is the new dimension as it is not a white nationalist but the first Black POTUS speaking about this disjuncture. We honor the revolution but the old order is dead.
PBHO: “Together, we determined that a modern economy requires railroads and highways to speed travel and commerce, schools and colleges to train our workers.
Together, we discovered that a free market only thrives when there are rules to ensure competition and fair play.
Together, we resolved that a great nation must care for the vulnerable, and protect its people from life’s worst hazards and misfortune.
Through it all, we have never relinquished our skepticism of central authority, nor have we succumbed to the fiction that all society’s ills can be cured through government alone. Our celebration of initiative and enterprise, our insistence on hard work and personal responsibility, these are constants in our character.”
So Obama says we have to change with the times and that is a tenet of American Progressivism in some ways at least. However, he ends with a strong paragraph that ought to appease American conservatives. He talks about things we value and care about. He does that in the context of discussing limited government. It is possible to see him pushing out markers for dark changes for the worse in the future but that part of the speech is again a moderate one which is hard to find entirely offensive. However, the President has laid the foundations on which he will build his oratorical edifice.
PBHO: “But we 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. For the American people can no more meet the demands of today’s world by acting alone than American soldiers could have met the forces of fascism or communism with muskets and militias. No single person can train all the math and science teachers we’ll need to equip our children for the future, or build the roads and networks and research labs that will bring new jobs and businesses to our shores. Now, more than ever, we must do these things together, as one nation and one people.” (Applause.)
There is nothing much worse than the kind of integration Obama stands for and so this is the passage that ties in with the worst side of the coinciding Martin Luther King holiday. Nobody can deny that we must work together and that a great society must have a strong collective dimension. But Obama clearly wants to destroy the “Pluribus” in “E Pluribus Unum”. We cannot afford as individuals or groups much less as a society to do all things together. But Obama’s power base depends on declarations that we always shall. On the other hand Obama is right that we must be joined and interdependent. How that should work out is a different matter. Let us see what the President says next and hereafter.
PBHO: “This generation of Americans has been tested by crises that steeled our resolve and proved our resilience. A decade of war is now ending. (Applause.) An economic recovery has begun. (Applause.) 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.” (Applause.)
A world without boundaries. A world where he will not defend our borders, a world where he will not allow the good and honest and hardworking are the white or the rich to defend what might be considered to be theirs from total dissolution into the pool of the kind of mass society he is creating from its long-existing constituent parts. This is not a particulary young country but he will remake it and throw it open. Like Lincoln who in 1838 said he would make his mark ifhe had to free every slave and enslave every free man this former Senator from Illinois is determined to make a change and a set of marks on the country. For many of us America is already very badly out of control but we are nowhere compared to where he wants us to go. Let us examine where that journey will take us…
PBHO: ” For we, the people, understand that our country cannot succeed when a shrinking few do very well and a growing many barely make it. (Applause.) We believe that America’s prosperity must rest upon the broad shoulders of a rising middle class. We know that America thrives when every person can find independence and pride in their work; when the wages of honest labor liberate families from the brink of hardship. We are true to our creed when a little girl born into the bleakest poverty knows that she has the same chance to succeed as anybody else, because she is an American; she is free, and she is equal, not just in the eyes of God but also in our own. (Applause.)
We understand that outworn programs are inadequate to the needs of our time. So we must harness new ideas and technology to remake our government, revamp our tax code, reform our schools, and empower our citizens with the skills they need to work harder, learn more, reach higher. But while the means will change, our purpose endures: a nation that rewards the effort and determination of every single American. That is what this moment requires. That is what will give real meaning to our creed.”
Some Americans surely are determined and make an effort to cheat, steal, murder and destroy the property of the State the union and other citizens. Obama must know that there are people of bad will here even if he is not such a person himself. So if he rewards there effort and determination as well as the efforts of the majority who work hard he will be dooming us all the more. But perhaps this is not the America ofour purpose that nation I suppose would not include people of bad will. How would they be gotten rid of, I wonder that – is it just a good sound?
The man who could not call this the United States in his oath but only “the United” wants to remake our government. With malice and hypocrisy toward many as Lincoln had in his heart. There has never been a President like Obama. Indeed there have been few leaders in history that can be compared to him. He knows it and so do I. My whole life I have found things bad here but we are heading towards a new level of badness and he has the vision to set out the road map. The cost of having the very poorest have the same chance as the most privileged is the cost of of social transformation and leveling which can be survived in some polities but probably not in a diverse super society like this. In a concentration camp, a massacre, a great natural disaster that kind of equality largely exists. It is good to want to help the less fortunate but to make them the most frtunate’s equals is to declare very clearly the intended destruction of society. Some ladders and safety nets are possible and imperative but complete leveling is usually near anihilation. But if the pattern holds the next paragraph will lead us back towrd the middle. Does it?
PBHO: ” We, the people, still believe that every citizen deserves a basic measure of security and dignity. We must make the hard choices to reduce the cost of health care and the size of our deficit. But we reject the belief that America must choose between caring for the generation that built this country and investing in the generation that will build its future. (Applause.) For we remember the lessons of our past, when twilight years were spent in poverty and parents of a child with a disability had nowhere to turn.
We do not believe that in this country freedom is reserved for the lucky, or happiness for the few. We recognize that no matter how responsibly we live our lives, any one of us at any time may face a job loss, or a sudden illness, or a home swept away in a terrible storm. The commitments we make to each other through Medicare and Medicaid and Social Security, these things do not sap our initiative, they strengthen us. (Applause.) They do not make us a nation of takers; they free us to take the risks that make this country great. (Applause.)”
This passage in the speech is the healthy part of Liberalism. It is the part you can go to as context to dismiss what he just said about complete leveling. One can quibble over the exact language he uses. One can argue about where we find the resouces and what justice is possible in the real world. Nonetheless, in something like my own model constitutions and in other responsible efforts from the far right these goals and their socialist associations can still have a place. Once again one tends to dismiss the radical remarks in this wave of moderation.
PBHO: “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. (Applause.) Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires and crippling drought and more powerful storms.
The path towards sustainable energy sources will be long and sometimes difficult. But America cannot resist this transition, we must lead it. We cannot cede to other nations the technology that will power new jobs and new industries, we must claim its promise. That’s how we will maintain our economic vitality and our national treasure — our forests and waterways, our crop lands and snow-capped peaks. That is how we will preserve our planet, commanded to our care by God. That’s what will lend meaning to the creed our fathers once declared.”
The path towards sustainable energy sources will be long and sometimes difficult he says. The struggle for a better future is put in mostly glowing terms but here we are brought to face the bitterest of realities. The girl who is the poorest cannot scale down her expectations and live for her family’s future in part but here we must take a bitter pill. The military picture he is about to project is too optimistic by half but here we must face the cruelty of reality. I agree with the words of Obama that indicate we should invest in alternative enrgy and the government has a role there. I agree that we must find a path to a more environmentally sensible America. But I do not trust him to deliver it because I think he is committed to weakening and breaking this country. I would recommend a path with many bitter pills and trying passages. I would not single out the energy sector in this way. He is the demolition President and this is part of his plan to unmake us.
PBHO:”We, the people, still believe that enduring security and lasting peace do not require perpetual war. (Applause.) Our brave men and women in uniform, tempered by the flames of battle, are unmatched in skill and courage. (Applause.) Our citizens, seared by the memory of those we have lost, know too well the price that is paid for liberty. The knowledge of their sacrifice will keep us forever vigilant against those who would do us harm. But we are also heirs to those who won the peace and not just the war; who turned sworn enemies into the surest of friends — and we must carry those lessons into this time as well.”
Always in America it must be hyperbole. It is not in our culture to say for example that our troops erve with great skill and great courage. Instead we must say they are unmatched in skill and courage. This only becomes a big deal because it is so endlessly repeated at almost every level almost every day. It certainly does not help build thpeaceful world Obama claims we are so good at building.
The President also claims that we can take perpetual vigilance for granted. In considering that while Clinton speaks to the Congress about Benghazi I am drawn to the questions Senator John McCain has submitted regarding this incident.
“On the anniversary of the worst terrorist attack in American history, after multiple attacks this year on U.S. and Western interests in Libya, and with rising insecurity in countries across the Middle East, why were U.S. military units and assets in the region not ready, alert, and positioned to respond in a timely fashion to what should have been a foreseeable emergency?
■· Why were the testimonies of the U.S. personnel who were evacuated from Benghazi on September 12 – eyewitnesses who knew there never was a demonstration outside the Consulate – not shared in a timely way with, and immediately factored in to the judgments of, our intelligence community?”
■· Does this failure reflect obstacles that still exist to the free sharing of information across executive branch agencies, which was a key concern of the 9/11 Commission?
I have to wonder if we are really that vigilant as a nation and society. The troubles abraod seem to be multiplying and I am not sure how many surest of friends there are in the world inhabited by real heads of state.
PBHO:”We will defend our people and uphold our values through strength of arms and rule of law. We will show the courage to try and resolve our differences with other nations peacefully –- not because we are naïve about the dangers we face, but because engagement can more durably lift suspicion and fear. (Applause.)
America will remain the anchor of strong alliances in every corner of the globe. And we will renew those institutions that extend our capacity to manage crisis abroad, for no one has a greater stake in a peaceful world than its most powerful nation. We will support democracy from Asia to Africa, from the Americas to the Middle East, because our interests and our conscience compel us to act on behalf of those who long for freedom. And we must be a source of hope to the poor, the sick, the marginalized, the victims of prejudice –- not out of mere charity, but because peace in our time requires the constant advance of those principles that our common creed describes: tolerance and opportunity, human dignity and justice.”
I think the Peace Corps is a good thing. I believe the State Department should support and fund more outreach programs. I think America should shelter some refugees and support some rebels against the world’s worst governments. But some people surely are prosperous and lead because they are better than the poor and the led. At least Obama clearly thinks he is such a leader. But he wants America universally on the side of the underdog because he wants America brought under. The vision he spells out is catastrophically expensive and cannot be sustained completely without wrecking any budget much less a troubled one or an unbudgeted mess like ours. This is more like the Soviet Union’s Comintern than it is the moderate secular missionary liberalism of the earlier Kennedy clan and others. We have more of this expansion of universalism in his next passage on liberty.
PBHO:”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; just as it guided all those men and women, sung and unsung, who left footprints along this great Mall, to hear a preacher say that we cannot walk alone; to hear a King proclaim that our individual freedom is inextricably bound to the freedom of every soul on Earth. (Applause.)
It is now our generation’s task to carry on what those pioneers began. For our journey is not complete until our wives, our mothers and daughters can earn a living equal to their efforts. (Applause.) Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law –- (applause) — for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well. (Applause.) Our journey is not complete until no citizen is forced to wait for hours to exercise the right to vote. (Applause.) Our journey is not complete until we find a better way to welcome the striving, hopeful immigrants who still see America as a land of opportunity — (applause) — until bright young students and engineers are enlisted in our workforce rather than expelled from our country. (Applause.) Our journey is not complete until all our children, from the streets of Detroit to the hills of Appalachia, to the quiet lanes of Newtown, know that they are cared for and cherished and always safe from harm.”
In my own model Constitutions I have laid oput visions of the future and the present which recognize the needs of imigrants, homosexuals, Blacks and others for dignity and autonomy. I have also recognized the neeed to deal with gun violence. But Obama wants to disarm Joe Six Pack, destroy what is left of our family structure and throw our land open to endless demographic invasion. He wants to commit us to an unsustainable and unsurvivable path. He wants an America where Citizenship is presumed if you happen to be around. This is not about what can be done to create a liberal paradise this is about the anihilation that comes from the cost of seeking to build a liberal paradise. Doing it all as anyone would like without paying for it is the future for a little while. Then collapse will surely come.
PBHO: “That is our generation’s task — to make these words, these rights, these values of life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness real for every American. Being true to our founding documents does not require us to agree on every contour of life. It does not mean we all define liberty in exactly the same way or follow the same precise path to happiness. Progress does not compel us to settle centuries-long debates about the role of government for all time, but it does require us to act in our time. (Applause.)
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. (Applause.) We must act, knowing that our work will be imperfect. We must act, knowing that today’s victories will be only partial and that it will be up to those who stand here in four years and 40 years and 400 years hence to advance the timeless spirit once conferred to us in a spare Philadelphia hall.”
Do we really believe he wants a federal solution to anything? Do we really forget how long and detailed the Affordable Healthcare Act is and how it was passed. He is a lying hypocrite who wants others to abstain from criticizing him. The reliable message is that we need haste. The revolution must proceed while there is enoughmomentum to make it succeed. The rest of the speech will remind us of the country where all this is happening. the end will set out the journey we are starting anew.
PBHO:”My fellow Americans, the oath I have sworn before you today, like the one recited by others who serve in this Capitol, was an oath to God and country, not party or faction. And we must faithfully execute that pledge during the duration of our service. But the words I spoke today are not so different from the oath that is taken each time a soldier signs up for duty or an immigrant realizes her dream. My oath is not so different from the pledge we all make to the flag that waves above and that fills our hearts with pride.
They are the words of citizens and they represent our greatest hope. You and I, as citizens, have the power to set this country’s course. You and I, as citizens, have the obligation to shape the debates of our time — not only with the votes we cast, but with the voices we lift in defense of our most ancient values and enduring ideals. (Applause.)
Let us, each of us, now embrace with solemn duty and awesome joy what is our lasting birthright. With common effort and common purpose, with passion and dedication, let us answer the call of history and carry into an uncertain future that precious light of freedom.
Thank you. God bless you, and may He forever bless these United States of America. (Applause.) ”
In this speech unlike the oath he gets States into the air. This is the last vestige of the old America. He honors God and asks his blessing on us as a country. He is the President of the United States of America. There will be plenty of passion.
The words attributed to President Barack Hussein Obama are from the White House Website and are part of the public record. I received no permission beyond that of the First Ammendment. He is indeed our Head of State. We are indeed at the start of his term. This will be his time to make a difference.