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Bush's Inaugural Speech Was a Meaningless Farce

I don’t know about the rest of the American public, or the world for that matter, but I found Bush’s Inaugural speech, pretty but without much substance; flowery but totally uninspired. And in some passages the speech was totally ignorant of the subtle nuances of American history and her continuing struggle to lift freedoms banner high within our own borders let alone those of nations still suffering under the slowly dissipating fog of European colonialism.

Yes I know this is the time when all American should rally together and celebrate the peaceful transfer of power, and the swearing in of our President. But something prevents me from wholly embracing this ceremony. Could it be the 40 million dollars spent thus far for this elaborate affair, is a significant sum in this era of huge budget deficits and two ongoing wars? Or could it be that for the Bush Administration it is business as usual? I find it appalling that the Administration refuses to re-reimburse the city for its share of Inaugural, even while it calls for unity and good will. Or could it be that Bush’s speech is tantamount to meaningless gibberish that breaks no new ground; that asks nothing of us and is full of unrealistic and pie-in-the sky goals?

Excerpt from Bush Inaugural Speech:

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.

Is he kidding? Has he forgotten that a war had to be fought to finally throw off the bonds of servitude that shackled Black man to White in the latter's search for personal wealth and singular privilege? This country, the United States of America, was not founded to advance the cause of all men, but build to progress the agenda of the White man alone!

White supremacy over the black slave forms one of the cornerstones of this nations founding's, soaked as it were in the blood of the oppressed. Freedom for all was not won without the death and rebirth of our nation, and the ugly stain of racism still clings to the fabric of American society like bloody reminder of how the noblest of intentions can be lost in the foul hearts of men who do fully believe in the lofty words from those now hallowed documents that formed this nation.

Excerpt from Bush Inaugural Speech:

Freedom, by its nature, must be chosen, and defended by citizens, and sustained by the rule of law and the protection of minorities...America's influence is not unlimited, but fortunately for the oppressed, America's influence is considerable, and we will use it confidently in freedom's cause...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

Does that include homosexual and Gay Americans who wish the freedom to form families, to marry, to raise children as is their right under the law? How can we spread liberty to other shores when our own people continue to suffer under the yoke of majority rule? When the President himself would call into question the very institution entrusted with the stewardship and proper interpretation of our laws. How can we anoint the heads of those freedom seekers without our borders, while denying the fresh air of liberty and equality and due process before the law to our own citizenry within our borders?

How can we guide fledgling nations to the doors of freedom when our government wraps the hands of tyranny around the necks of those in Guantanimo Bay and other detention facilities that exist in the shadows, but exist nonetheless? And continue to deny these men due process before the law? We are not and never were the world font of freedom, the well of wisdom from which nations seeking freedoms blessings should sip.

We are fast becoming a nation no one would want to emulate, an example no nation would want to follow. As religious zealotry takes hold in our institutions oppressing the minority and ineptitude paralyzes our governments resolve to progess the nation forward with purpose and vision, who are we to lead the world?

Excerpt from Bush Inaugural Speech:

In America's ideal of freedom, the public interest depends on private character – on integrity, and tolerance toward others, and the rule of conscience in our own lives. Self-government relies, in the end, on the governing of the self.

Noble words, but they ring hallow within a nation filled with millions of self-indulgent islands all bent on their own self interest. The spirit of community is dying in America, replaced by unchecked greed and selfishness. Most Americans now worship at the alter of materialism not God. And those who do claim God as their savior; most bare false witness to the same; their faith is infested by the virus of greed and selfishness.

It was perhaps telling that Bush's speech drew the loudest applause when he stated, "[B]y 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." Meaning: you are going to get more of your money back in tax rebates and the like. Spend, spend, spend on yourselves…

Where is the integrity Bush speaks of within his own Administration? Why does Rumsfeld continue to serve a full year after the humiliating events at Abu G. unfolded, while an E-4 goes to prison for ten years? Does anyone honestly believe that and E-4 coordinated the events that unfolded at the prison without direction from above?

Where is the tolerance for others the Bush speaks of within the ranks of the religious right; those who threw their support behind him after he said that he would deny the right of gays to marry? Was that intolerance, or just a fundamental disregard for the tenants of liberty and justice for all that passed those 11 Amendments to state Constitution denying the right of homosexuals to marry?

In conclusion, Bush's speech was meaningless to me. It was pretty to listen to, but little more. Its words rang hallow in my ears given the events of his Presidency, and the state of our nation. Words alone cannot serve freedoms cause, words need a leader with vision the carry them into battle. Bush is not and never was that leader.

Posted by V. Edward Martin at January 20, 2005 3:00 PM