Bush's Inaugural Address

                      This peaceful transfer of authority is rare in history, yet
                      common in our country. With a simple oath, we affirm
                      old traditions, and make new beginnings. As I begin, I
                      thank President Clinton for his service to our nation.
                      And I thank Vice President Gore for a contest
                      conducted with spirit, and ended with grace.

                      I am honored and humbled to stand here, where so
                      many of America's leaders have come before me, and
                      so many will follow.

                      We have a place, all of us, in a long story; a story we
                      continue, but whose end we will not see. It is the story
                      of a new world that became a friend and liberator of the
                      old. The story of a slave-holding society that became a
                      servant of freedom. The story of a power that went into
                      world to protect but not possess, to defend but not to
                      conquer. It is the American story; a story of flawed and
                      fallible people, united across the generations by grand
                      and enduring ideals.

                      The grandest of these ideals is an unfolding American
                      promise: that everyone belongs, that everyone
                      deserves a chance, that no insignificant person was
                      ever born. Americans are called to enact this promise
                      in our lives and in our laws. And though our nation has
                      sometimes halted, and sometimes delayed, we must
                      follow no other course.

                      Through much of the last century, America's faith in
                      freedom and democracy was a rock in a raging sea.
                      Now it is a seed upon the wind, taking root in many
                      nations. Our democratic faith is more than the creed of
                      our country, it is the inborn hope of our humanity; an
                      ideal we carry but do not own, a trust we bear and pass
                      along. And even after nearly 225 years, we have a long
                      way yet to travel.

                      While many of our citizens prosper, others doubt the
                      promise -- even the justice -- of our own country. The
                      ambitions of some Americans are limited by failing
                      schools, and hidden prejudice, and the circumstances
                      of their birth. And sometimes our differences run so
                      deep, it seems we share a continent, but not a country.

                      We do not accept this, and will not allow it. Our unity,
                      our union, is the serious work of leaders and citizens
                      in every generation. And this is my solemn pledge: I
                      will work to build a single nation of justice and
                      opportunity.

                      I know this is within our reach, because we are guided
                      by a power larger than ourselves, Who creates us
                      equal in His image.

                      And we are confident in principles that unite and lead
                      us onward.

                      America has never been united by blood or birth or soil.
                      We are bound by ideals that move us beyond our
                      backgrounds, lift us above our interests, and teach us
                      what it means to be citizens. Every child must be taught
                      these principles. Every citizen must uphold them. And
                      every immigrant, by embracing these ideals, makes
                      our country more, not less, American.

                      Today we affirm a new commitment to live out our
                      nation's promise through civility, courage, compassion
                      and character.

                      America, at its best, matches a commitment to
                      principle with a concern for civility. A civil society
                      demands from each of us good will and respect, fair
                      dealing and forgiveness.

                      Some seem to believe that our politics can afford to be
                      petty because, in a time of peace, the stakes of our
                      debates appear small. But the stakes, for America, are
                      never small. If our country does not lead the cause of
                      freedom, it will not be led. If we do not turn the hearts of
                      children toward knowledge and character, we will lose
                      their gifts and undermine their idealism. If we permit
                      our economy to drift and decline, the vulnerable will
                      suffer most.

                      We must live up to the calling we share. Civility is not a
                      tactic or a sentiment. It is the determined choice of trust
                      over cynicism, of community over chaos. And this
                      commitment, if we keep it, is a way to shared
                      accomplishment.

                      America, at its best, is also courageous.

                      Our national courage has been clear in times of
                      depression and war, when defeating common
                      dangers defined our common good. Now we must
                      choose if the example of our fathers and mothers will
                      inspire us or condemn us. We must show courage in a
                      time of blessing, by confronting problems instead of
                      passing them on to future generations.

                      Together we will reclaim America's schools, before
                      ignorance and apathy claim more young lives. We will
                      reform Social Security and Medicare, sparing our
                      children from struggles we have the power to prevent.
                      We will reduce taxes, to recover the momentum of our
                      economy and reward the effort and enterprise of
                      working Americans. We will build our defenses beyond
                      challenge, lest weakness invite challenge. We will
                      confront weapons of mass destruction, so that a new
                      century is spared new horrors.

                      The enemies of liberty and our country should make no
                      mistake. America remains engaged in the world, by
                      history and by choice, shaping a balance of power that
                      favors freedom. We will defend our allies and our
                      interests. We will show purpose without arrogance. We
                      will meet aggression and bad faith with resolve and
                      strength. And to all nations, we will speak for the
                      values that gave our nation birth.

                      America, at its best, is compassionate.

                      In the quiet of American conscience, we know that
                      deep, persistent poverty is unworthy of our nation's
                      promise. And whatever our views of its cause, we can
                      agree that children at risk are not at fault.
                      Abandonment and abuse are not acts of God, they are
                      failures of love. And the proliferation of prisons,
                      however necessary, is no substitute for hope and order
                      in our souls.

                      Where there is suffering, there is duty. Americans in
                      need are not strangers, they are citizens; not problems,
                      but priorities; and all of us are diminished when any
                      are hopeless.

                      Government has great responsibilities, for public
                      safety and public health, for civil rights and common
                      schools. Yet compassion is the work of a nation, not
                      just a government. And some needs and hurts are so
                      deep they will only respond to a mentor's touch or a
                      pastor's prayer. Church and charity, synagogue and
                      mosque, lend our communities their humanity, and
                      they will have an honored place in our plans and laws.

                      Many in our country do not know the pain of poverty. But
                      we can listen to those who do. And I can pledge our
                      nation to a goal: When we see that wounded traveler
                      on the road to Jericho, we will not pass to the other
                      side.

                      America, at its best, is a place where personal
                      responsibility is valued and expected.

                      Encouraging responsibility is not a search for
                      scapegoats, it is a call to conscience. And though it
                      requires sacrifice, it brings a deeper fulfillment. We find
                      the fullness of life, not only in options, but in
                      commitments. And we find that children and
                      community are the commitments that set us free.

                      Our public interest depends on private character; on
                      civic duty and family bonds and basic fairness; on
                      uncounted, unhonored acts of decency which give
                      direction to our freedom.

                      Sometimes in life we are called to do great things. But
                      as a saint of our times has said, every day we are
                      called to do small things with great love. The most
                      important tasks of a democracy are done by everyone.

                      I will live and lead by these principles: to advance my
                      convictions with civility; to pursue the public interest
                      with courage; to speak for greater justice and
                      compassion; to call for reponsibility, and try to live it as
                      well. In all these ways, I will bring the values of our
                      history to the care of our times.

                      What you do is as important as anything government
                      does. I ask you to seek a common good beyond your
                      comfort; to defend needed reforms against easy
                      attacks; to serve your nation, beginning with your
                      neighbor. I ask you to be citizens. Citizens, not
                      spectators. Citizens, not subjects. Responsible
                      citizens, building communities of service and a nation
                      of character.

                      Americans are generous and strong and decent, not
                      because we believe in ourselves, but because we hold
                      beliefs beyond ourselves. When this spirit of
                      citizenship is missing, no government program can
                      replace it. When this spirit is present, no wrong can
                      stand against it.

                      After the Declaration of Independence was signed,
                      Virginia statesman John Page wrote to Thomas
                      Jefferson: "We know the Race is not to the swift nor the
                      Battle to the Strong. Do you not think an Angel rides in
                      the Whirlwind and directs this Storm?"

                      Much time has passed since Jefferson arrived for his
                      inaugural. The years and changes accumulate. But the
                      themes of this day he would know: our nation's grand
                      story of courage, and its simple dream of dignity.

                      We are not this story's Author, Who fills time and
                      eternity with His purpose. Yet His purpose is achieved
                      in our duty; and duty is fulfilled in service to one
                      another.

                      Never tiring, never yielding, never finishing, we renew
                      that purpose today: to make our country more just and
                      generous; to affirm the dignity of our lives and every life.

                      This work continues. This story goes on. And an angel
                      still rides in the whirlwind and directs this storm.

                      God bless you, and God bless our country.
 

for text of all the presidents' inaugural addresses, click here
 

Another Point of View on Bush's Inaugural:

Billionaires Light Up to the Next 4 Years of Greater Wealth and Inequality

by Art Killwoodz 9:13pm Mon Jan 22 '01
artandpolitics@yahoo.com

Billionaires celebrate and look forward to the next four years of more billions courtesy of our George W!

The victory of the well-bought George W is shared over a good ah (Cuban) cigar. What an investment, millions will bring us billions!

The economy, stocks and dividends may be slowing, but with George W, we can still bring home MORE dollars then ever before! We've been eyeing those billions in surplus. All W has to do is give them to us through his giant tax cut for the rich. And by eliminating the estate tax, we no longer have to hide our wealth or give money to those do-gooder foundations, we can keep it all to ourselves and pass it on to our children! What did you think we mean by family values? Why do you think we believe in genetics?

Why Work? We Inherit!

And well, if the treasury runs out of surpluses from our tax cuts and spending on our Star Wars companies, who else can they borrow from but us billionaires, and with interest! Ah the old days of Reagan and Bush are back again!

Wealth care not health care!

We're here, we're rich, we’re powerful--get used to it!
 

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