President George W. Bush
Sworn-In to Second Term
January 20, 2005
Vice President Cheney, Mr. Chief Justice, President Carter, President Bush, President Clinton, reverend clergy, distinguished guests, fellow citizens:
On this day, prescribed by law and marked by ceremony, we celebrate the durable wisdom of our Constitution, and recall the deep commitments that unite our country. I am grateful for the honor of this hour, mindful of the consequential times in which we live, and determined to fulfill the oath that I have sworn and you have witnessed.
At this second gathering, our duties are defined not by the words I use, but by the history we have seen together. For a half century, America defended our own freedom by standing watch on distant borders. After the shipwreck of communism came years of relative quiet, years of repose, years of sabbatical - and then there came a day of fire.
We have seen our vulnerability - and we have seen its deepest source. For as long as whole regions of the world simmer in resentment and tyranny - prone to ideologies that feed hatred and excuse murder - violence will gather, and multiply in destructive power, and cross the most defended borders, and raise a mortal threat. There is only one force of history that can break the reign of hatred and resentment, and expose the pretensions of tyrants, and reward the hopes of the decent and tolerant, and that is the force of human freedom.
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.
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 not primarily the task of arms, though we will defend ourselves and our friends by force of arms when necessary. Freedom, by its nature, must be chosen, and defended by citizens, and sustained by the rule of law and the protection of minorities. And when the soul of a nation finally speaks, the institutions that arise may reflect customs and traditions very different from our own. America will not impose our own style of government on the unwilling. Our goal instead is to help others find their own voice, attain their own freedom, and make their own way.
The great objective of ending tyranny is the concentrated work of generations. The difficulty of the task is no excuse for avoiding it. 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.
My most solemn duty is to protect this nation and its people against further attacks and emerging threats. Some have unwisely chosen to test America's resolve, and have found it firm.
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.
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.
Some, I know, have questioned the global appeal of liberty - though this time in history, four decades defined by the swiftest advance of freedom ever seen, is an odd time for doubt. Americans, of all people, should never be surprised by the power of our ideals. Eventually, the call of freedom comes to every mind and every soul. We do not accept the existence of permanent tyranny because we do not accept the possibility of permanent slavery. Liberty will come to those who love it.
Today, America speaks anew to the peoples of the world:
All who live in tyranny and hopelessness can know: the United States will not ignore your oppression, or excuse your oppressors. When you stand for your liberty, we will stand with you.
Democratic reformers facing repression, prison, or exile can know: America sees you for who you are: the future leaders of your free country.
The rulers of outlaw regimes can know that we still believe as Abraham Lincoln did: "Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves; and, under the rule of a just God, cannot long retain it."
The leaders of governments with long habits of control need to know: To serve your people you must learn to trust them. Start on this journey of progress and justice, and America will walk at your side.
And all the allies of the United States can know: we honor your friendship, we rely on your counsel, and we depend on your help. Division among free nations is a primary goal of freedom's enemies. The concerted effort of free nations to promote democracy is a prelude to our enemies' defeat.
Today, I also speak anew to my fellow citizens:
From all of you, I have asked patience in the hard task of securing America, which you have granted in good measure. Our country has accepted obligations that are difficult to fulfill, and would be dishonorable to abandon. Yet because we have acted in the great liberating tradition of this nation, tens of millions have achieved their freedom. And as hope kindles hope, millions more will find it. By our efforts, we have lit a fire as well - a fire in the minds of men. It warms those who feel its power, it burns those who fight its progress, and one day this untamed fire of freedom will reach the darkest corners of our world.
A few Americans have accepted the hardest duties in this cause - in the quiet work of intelligence and diplomacy ... the idealistic work of helping raise up free governments ... the dangerous and necessary work of fighting our enemies. Some have shown their devotion to our country in deaths that honored their whole lives - and we will always honor their names and their sacrifice.
All Americans have witnessed this idealism, and some for the first time. I ask our youngest citizens to believe the evidence of your eyes. You have seen duty and allegiance in the determined faces of our soldiers. You have seen that life is fragile, and evil is real, and courage triumphs. Make the choice to serve in a cause larger than your wants, larger than yourself - and in your days you will add not just to the wealth of our country, but to its character.
America has need of idealism and courage, because we have essential work at home - the unfinished work of American freedom. In a world moving toward liberty, we are determined to show the meaning and promise of liberty.
In America's ideal of freedom, citizens find the dignity and security of economic independence, instead of laboring on the edge of subsistence. This is the broader definition of liberty that motivated the Homestead Act, the Social Security Act, and the G.I. Bill of Rights. And now we will extend this vision by reforming great institutions to serve the needs of our time. To give every American a stake in the promise and future of our country, we will bring the highest standards to our schools, and build an ownership society. We will widen the ownership of homes and businesses, retirement savings and health insurance - preparing our people for the challenges of life in a free society. By 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.
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. That edifice of character is built in families, supported by communities with standards, and sustained in our national life by the truths of Sinai, the Sermon on the Mount, the words of the Koran, and the varied faiths of our people. Americans move forward in every generation by reaffirming all that is good and true that came before - ideals of justice and conduct that are the same yesterday, today, and forever.
In America's ideal of freedom, the exercise of rights is ennobled by service, and mercy, and a heart for the weak. Liberty for all does not mean independence from one another. Our nation relies on men and women who look after a neighbor and surround the lost with love. Americans, at our best, value the life we see in one another, and must always remember that even the unwanted have worth. And our country must abandon all the habits of racism, because we cannot carry the message of freedom and the baggage of bigotry at the same time.
From the perspective of a single day, including this day of dedication, the issues and questions before our country are many. From the viewpoint of centuries, the questions that come to us are narrowed and few. Did our generation advance the cause of freedom? And did our character bring credit to that cause?
These questions that judge us also unite us, because Americans of every party and background, Americans by choice and by birth, are bound to one another in the cause of freedom. We have known divisions, which must be healed to move forward in great purposes - and I will strive in good faith to heal them. Yet those divisions do not define America. We felt the unity and fellowship of our nation when freedom came under attack, and our response came like a single hand over a single heart. And we can feel that same unity and pride whenever America acts for good, and the victims of disaster are given hope, and the unjust encounter justice, and the captives are set free.
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.
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.
George W. Bush
43rd President of the United States of America
President Bush, we thank you for serving our Country.
There are many who believe in your Vision for America
and will follow and serve with a leader who articulates and carries out
those Visions of Peace and Freedom for the whole world
and security at home for all Americans.
God Bless you and those who serve with you,
and may you all be increasingly Inspired to help
America reach her Goals.
January 20, 2005
This link takes you to an article on the The U.S. Constitution
This link takes you back to Pathways
The following, by Richard Reeb,
is an article borrowed from The Claremont Institute
The President's soaring Second Inaugural has started a national conversation more concerned with the responsibilities of this nation, and the nobility of assuming them, than any I can remember. More is at work here than some stirring phrases or memorable lines. George W. Bush is simultaneously appealing to the better angels of our nature and the authentic wellsprings of our human identity. Bush used the term "idealism" frequently, but I do not see this speech as the triumph of idealism over realism, nor the merging of the two. Rather it is the marriage of high principle and sober appreciation of the lessons life has to teach the wise. We are engaged in a national realization that old policies that overlooked dangerous evils must be replaced by new ones that provide conceptual clarity and appreciation of limits.
Much has been made of the boldness of the President's speech, but there are antecedents not only in his speeches following the Islamo-fascist attack on the United States on September 11, 2001, but in his First Inaugural, where he said: "The stakes for America are never small. If our country does not lead the cause of freedom, it will not be led."
Granted, Bush did not talk as much about foreign affairs in that speech as he did today, but he already knew what our compass was. Those are the principles set forth in the Declaration of Independence and implemented to the greatest extent known in the United States Constitution. While we knew that we had enemies in the Islamic world, we did not know their evil plans and therefore did not know how to counter them. But we have been through a crucible that, because our national goals are clear, has pointed us in the right direction. America could not permanently be on the defensive, and not only because as a practical matter that policy is self defeating. Ronald Reagan showed us that a forward strategy for freedom, not containment, alone has the capacity for defeating the most powerful enemies of freedom. Now George Bush has shown that more is necessary even than taking the war directly to our enemies in Afghanistan and Iraq or elsewhere. America must clearly articulate, tirelessly support and forcibly defend liberty against its enemies. We cannot acquiesce in despotism when we know that too often the result is the encouragement of unending threats to our national security.
Bush's more thoughtful critics may consider his speech, especially the declaration of American policy to seek the end of tyranny and the promise of still greater victories in the future than in the past, as an immodesty unworthy of and dangerous for the country. But I contend that bracketing the cause of liberty with tasks that develop the best character is the essence of modesty. This is the cultivation of human excellence which classical philosophers held out as the highest task of a regime. This is the ennobling work that marks a great nation.
Unlike some of his more illustrious predecessors, President Bush did not indulge the fantasy that the spread of liberty is inevitable. He said rather that it was right and necessary for the justice and peace of the world. We still have the choice, constrained by circumstances and our own resources, to act as we think best in each situation that comes along. Indeed, carping critics have already accused the President of inconsistency because he does not, indeed, he cannot, insist on the full implementation of natural rights everywhere. But his speech is even now igniting a fire in the hearts of imprisoned dissidents, bullied women and children, and even seemingly despotic souls soon to repent of their crimes. Liberty is a fire that does not go out. The President has lifted our hearts and our minds in the direction of our highest duties. The future consists in more battles to realize human freedom with an abiding faith that sustains us during our disappointments and comforts us in our losses. For our citizens at home it means enjoying the liberty that our sacrifices will continue to maintain.
We may never think more clearly about our national character than we do today.
President's Radio Address January 22, 2005
THE PRESIDENT: Good morning.
My fellow Americans, earlier this week I had the honor of taking, for the second time, the oath of office as your President. The inaugural ceremony is simple, yet its meaning is profound. Every four years, the American people hold an inauguration to reaffirm our faith in liberty, and to celebrate the democratic institutions that preserve it. To place one's hand on the Bible and swear the oath is a humbling experience, and a reminder of the high trust and great responsibility that the presidency brings. With deep appreciation for your support, and mindful of the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead, I'm eager to begin the work of a new term.
In the years since I first swore to preserve, protect and defend our Constitution, our nation has been tested. Our enemies have found America more than equal to the task. In response to attacks on our home soil, we have captured or killed terrorists across the Earth. We have taken unprecedented steps to secure our homeland from future attacks, and our troops have liberated millions from oppression.
At home, thanks to pro-growth policies and the hard work of the American people, we overcame a recession and created over 2 million new jobs in the past year alone. Now we move forward. We remain in a war the United States will continue to lead -- fighting terrorists abroad, so we do not have to face them here at home. We will strive to keep the world's most dangerous weapons out of the hands of terrorists and tyrants. And our nation will stand by the peoples of Afghanistan and Iraq as they build free and democratic societies in their own lands -- because when America gives its word, America must keep its word.
As I stated in my inaugural address, our security at home increasingly depends on the success of liberty abroad. So we will continue to promote freedom, hope and democracy in the broader Middle East -- and by doing so, defeat the despair, hopelessness and resentments that feed terror.
At home, too, we will expand freedom. We will continue to bring high standards and accountability to our public schools, so that every child can learn. We will transform our retirement and health systems, reform the legal system and simplify the tax code, so that all Americans enjoy the dignity and independence that comes from ownership. In this ownership society, every citizen will have a real stake in the promise of America. And our most valued institutions will be better prepared to meet the new challenges of a new time.
This week, Washington has been marked by pomp and circumstance. In a free nation, these ceremonies are more than pageantry. They underscore that public office is a public trust. America's elected leaders derive their authority from the consent of the American people, whom we serve. This is a high privilege, and that privilege carries a serious responsibility: to confront problems now, instead of passing them on to future generations.
As long as I hold this office, I promise that I will serve all Americans and will work to promote the unity of our great nation. And working together, we will secure the blessings of liberty, not only for ourselves, but for generations of Americans to come.
Thank you for listening.
January 21, 2005
RUSH LIMBAUGH ASKS:
Rush: I know that there's a lot of criticism of the President's inaugural speech.
It began last night. It has carried on into this morning and today, and I know that some of the criticism is even coming from Republicans. I'm not going to address the criticisms of each individual specifically, but, rather, I want to try to take the apparent broad themes of the criticism -- especially from the left. The complaints from the left include that Bush did not mention any specifics about his plans to promote freedom in the world,
And that we had some complaints -- even one from the right -- that he mentioned God too much in the speech. "There was just too much God," and, you know, I think about other aspects.
This is a philosophically ambitious speech. I find it fascinating. I really
do here, folks, and in the plain old common-sense realm. I find it
fascinating that standing for and desiring and promoting freedom can become
so controversial. It literally stuns me. If you go back -- you know, one of
the first things I would ask the left, who are raucously criticizing this
speech, could we go back into histoire and could we ask ourselves,
what was the purpose in the founding of the United Nations?
Well, then I might say, "Why have a United Nations?" What is the purpose of the United Nations?
The UN has become a home for renegade thugs, third-world pimps, tyrants and dictators and the last thing it's interested in is world peace. It is a corrupt body and nobody has a problem with it! Nobody but us. Around the world, the United Nations is looked at as the repository for all that's whatever in the world. Certainly isn't good.
So here we have a President who
talks about something as simple as fundamental to human existence as freedom
and desiring it for as many people in the world as possible, and we get
snickers, and we get hrumphs and we get, "Oh, yeah, right! Really!
Ha, ha, ha!" a bunch of deriding laughter, and yet those same people look to
the UN and see something godlike -- and therein, ladies and gentlemen, lies
one of the problems with the critics.
We saved this union. We had over 500,000 American citizens die to save this union. It was called the Civil War, for those of you who graduated from the American public school system. Ending slavery. We ended slavery. That was ambitious. We even had a stupid Supreme Court decision, Dred Scott, that said it was okay for one man to own another man. Those of you who believe in the court, ha, ha. Try bringing that ruling back today. Let's see how long the court survives. It was ambitious. We didn't accept a Supreme Court ruling back then. "We took up a great ambition and people in this country died to end slavery and to preserve the union.
Winning the Cold War?
That was ambitious. One man thought it possible; everybody else snickered.
"You can't do that. What do you mean? Why, there has to be a balance of power. We can't beat the Soviets. It would lead to nuclear Holocaust. Oh, no, we're all going to die!"
We won it without firing a shot!
We just buried the man responsible for it last year. (President Reagan),
Where are our memories?
What do you mean we can't do this? You shoot for the heavens; you shoot for the stars; you get there. You certainly are not going to get there by not aiming at them. For crying out loud, folks, what in the world is happening to our society where a broad-themed vision of goodness and kindness, and freedom for as many people as possible is snickered at, and in fact, has become controversial.
A president needs to think big because if he doesn't, he won't accomplish anything.
He becomes mired in the agenda of the bureaucrats, the diplomats, and the civil servants.
If you tackle big visionary issues like Abe Lincoln, any
number of other presidents, yes, you're going to have enemies. They're going
to hate you; they're going to snicker, but boy, a vision of freedom? I tell
you, you people who are having big problems with this, get Natan Sharansky's
book, 'A Case for Democracy'.
Pres. Clinton was nothing more than an administrator of the government. He was nothing more than the bureaucrat-in-chief. He accomplished nothing. He chose not to think big, and the consequences were devastating in terms of our national security. He avoided dealing with real problems that were resulting in the loss of innocent American lives. He put them aside so as to protect his so-called legacy, and his approval rating. No one urged him to attack the Taliban and defeat those forces before they strike again and he didn't. Even in the Mideast, these constant negotiations he had with Arafat. That was the safe source. It was what the UN would do: Invest all of your capital in a terrorist. Invest your capital in a terrorist is what Bill Clinton did with Arafat, and from his point of view, that was the safe course.
Bush finally comes to office, says, 'To hell with all this. "
We got nowhere with any president that simply wanted to administer the government and throw parties and have state dinners and try to get the mainstream media on his side to talk about what a great guy he was.
Who among us is actually intellectually opposed to freedom?
Ah, that's an interesting question. Some people are acting like they are opposed to it. "Don't accuse me of opposing freedom!" Well, show me how your attitude would be any different if you were opposed to it.
From Doyle McManus, Times staff writer: "Putting Democracy First May Test Key Relationships."
Oh, see, this can't be done! We can't do it. Putting democracy and freedom first? Why, we're going to destroy existing relationships that we have. Why, we can't do this! "For more than a century presidents have wrestled with the recurring conflict between America's democratic ideals and its real-world interests, interests that sometimes led the US into alliances with unpalatable dictators.
In his inaugural address on Thursday, President Bush boldly declared that debate over.
'From now on,' he said, 'the principal goal of the US must be to promote democracy everywhere in the world, even where that may mean instability in the short run.' If Bush carries through on that pledge, it will be a significant shift in US foreign policy, which has often oscillated between promoting democracy and defending narrower military and economic interests.
The president gave himself some wiggle room, but not
Why in the world everybody thinks that we're going to load up the military and send armies all over the world to do this is beyond me. This is not how this is to be achieved.
The president never said that was to be the manner in which this would happen.
You know, it's like I said yesterday. This is so fundamental, it's ridiculous to have to keep repeating this, "
and the test of Bush's sweeping new doctrine, though, won't come in Afghanistan, but in more powerful countries like China and Russia, where the US wants to maintain cordial relationships with repressive governments for practical, political and economic reasons."
President Bush speech on National Day of Prayer 2004
Speech: Iraq War 10-6-05
President Bush Discusses Rebuilding Iraq-12-7-05
President Bush Speaks on the Iraqi Elections 12-12-05
President Bush Speaks of Victory in the War on Terror 12-14-05
President Bush Speaks on Renewal in Iraq 12-18-05
President Bush: Address to the Nation 1-10-07
Pres. Geo. W. Bush ....State of the Union Address 1-23-07
Pres. Geo. W. Bush: Setting History Straight 8-22-07
Pres. Bush Welcomes Pope Benedict XVI to the White House-April-15-2008
Pres. Bush discusses NAFTA with Canada and Mexico 4-22-08
This link takes you to an article on the The U.S. Constitution
This link takes you back to Pathways
Lois J Crawford
January 23, 2005-January 15, 2011
All LJC text
Copyright © 'Beliefs'