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The Inaugural Address: An Attitude Adjustment

President Obama’s inaugural address states the change on which he campaigned: no longer are we blinkered by the bought and paid for Republican Ideology. He begins by describing our current situation in a few lines, focused on wars and the damage inflicted on individual citizens by the economic crisis. Then he takes his first swipe:

On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.

On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics.

That is followed up later with this:

Now, there are some who question the scale of our ambitions – who suggest that our system cannot tolerate too many big plans.

What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them – that the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long no longer apply.

We get a list of changes of attitude:

But our time of standing pat, of protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions – that time has surely passed.

… a nation cannot prosper long when it favors only the prosperous.

We will restore science to its rightful place

As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals.

[Our forefathers] understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please.

The themes of his solutions are clear:

And those of us who manage the public’s dollars will be held to account – to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day – because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government.

What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility – a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation, and the world,

We need to recognize those duties, and act like adults, he says, referring to St. Paul, 1 Cor. 13:11:

We remain a young nation, but in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things.

Thank you Mr. President.

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