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Full text of (President!) Bush's inaugural address
The White House, via ^ | 1/20/05 | A great American

Posted on 01/20/2005 9:21:56 AM PST by Diddle E. Squat

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.

TOPICS: Breaking News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: bush; freedom; georgewbush; hailtothechief; inauguraladdress; inauguration; inaugurationaddress; inaugurationspeech; liberty; lolsabbatical; presidentbush; speech; thegreatsabbatical; transcript; w2
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To: PhiKapMom

transcript ping

21 posted on 01/20/2005 9:42:25 AM PST by NonValueAdded ("We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good" HRC 6/28/2004)
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To: jebanks; discostu


I heard the speech on the radio and thought it was very good. I liked that the focus was philosophical and not legislative.

22 posted on 01/20/2005 9:43:20 AM PST by Purple GOPer
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To: LS
"He has brilliantly coopted the New Deal and Dem programs of the GI Bill and flipped them into the "ownership society" by "reforming" them so that they become increasingly privatized. This is hugh! "

I mad the same observation a couple days ago. Hence the 'rats addy saying don't touch SocSec (nee FDR's legacy).It is hugh, and the left is seriesly p*ssed, scared and resolute. We're in for a great ride...

23 posted on 01/20/2005 9:45:02 AM PST by eureka! (It will not be safe to vote Democrat for a long, long, time...)
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To: Purple GOPer

You just have to believe that God guided Pres. Bush to become our President during these times-just seems it was destiny

24 posted on 01/20/2005 9:45:16 AM PST by LYSandra
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To: Diddle E. Squat

This was a fantastic speech. He laid down a gauntlet, not just to the despots of the world, but to the presidents who follow him. I only hope he can follow through himself, because he set the bar pretty high.

25 posted on 01/20/2005 9:46:58 AM PST by DGray (
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To: Diddle E. Squat
The survival of liberty in our land increasingly depends on the success of liberty in other lands.

Then eradicate islam and liberate MEXICO and CANADA.

26 posted on 01/20/2005 9:48:38 AM PST by Centurion2000 (Nations do not survive by setting examples for others. Nations survive by making examples of others)
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To: Centurion2000

Great speech.

27 posted on 01/20/2005 9:50:07 AM PST by The Teen Conservative (Taglines really get me worked up to write something in them for nothin', y'know?)
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To: DGray

Have to say that a lot of the talking heads on TV are agreeing with you. Kind of surprising. Never thought I'd hear them sound pro-Bush. But it will pass by the 6PM news.

28 posted on 01/20/2005 9:50:54 AM PST by ProudVet77 (I'm ready for some NASCAR!)
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To: Publius6961

God Bless President Bush! The President certainly enters his second term with undiminished confidence in his mission.

29 posted on 01/20/2005 9:52:01 AM PST by Williams
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To: Diddle E. Squat

Kerry's Innaugaral Address - "Dear World, please forgive us for pushing our awful "liberty" on you. We will stop. Hope you do, too. Now to quote some profanity from our world renowned entertainers ...."

30 posted on 01/20/2005 9:54:03 AM PST by Williams
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To: eureka!
Hehehe. Conservatives are upset because he acts on these programs---and changes them for the better---but doesn't boast about it (rub it in). Liberals are upset because he is actually affecting change.

I understand that we want it all: we want the change AND to "rub it in." But Bush, like Lincoln, knows that change itself is hard enough without turning the losers into suicide bombers.

31 posted on 01/20/2005 9:54:05 AM PST by LS (CNN is the Amtrak of news (there is no c in Amtrak and no truth in MSM news))
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To: cryptical

How many times did he say FREEDOM? I lost count.

32 posted on 01/20/2005 9:55:18 AM PST by Feiny (Gap-Toothed, Missing Link Troglodytes Delighted by Presidential Election Outcome)
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To: murron

LOL throughout the entire event, songs, prayer, speech. O kept thinking about Newdow being there and how much I loved it.

33 posted on 01/20/2005 9:56:49 AM PST by TexasTaysor
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To: LS

Do an analysis of President Bush todays speech then ping me on it when you post it. Please!!!

34 posted on 01/20/2005 9:58:05 AM PST by shield (The Greatest Scientific Discoveries of the Century Reveal God!!!! by Dr. H. Ross, Astrophysicist)
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To: Publius6961
and implying once more that islam is just another religion of normal human beings.

My uncle is pretty normal, very American and quite conservative. He's also a Muslim. I take it he's not welcome?

35 posted on 01/20/2005 9:58:24 AM PST by antiRepublicrat
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To: feinswinesuksass

Freedom: 27 times.

36 posted on 01/20/2005 9:58:41 AM PST by spunkets
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To: Publius6961
Monumentally unremarkable speech made more forgettable by his need to continue the fiction, and implying once more that islam is just another religion of normal human beings.

An excellent speech aimed beyond the "now".

37 posted on 01/20/2005 9:59:30 AM PST by zarf
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To: shield

Gonna be a while. I'm swamped with a book proposal, student papers, and promoting PHUSA! Why don't you do one---send it to me and I'll offer suggestions---then you post it?

38 posted on 01/20/2005 9:59:32 AM PST by LS (CNN is the Amtrak of news (there is no c in Amtrak and no truth in MSM news))
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To: Publius6961
You missed all the rest of it?

The parts about freedom, and being created in God's image........ALL of that, negated by one diplomatic phrase?


39 posted on 01/20/2005 9:59:47 AM PST by ohioWfan (Have you PRAYED for your President today?)
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To: LS


40 posted on 01/20/2005 10:00:36 AM PST by hchutch (A pro-artificial turf, pro-designated hitter baseball fan.)
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