Listening for clues as to which way this second term President and his administration will go, Obama was adamant in his commitment to ending a decade of war. “We the people still believe that enduring security and lasting peace do not require perpetual war.” Obama was sounding warning to the military/complex complex that has ruled this country since the days of President Dwight D. Eisenhower that their day in the sun might be on the wain. Obama said America will show courage to try and resolve our differences with other nations peacefully “not because we are naïve about the dangers we face but because engagement can more durably lift suspicion and fear.”
Turning to the economy, he said the economic recovery has begun based on our talents and abilities to reinvent ourselves and take risks. He said the country was made for this moment and said we will seize it as long as we do it together. We understand that our country cannot succeed when a shrinking few do very well and a growing many barely make it. Briefly mentioning the deficit, he acknowledged the hard choices to reduce the cost of health care and the size of the deficit. He rejected the belief that America must choose between caring for the generation that built this country and the generation that will build its future.
President Obama said honoring the commitments made through Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security do not sap our initiative — they strengthen us.
He took a slap at the anti-climate change contingent. promising that America will respond to the threat “knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations.”
He recognized women, saying they deserved equal pay for equal work — a credo of the feminist movement for the last 30 years. And, he gave a nod to the gay movement for the right to marry.
Acknowledging the maelstrom that has grown out of the Newtown, Conn., tragedy, he said “our journey is not complete until all our children, from the streets of Detroit to the hills of Appalachia to the quiet lanes of Newtown, know that they are cared for, cherished and always safe from harm.”
He called on the government to act, because decisions are upon us and chided some saying that “we cannot mistake absolutism for principle or substitute spectacle for politics or treat name calling as reasoned debate. “
Characterizing his oath of office, he said it was not much different from the one taken by soldiers or immigrants taking the oath of citizenship. He said it was “an oath sworn to God and Country, not party or faction.”
Wrapping it up, he called upon us “with common effort and common purpose with passion and dedication to answer the call of history and carry into an uncertain future that precious light of freedom”
– Caroll Lucas
To read the official transcript of President Obama’s inaugural address, click HERE.
To see the White House video of Barack Obama taking the Oath of Office and delivering his inaugural address, click HERE.
More scenes and links from the inauguration to follow.