Obama defines unity in second inaugural address

Obama defines unity in second inaugural address

Washington : DC : USA | Jan 21, 2013 at 10:32 AM PST
Views: Pending

If there was indeed a single message that resonated above all else in President Barack Obama's second inaugural address, it was the power of a unified American voice. That’s not to say that all Americans must agree on specific policies, but that we must all agree that fighting with each other does nothing to advance the cause of all.

In borrowing some of the most powerful words of the US Constitution, “We the people” was summoned in much of Obama’s inaugural message. By invoking the words of the nation’s founders, it served as a powerful reminder that those who govern today cannot lose sight of their influence on generations to come. Change is not only inevitable, its necessity was recognized in the founding documents of the United States, which are inherently flexible.

The president conveyed that message with these words:

"We understand that outworn programs are inadequate to the needs of our time. We must harness new ideas and technology to remake our government, revamp our tax code, reform our schools, and empower our citizens with the skills they need to work harder, learn more, reach higher.

But while the means will change, our purpose endures: a nation that rewards the effort and determination of every single American. That is what this moment requires. That is what will give real meaning to our creed."

Few words could have better highlighted the war that has emerged between Democrats and Republicans. And few could make it clearer that the anti-American behavior of a handful of ultra-conservative Republican zealots cannot stand if the nation is to endure for future generations.

“We cannot mistake absolutism for principle, or substitute spectacle for politics, or treat name-calling as reasoned debate,” Obama added.

In the most fundamentally patriotic sense, Republicans who have been personally responsible for deliberately holding the country back, for whatever reasons, should have been embarrassed for their past behavior today. With the backdrop of this inaugural event, with all its history and tradition, it has never been more obvious that America has no place for anti-American politicians.

Patriotic speeches are good for history books, but the reality of Washington politics is far from pure democracy. However if nothing else, it should be every American’s hope that Republicans will realize in Obama’s second term, fighting a president who has the support of the people only makes the opposition look desperate and foolish. It takes much more to prove worthiness to govern, than just saying "no" to absolutely everything that might help the American people.

If the Republicans ever hope to hold the power of the White House again, they must first show respect for the office. Over the past four years, they have not.

In concluding his 2013 inaugural remarks, Obama said:

"You and I, as citizens, have the obligation to shape the debates of our time – not only with the votes we cast, but with the voices we lift in defense of our most ancient values and enduring ideals.

Let us each of us now embrace, with solemn duty and awesome joy, what is our lasting birthright. With common effort and common purpose, with passion and dedication, let us answer the call of history, and carry into an uncertain future that precious light of freedom."

Despite what some radical politicians might think, Americans know that the war in Washington must end, even if the losers don’t agree with the outcome. That is the only real way democracy can endure.

Click here to read the transcript of Obama’s second inaugural address.

1 of 1
President Obama delivers his second inaugural address
Image: Reuters
itobin53 is based in Tampa, Florida, United States of America, and is an Anchor on Allvoices.
Report Credibility
  • Clear
  • Share:
  • Share
  • Clear
  • Clear
  • Clear
  • Clear

News Stories

  • CNN Poll: Do Americans agree with Obama on climate change, immigration?

      CNN Blog
    President Barack Obama used his second inaugural address to put the divisive issues of climate change and immigration back on the front burner. But according to a new national survey, Americans are divided over whether global warming is a man made...
  • Scenes from the inaugural balls

      Herald Tribune
    The first lady was elegant, the entertainment was star-filled and the president looked ebullient Read more » Wednesday, Jan 16, 2013 1:26 PM Here are some of the major proposals the president offered to reduce gun violence Read more » Wednesday, Jan...
  • Seize the moment, Obama tells US

    Barack Obama has told the American people to "seize the moment", in a speech in Washington DC inaugurating his second term as US president. After taking the oath of office, he said America's possibilities were limitless as it emerged from a decade of...
  • Obama speech sets stage for looming policy fights

      Associated Press
    President Barack Obama has prepared a second inaugural address that broadly lays out his vision for the country's future, setting the stage for looming debates over taxes, guns, immigration and other issues while leaving the details for another day.
  • Republican Introducing Obama at Inauguration Quotes Alex Haley

      The New York Observer
    Moments before President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden put their hands on the Bible to take the oath of office, Republican Senator Lamar Alexander took the podium to introduce them by quoting Alex Haley, the author of  Roots: The Saga of...
  • Politics Today: Everything you need to know about Obama's second ...

      The Globe & Mail
    President Barack Obama takes questions from reporters during a news conference at the White House in Washington, January 14, 2013. Video   Reuters Video Video Here is your guide to keep up with the day's events. Getting the oath right Believe it or...



More From Allvoices

Related People

Report Your News Got a similar story?
Add it to the network!

Or add related content to this report

Use of this site is governed by our Terms of Use Agreement and Privacy Policy.

© Allvoices, Inc. 2008-2014. All rights reserved. Powered by PulsePoint.