My fellow citizens, when we come together to inaugurate a president, we come together to confirm the power and the beauty of the idea our great republic is founded on. We come together to celebrate the power of the promise made in the Declaration of Independence. The promise that everybody on this earth is created equal and endowed with the same inalienable rights. Not only is this the true creed of our time, the world has been looking to America to see this promise fulfilled for more than 200 years. It is this creed that binds this nation together. And from our shores, it has spread all across the globe.
We have received this precious gift from our founding fathers and we bear the responsibility to keep this promise alive. However, I will not allow my gratitude and my humility to cloud my vision. I will not shirk from the responsibility I shoulder when I accept this precious inheritance and I urge you, my fellow Americans, to do the same. Our founding fathers were merely human and they were flawed. They murdered Native Americans and stole their lands. They kept slaves and condemned innocent women, children and men to unspeakable misery for generations. We still feel the reverberations of their deeds today.
With that in our minds, we won’t judge the past by the standards of the present, but we also won’t allow our gratitude and the love for our country to disregard the unnecessary human suffering caused in our nation’s past. Only by daring to acknowledge our painful truths and continuing our journey to bridge the meaning of the words in the Declaration with the realities of our time, we can prove ourselves to be worthy heirs of the promise made at the founding of our republic.
I take my oath of office at a time of great danger for our nation. But I’m not just speaking of the pandemic, which has killed far too many of our citizens. I am certain that we will win this battle, once again guided by reason, competence and responsibility for the lives of all Americans. I‘ m not speaking of Russia, China or Iran, either. No other nation poses the greatest danger to the survival of our republic. What I’m speaking of is our unwillingness to see ourselves, our almost childlike inability to face the truth about who we are and what we have done.
Our founding fathers, for all their flaws, would be appalled by our conduct. We have become blind to our dark side. Our flag has become the wool over our eyes. We have become addicted to war and violence. We have all but forgotten our noble tradition of providing refuge to the poor and the persecuted. We have kept immigrants in cages and ripped their families apart. We have turned our weapons against ourselves, brutally repressing protests demanding justice and persecuting journalists for uncovering war crimes.
Hundreds of thousands of innocent people in the Middle East have perished and we are no closer to ending the war on terror. On the contrary, our violent acts ensure that the children of our victims hate us with ever greater passion. We are spawning new terrorists every day. Our founding fathers fought heroically to free themselves from imperial rule. My fellow Americans, ask yourselves: how would our founding fathers judge us? What would they say to the American Empire?
We maintain military bases in every corner of the world. Our war machine is the most fearsome and expensive in the history of the world yet victory remains elusive. We profess the love for our soldiers, but these proclamations ring hollow. While we thank them for their service and glorify their sacrifice, we continue to send our sons and daughters to kill and be killed in senseless, unwinnable wars.
Are we a nation of deluded infants? Has it come to that? I believe we are better than this. I believe we are worthy of the great inheritance before us. We can find the courage to see ourselves, we can face up to our truth: yes, we have built an empire. We have built an empire in the belief that we needed to in defence of our freedom.
We have alienated many other nations because instead of shouldering the imperial responsibility and leading an empire of reason and civilization, we have allowed ourselves to fall far short of our ideals. We have preached human rights, but we have supported violent coups and unjust regimes. We were attacked and we didn’t seek justice. We sought revenge. We have abducted, tortured, and killed innocent people all over the world. People created equal and endowed with the same inalienable rights.
The United States, like any other nation, has the right to act in its national interest and to safeguard its national security. However, our national interest no longer is the common good, the well-being of all Americans. Our national interest has become captured by a small, corrupt elite who serve nobody but their own monetary interest. Many in our elite have fallen prey to the oldest temptation: idolatry.
They have bowed down to idols and betrayed their better nature, they have chosen the route of self-enslavement. Their appetites have shaped themselves as gods and these false gods have taken command. It would be too easy to just blame the elites, however. Our whole culture has been infected by a slavish admiration of wealth and power. The money changers have taken the high seats in the temple of our civilization.
Today, we say ‘Enough is enough! We will bear it no longer!’ Today, we begin to restore that temple to the ancient truth, the ancient truth inscribed in the heart of every human being. We will relearn to discipline our appetites, we will build an economy that serves the people. We will no longer be enslaved by our fears and our appetites.
We will no longer be enslaved by the illusion that we live to serve the economy. We will no longer slavishly admire the money hoarders while our brothers and sisters are begging in the streets. Trump is gone, a new day has come. We will extend Medicare to every American. We will make sure that freedom for is more than empty word for the majority of Americans. As long as we live in fear of becoming sick and ending up in bankruptcy, we’re not free.
Now that we have found the courage to face the dark side of our magnificent achievements, we are finally ready to take on the challenge of climate change. The world has grown weary of American leadership and we have turned inwards, fighting futile culture wars. But America is back! My administration will work tirelessly to regain the trust of the world’s nations.
This work will start here in America. To achieve our goals as individuals and as a society, we must move forward as a disciplined and loyal army willing to make sacrifices for the common good. Without such discipline no progress is made and no leadership becomes effective. We are, I know, ready and willing to submit our lives and property to such discipline, because it makes possible a leadership which aims at a larger good. Here at home, this larger good will take the form of the Green New Deal.
We will renew and rebuild our power stations, our airports, our highways, our schools, our roads and bridges. Our greatest primary task is to put our national house in order and to put our people to work. In large part, we will accomplish this through direct recruiting by the government itself, treating the task as we would treat the emergency of a war. We will turn our war machine into the greatest power for reform and renewal the world has ever seen. We will deploy the skill, excellence and bravery of our people to serve this higher purpose.
We will once again become the shining city upon a hill and set an example for the world. The time of wasting blood and treasure in senseless wars is over. Now is not the time for the human family to fight each other. Now is the time for all us to stand together against a common enemy. The climate crisis has given us the greatest gift, if only we are willing to accept it. Our human hearts seek the bond and certainty of belonging to a group and all too often our groups have faced each other off in battle.
Let us face this greatest danger our species has ever encountered together as one human family. Let us stand together to preserve the fathomless beauty of our home in this vast, inhospitable universe. We have a larger battle to fight, it’s the battle for the survival of mankind and America is once again offering its leadership to the peoples of the world. In this dedication of my nation’s task, I humbly ask the blessing of God. May He protect each and every one in our great human family. May He guide me in the days to come.
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