The Nudnik File

Nudnik - n. U.S. colloq. Esp. in Jewish usage: a pestering, nagging, or irritating person

Thursday, January 20, 2005


              Inaugural Speech
In many ways President Bush is the inheritor of Reagan's legacy; both men realized that the United States was involved in a world war that must be one, and both had the ability and courage to make moral judgments. Unfortunately, one area where Bush is not Reagan's heir is in his oratorial ability.

Bush's second inaugural speech was excellent. In its steadfastness and optimism it is similar to a number of his great speeches from 2002, but I needed to read it, instead of simply hearing it, to appreciate its greatness.
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.
This is the core belief of President Bush and his administration. It is the reason that Bush changed our dealings with Middle Eastern dictators. And it is the reason that we went to war in Iraq. And what makes this president so impressive is that he does not give in to the whims of public opinion, or the opportunistic "realism" of Europe. His ideology is an incredibly optimistic one. He truly believes (unlike many of the "progressive" ilk) that if given a chance, all people would choose freedom and Democracy, and he has committed himself to give all people a chance to achieve this.
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.
|| Nudnik 2:38 PM
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