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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

JimII's favorites

Instead of watching the inauguration, I was attending a civil deposition of an builder being sued by a millionaire for not satisfactorily completing her mansion; I was there on behalf of the bank. Some days the job is more glamorous than others.

I just listened to the inauguration. It is remarkable how much Obama represents what I believe and my hopes. As I read the text of his speech I was struck again by how frequently I wanted to shout Amen. Here are my favorites (not so much in the order they came in the speech).

The success of our economy has always depended not just on the size of our gross domestic product, but on the reach of our prosperity; on our ability to extend opportunity to every willing heart — not out of charity, but because it is the surest route to our common good.

The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works

We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus — and non-believers.

As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals. Our founding fathers, faced with perils we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood of generations.

[W]e remember with humble gratitude those brave Americans who, at this very hour, patrol far-off deserts and distant mountains. They have something to tell us, just as the fallen heroes who lie in Arlington whisper through the ages. We honor them not only because they are guardians of our liberty, but because they embody the spirit of service; a willingness to find meaning in something greater than themselves.
With each of these lines, and with the speech as a whole, the President both rejects the old world view that I find so frustrating, while at the same time replacing it with a new fresh world view. He is not just saying greed is bad, he is saying we will replace greed with shared prosperity. We will replace religious intolerance with broad acceptance of faithfulness. We will reject the notion that soldiers are the only patriots, but we will lift up their remarkable and admirable spirit of selfless service.

Mr. President, I will go where you send me; how shall you send me?

1 comment:

Lin said...

Amen.

My daughter called last night. She said, "Mom, everything has changed. Everything."

I remember a major paradigm shift when I was twenty-something. Civil rights. Feminist movement. Affirmative action. Voting rights.

What a thrill to hear my thirty-something daughter delight in the shift of her era/our era together.

Weeping is in vogue. I so love being inspired. I've missed it.