1.20.2005

Whatever, Bush

Before Cap'n Pete releases the hounds on Bush's innaugural address, I'm going to beat him to it. What the pick was that all about? To call it "grandiose" would be a serious understatement.
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 . . .
Coming from a man who claims to be an evangelical Christian, you might expect this sentence to end with "God." Nope. Apparently it is "the force of human freedom," whatever that means. If there was ever a vaguer phrase uttered by a politician, then I'd like to hear it.

Of course he offered the usual qualifiers:
This is not primarily the task of arms, though we will defend ourselves and our
friends by force of arms when necessary. . . . And when the soul of a nation
finally speaks, the institutions that arise may reflect customs and traditions
very different from our own. America will not impose our own style of government
on the unwilling.

But we all know what this sounds like to the rest of the world: America is the sole bearer of freedom, and we will wield our power in whatever manner we choose to "advance the cause of liberty," or something snappy like that.

Don't get me wrong. I'm all in favor of freedom and liberty and whatnot, but give me a break. This is the lamest rhetoric I've heard in my short and uneventful life. It may be an "odd time for doubt," especially since we have witnessed "four decades defined by the swiftest advance of freedom ever seen." (I'd like to know how they measure the velocity of freedom. Or would that be acceleration?) But I don't think I like where this is heading.

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