|U. S. President
The War on Discord
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over President Barack Obama's Inauguration
Address made 20 January 2009.
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|He mentions several religions--where's Discordia?
There are no fnords on this page. Do NOT look for
them. Also don't look for the eccentric
discordians or rev. loveshade. They aren't here.
Really. I guess.
For everywhere we look, there is work to be done. The state of the economy calls for action, bold and swift,
and we will act — not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth. We will build the roads
and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together. We will restore
science to its rightful place, and wield technology's wonders to raise health care's quality and lower its cost.
We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories. And we will
transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age. All this we can do. All
this we will do.
Now, there are some who question the scale of our ambitions — who suggest that our system cannot tolerate
too many big plans. Their memories are short. For they have forgotten what this country has already done;
what free men and women can achieve when imagination is joined to common purpose, and necessity to
What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them— that the stale political
arguments that have consumed us for so long no longer apply. The question we ask today is not whether our
government is too big or too small, but whether it works — whether it helps families find jobs at a decent
wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified. Where the answer is yes, we intend to move
forward. Where the answer is no, programs will end. And those of us who manage the public's dollars will be
held to account — to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day — because
only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government.
Nor is the question before us whether the market is a force for good or ill. Its power to generate wealth and
expand freedom is unmatched, but this crisis has reminded us that without a watchful eye, the market can
spin out of control — and that a nation cannot prosper long when it favors only the prosperous. 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 the ability to extend opportunity to every willing heart — not out of charity, but because
it is the surest route to our common good.
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. Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give
them up for expedience's sake. And so to all other peoples and governments who are watching today, from
the grandest capitals to the small village where my father was born: know that America is a friend of each
nation and every man, woman, and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity, and we are ready to lead
Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with
sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor
does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our
security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of
humility and restraint.
We are the keepers of this legacy. Guided by these principles once more, we can meet those new threats
that demand even greater effort — even greater cooperation and understanding between nations. We will
begin to responsibly leave Iraq to its people, and forge a hard-earned peace in Afghanistan. With old friends
and former foes, we will work tirelessly to lessen the nuclear threat, and roll back the specter of a warming
planet. We will not apologize for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defense, and for those who seek to
advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is
stronger and cannot be broken; you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you.
For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and
Muslims, Jews and Hindus — and non-believers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from
every end of this Earth; and because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation, and
emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds
shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common
humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace.
that began "The War on
Discord" is as said on 20
January 2009, the day
Barack Hussein Obama II
was inaugurated as
president of these United
States and protector of