To be sure, he made ample use of the word “together,” but it seemed only to refer to his own coalition of voters. He spoke of the Founding Fathers and of our nation’s many great struggles.
“We made ourselves anew, and vowed to move forward together,” Obama said in his speech on Monday. “Together we determined that a modern economy requires railroads and highways to speed travel and commerce, schools and colleges to train our workers.
Together we discovered that a free market only thrives when there are rules to ensure competition and fair play. Together we resolve that a great nation must care for the vulnerable and protect its people from life’s worst hazards and misfortune.”
Did we? Certainly, there is broad agreement that transportation is a good thing, and so are schools. There’s somewhat less agreement on how many “rules” a free market needs, but all Americans support “care for the vulnerable.”
But Obama is laying out a defense for an even stronger national government, and in particular a beefed-up executive branch (with him in charge).
And in doing so, he mischaracterizes those who disagree with his means, not his ends.
In fact, there’s no debate over whether Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security are good things. The real debate is over how to preserve them. Obama’s own administration acknowledges the programs, as they exist now, are unsustainable. The question is how to make sure they’re available to our children and grandchildren.
Obama also misrepresented his opponents on the subject of climate change.
“We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations,” he said.
In fact, America is leading the way on lower emissions — and it’s due to the free market (cheap natural gas), rather than government mandates.
An inaugural address should be a speech that cites common goals and reminds us we’re all Americans.
Obama’s words fell short of that. They merely reminded us of a campaign stump speech.