An Inaugural Reflection
January 22, 2017 16 Comments
The American inauguration is one of the great traditions of the American Republic, and of freedom itself. But why? First because since 1800, no matter what, the office of the President, which has come to be the most powerful job in the world, transfers completely peacefully from one incumbent to the next. Yes, there are often protests, and sometimes riots, but they never have any impact on the event. President Washington believed that the peaceful inauguration of President Adams was more important than his own. He had a point. It happened in the midst of the beginnings of our Civil War, and again during that war. It happened when Franklin Roosevelt died, without a pause in the war effort. It’s a touchstone of American freedom.
Jane Hampton Cook wrote for Fox News about why she loves it.
The inauguration is why I love America. Of all the presidential events, from election night to the State of the Union, from press conferences to state dinners, the inauguration is my favorite for one simple reason. More than any other moment, the inauguration is a picture of our Constitution, proof that we are a nation based on representation, not royalty.
In a single instance the three branches of government— the executive, judicial and legislative— come together for a united purpose. A new president takes the oath of office administered by the chief justice of the Supreme Court while standing in front of the U.S. Capitol that houses Congress.
This doesn’t mean that everyone is happy about the winner of an election, though many are. But it does mean that this American experiment, the “sacred fire of liberty” as George Washington called it in his first inaugural, is still burning today.
John F. Kennedy, who won by a mere 112,000 votes in a bitter election, poignantly explained America’s ceremonial unity at his 1961 inauguration. “We observe today not a victory of party, but a celebration of freedom.”
Read it all at Fox News, and yes, I agree.
Bookworm noticed some differences from the previous administration.
Instead, Trump made the American people the stars of his speech. For example,
That all changes – starting right here, and right now, because this moment is your moment: it belongs to you.
It belongs to everyone gathered here today and everyone watching all across America.
This is your day. This is your celebration.
And this, the United States of America, is your country.
What truly matters is not which party controls our government, but whether our government is controlled by the people.
January 20th 2017, will be remembered as the day the people became the rulers of this nation again.
The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer.
Everyone is listening to you now.
You came by the tens of millions to become part of a historic movement the likes of which the world has never seen before.
At the center of this movement is a crucial conviction: that a nation exists to serve its citizens.
Trump’s focus on the American people (“you”), rather than himself, is in marked contrast to Obama’s speeches, which invariably are all about . . . Obama.
via Donald Trump’s speech and the Judeo-Christian religious tradition, do read the whole thing.
That’s pretty much what we’ve been saying for a long time, isn’t it? In Christianity, it’s called servant leadership. That’s why the Pope is sometimes called “The servant of the servants of God”.
Another example was
General Secretary of Defense Mattis’ first act, a message to our troops. Here it is.
It’s good to be back and I’m grateful to serve alongside you as Secretary of Defense.
Together with the Intelligence Community we are the sentinels and guardians of our nation. We need only look to you, the uniformed and civilian members of the department and your families, to see the fundamental unity of our country. You represent an America committed to the common good; an America that is never complacent about defending its freedoms; and an America that remains a steady beacon of hope for all mankind.
Every action we take will be designed to ensure our military is ready to fight today and in the future. Recognizing that no nation is secure without friends, we will work with the State Department to strengthen our alliances. Further, we are devoted to gaining full value from every taxpayer dollar spent on defense, thereby earning the trust of Congress and the American people.
I am confident you will do your part. I pledge to you I’ll do my best as your secretary.
via The Right Scoop in this case.
The Warrior Monk is about my age, and so likely trained as a Marine, about when I was in college, I suspect he believes the same things about leadership that I was taught so long ago.
First: The Mission
Second: Your People
The analogy to our Judeao-Christian ethics as Bookworm described above is exact.
I am more and more convinced that We, the People, have chosen wisely. But actions count for much more than words, so we will see in the coming months and years, but it is a very good start.
Oh, and this, setting things right, both large and small.