I have now read President Obama's second inaugural speech for the third time. The speech haunts me. In very clever language the speech lays out a plan for a more centralized government, for more interference by the government in the affairs of individuals. The speech is about government as the solution to society's ills.
The President does this, though, while early on in his speech hailing the Constitution, which attempted to put a limit on government. He then quotes from the Declaration of Independence:
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness."He then proceeds in the remainder of his speech to rip apart the Declaration's call for Liberty.
But even before his mention of the Constitution and the quoting from the Declaration, in the very first paragraph, after greetings to the "Vice President Biden, Mr. Chief Justice, Members of the United States Congress, distinguished guests, and fellow citizens," the speech is haunting. In the first paragraph that begins the President's message, he speaks of that arrogant notion American exceptionalism:
What makes us exceptional, what makes us American, is our allegiance to an idea, articulated in a declaration made more than two centuries ago[...]