The next four

Posted: Wednesday, January 23, 2013 by Travis Cody in

We may disagree on the method, but surely we can get behind the message of President Barack Obama's second inaugural.

...We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths –- that all of us are created equal –- is the star that guides us still; just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall; just as it guided all those men and women, sung and unsung, who left footprints along this great Mall, to hear a preacher say that we cannot walk alone; to hear a King proclaim that our individual freedom is inextricably bound to the freedom of every soul on Earth.

It is now our generation’s task to carry on what those pioneers began. For our journey is not complete until our wives, our mothers and daughters can earn a living equal to their efforts. Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law, for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well. Our journey is not complete until no citizen is forced to wait for hours to exercise the right to vote. Our journey is not complete until we find a better way to welcome the striving, hopeful immigrants who still see America as a land of opportunity; until bright young students and engineers are enlisted in our workforce rather than expelled from our country. Our journey is not complete until all our children, from the streets of Detroit to the hills of Appalachia, to the quiet lanes of Newtown, know that they are cared for and cherished and always safe from harm.

That is our generation’s task -- to make these words, these rights, these values of life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness real for every American. Being true to our founding documents does not require us to agree on every contour of life. It does not mean we all define liberty in exactly the same way or follow the same precise path to happiness. Progress does not compel us to settle centuries-long debates about the role of government for all time, but it does require us to act in our time.

For now decisions are upon us and we cannot afford delay. We cannot mistake absolutism for principle, or substitute spectacle for politics, or treat name-calling as reasoned debate. We must act, knowing that our work will be imperfect. We must act, knowing that today’s victories will be only partial and that it will be up to those who stand here in four years and 40 years and 400 years hence to advance the timeless spirit once conferred to us in a spare Philadelphia hall...

Whatever your politics, be part of the solutions President Obama is looking for.  Be an active citizen.


  1. Good words, for sure. I just hope we can see both sides trying to live up to those words in this coming year.

  1. Cherie says:

    It was a good speech, to be sure. I can certainly get behind those ideal. If Washington (including the president) can follow the advise to not "mistake absolutism for principle, or substitute spectacle for politics, or treat name-calling as reasoned debate," we will have come a long way.

  1. Jean(ie) says:

    I'm not an Obama fan. Not looking forward to the next four years.

  1. Akelamalu says:

    I hope he succeeds.

  1. Let him do what he promises and then we will see where it all fleshes out in 4 years

  1. Like it or not, we are all in this together. It is time to stop obstruction just for the political advantage of saying, NO! to gain points and money for the next election. This country has way too many problems not to try cooperation to improve life for everyone.