Just seen the inauguration on cable. A once in a lifetime moment that brings home the ugliness and impoverishment of our own political culture. In an age of flaccid compromise Obama does seem to have revived the lost art of political oratory.
David T has a transcript of the speech. This was my favourite part:
As for our common defence, 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.
Maybe this is wishful thinking on my part. But what the President seemed to be saying here was this:
‘To those who would trade liberty for security, to those who propogate ID cards and detention without trial and the suspension of ancient liberties and the wiretapping of communications and the use of torture and the tearing up of the Geneva convention: fuck you. Because it’s not a choice between liberty and security. It’s both or neither.’
If that’s what he means, it’s a real promise for change, and we should hold him to it.
If only the Doctor had lived to see this…