My Fellow Americans,
It is with great humility that I stand before you. No thank you I can offer is adequate for your decision to allow me to continue to serve as your President.
This is the 57th time that we, the people, have celebrated this historic occasion.
As we do, let us pause to remember the gallant men and women of our Armed Services, both past and present, home and abroad, that allow us this opportunity. Those who have spilt blood, lost limbs and paid the ultimate price to defend and protect the greatest human virtue of them all: freedom. Let us join in a moment of silent prayer.
Four years ago, I spoke of gathering clouds and raging storms.
Today the inclement weather has only intensified, with a moral fog worse than ever, and a forecast suggesting no let-up.
But while our hearts may hurt and our minds may be tempted to question; as ever, we look relentlessly forward. For the belief that tomorrow will be better than yesterday is part of who we are.
Many suggest only our past will reveal greatness and glory. We have heard these voices before. Each time they have been wrong. They can be wrong again. America is not a meteor that blazed across the heavens and is now exhausted; we are merely in a transient time of trial, in hours cold and dark before the ramparts new gleaming.
As we have had to many times in the future, we must re-calibrate our trajectory. Renew our hearts, revitalize our culture, refresh our memories and reaffirm our faith.
When our enemies threatened us in the moon race, we responded by changing our national curriculum to have greater focus on mathematics and science. When we were attacked in Pearl Harbor, we responded by leading the world to crush tyranny. When evil men cowardly plunged airplanes into our buildings in the hope of destroying our resolve, we responded with patriotism.
The time to respond has come again. The time for new vision is here. The next four years cannot be a continuation of the last four: our glorious Republic cannot afford it.
Our new vision must be a return to the America our parents and grandparents remember.
Let us begin by re-affirming our core premise: we are one people, under God.
For too long now, to our great detriment, we have embraced the relative: that idea that no culture or religion or set of values is superior to others.
Nothing could be further from the truth. All people are equal but all cultures are not.
We are an exceptional nation with an exceptional culture, and the words of President Clinton have never been more accurate. We are the indispensable nation. There is nothing wrong with America than cannot be cured by what is right with America.
Our culture has proven itself to be the most wildly successful in recorded human history. Let us continue to be the model to which every nation should and must aspire. Let us continue to plant the seed of liberty in the fertile soil of the American continent. Let us nurture it, and let it grow to bear fruit for the world to enjoy.
To do so, we must turn and once more face God. He is the source of our liberty and His sovereignty resolves that all human authority is delegated. Our rights come not from our government, but from our God. That is why they are inalienable.
To those that rail against our religious character either with indifference or active hostility, we must remember it was the greatest American that ever lived, George Washington, who made clear its indispensability. Virtue cannot be maintained without religion. We need God in our homes, in our schools, on our battlefields and in our hearts.
We must be clear, too, to those who choose to become American. In our country, we make it a point to be both uninterested and disinterested in where you come from so long as you become an American immediately. That is the American contract.
Understand our nation is tolerant, benevolent and accommodating, but for our greatness to remain intact, we must also be uncompromising. Our nation is a Christian one, we speak English and our law must be obeyed. We will have little patience for those that seek to change, rather than prolong, our values and way of life.
Illegal immigration has reached a crisis point in our national history. We must regain control of our border. We can no longer abide the status quo.
Let us continue to be the land of the dream and opportunity. The country that teaches and proves to all that no task is impossible; that anything is achievable. Let us be a haven for the most talented people in the world, and let us make it easier for them to add to the strength and wealth of our nation. Let us be a confident people.
On the subject of our government- our task is simple in objective. We must return government authority to its proper- that is, its constitutional- scope.
The government must stop doing things our Founding Fathers never meant for it to do, and do a better job at those things it was established to do. If these two objectives are met, our economic difficulties with all its cliffs and ceilings, dangers and debt, will be only in the footnotes of history.
A belief in limited government is part of who we are as a people. For we understand better than anyone that freedom and incentives unleash the drive and entrepreneurial genius that are the core of human progress. Bureaucracy must once more be relegated to second place; in our America, there is neither virtue nor reason to stifle human achievement.
Our Constitution is one of the most long-standing, imitated and admired in the world, and for good reason. For the America we must once again have, we must be ever faithful to it. This is true, too, of our Second Amendment. As James Madison put it: “The Constitution preserves the advantage of being armed which Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation, the existence of subordinate governments, to which the people are attached, forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition…”
If we take the guns away from the law-abiding, only the non-law-abiding will be armed. If we enact limitations on the American citizen, we effectively say that only those that work for the government are sufficiently responsible to own a firearm. Our nation was founded on the opposite premise.
Our Founders understood the sin nature of man, and the presence of evil. It is why they chose to include the Second Amendment- to enable a population to fight tyrannical ambition.
We must offer this same acknowledgement of evil, as well as the complete degeneration of our popular culture, and our errors in the last decades pursuing a policy toward the mentally ill that has left the sick untreated and our country unsafe. When these matters are addressed, the tragedies that cause our heart to break will not happen with such frequency.
In our renewed America, we must believe and protect the traditional family. We must do everything we can to protect the sanctity of human life. We are, always have been, and must continue to be, a self-reliant people strongly committed to individual liberty, who if possible, look first to family and church before government for assistance.
It is our children who will be bequeathed our great nation, and it is they who we owe our attention to. American exceptionalism and history must once more be reinstated in schools. We must prepare our children for the realities of life and competition. Self-esteem is earned, not granted. Only one side can win in a school sporting contest. Only one student can be valedictorian. Competition nurtures strong individual performance, and for continued future triumph on the world stage to be possible, it demands that our native culture be capable of accommodating internal competition.
We must return ourselves to be a nation of individuals of high standards of personal conduct: civility, industry, self-restraint. These are what we must teach our children, for they are indispensable to democracy.
It is moral to keep America strong. Our military must continue to be able to defeat the rest of the world’s militaries combined. There may be nations with four times our population but they will never have but even a quarter of our heart.
It is moral to protect our liberty from the intrusions of foreign bodies, irrespective of how well-meaning they purport to be, with principles foreign and harmful to our traditions and liberties. It is moral to protect our allies, and we will unfailingly and unconditionally do so. We will meet evil and tyranny wherever it exists with full force, and we will win.
As the most powerful nation on this earth, we recognize and respect the responsibility this brings.
This should be our vision.
My fellow Americans, for all our objectives and our vision, God is in the details.
I am confident, with this new yet familiar vision, we will see an America inspired and guided by Divine Providence and dedicated to the cause of liberty, not only for ourselves but others. A liberty founded on virtue and sealed and perpetuated through wisdom and prudence that, altogether, embody our national character.
We march forward knowing that we are the land of the free and the home of the brave.
May God Bless these United States.
Written by Nick Adams of Australia