On the Evening Before the New President’s Inaugural (1-19-09), I Propose This Address

On the evening before the new president’s inaugural (1-19-09), I would propose this speech as the inaugural address to be delivered by Pres. Obama.

At the moment that his inaugural address is to begin, he steps around the podium, goes in front of it, touches his lips with his finger in the universally understood sign for silence. There may be a million people there. If they respond in front and those behind pick up on it, the message will travel back to the rear. For three minutes the silence of one million people will be the beginning of one of the most eloquent silences one could experience.

Then he says:

“Some of the greatest works of human beings have been composed in silence, require silence.
“Our flag was created in the silence of a sewing room.
“Our national anthem was conceived in the dawn’s early light.
“Our national hymn was inspired and written from the view of a mountain top.
“Oh, give us a home where the buffalo roam,…where seldom is heard a discouraging word.
“Our national preserves have fenced out any intrusion of the noises of commerce.
“In silence, breathe with me, inhale, hold it, and exhale, and make your breathing very audible. Ready?
“Hold it!
“That was our free air, fresh, American, precious with freedom. We all breathe the same, the same air, and we do it together, in concert.”

He then would go back behind the speaker’s stand and say, “How did you use that silence? What occupied your mind?”

“The Preamble to our Constitution was composed by one man, in silence.

“Let us review the words that head up the constitution of our social contract. I suggest that every citizen go to the local bookstore and buy a copy of our contract. $2.95. Plus tax. Keep it handy. It is our contract. We all swear by it. It will have a little essential history introducing it. I, by proxy, have sworn by it for both you and me.

“Read the Preamble. We are to continue the attempt to perfect our union, our justice, our domestic tranquility, our common defense, and promote our general welfare. Those make the substance of our concern with our national bond.

1. Union
2. Justice
3. Peace (Domestic and Foreign Tranquility)
4. Defense
5. General Welfare
6. Liberty

Then he returns to the front of the stand and raises his hand as if to shake hands with everyone in the vast audience, and they, the millions, being astute, respond in kind.
“I have shaken the hand of everyone here. It is a symbol of our bargain, you with me and I with you.”

Now, after I have heard the real thing, his address was beautiful. That takes nothing away from my pre-conception. I looked for an orderly address following the terms, the essential elements of our social contract in the Constitution’s preamble. Some of that substance was there, but it was not ordered as I would have.

Published in: on January 19, 2009 at 11:30 pm  Leave a Comment  

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