| The difference between the 2001 Inaugural Address and 2005’s was striking. The ideas, the allegory, and the attitude did not alter to any large degree. Those in the presence of the ceremony were similar in appearance and stature. The emotions of those for and against the coronation, again, dwelled in their respective internal motivations. But, still, the disparity was stunning. |
Four years ago, our President spoke to us
. He concentrated on the perceived necessity of healing from within our own borders. The theme was one of conquering adversarial relationships, curative actions upon our ailing economy, and cooperation between those in search of common domestic goals. The President challenged us
to work towards the bettering of our Nation.
Today, our President challenged us to work towards the bettering of our world. And, while his message held immense significance to every American, the intended audience does not live here
. They reside as one of 50,000 held in a North Korean re-education camp with the label of “redeemable” or “expendable.” They stand with the 45 helpless in Mashda, Iran that watched as State Security Forces removed "illegal satellite dishes" from their homes in an effort to stifle news of the world beyond their borders lest they compare it to their own. They rot in the prisons of deep Cuba for merely asking if there isn’t a better way to represent the interests of that island’s people.
These subjugated did not hear the President this afternoon. However, it will get to them somehow for they were the intended audience. Foreign workers will carry the “virus.” Underground movements will deliver the “memorandum.” Those who dare to dream will risk their mere existence in the present to assure their neighbors of an actual life in the future. The oppressed are sheltered from the immediacy of the message, but the oppressors heard every word, every syllable, and every pause. Those who breed tyranny cannot ignore that the President is endeavoring to steal their captive audience. If they discount the offering, they ignore their fate.
One man can be ignored as an annoyance. Scores of men in determined common interest with a passion for their freedom are more convincing. As numbers grow, so does the fire
of today’s real audience.
“By our efforts, we have lit a fire as well - a fire in the minds of men. It warms those who feel its power, it burns those who fight its progress, and one day this untamed fire of freedom will reach the darkest corners of our world.”
---President George W. Bush January 20, 2005