Fifteen years ago today, George W. Bush was inaugurated as the 43rd President of the United States.
Given the current debate over the future of our country, I was struck by these remarks from his Inaugural Address on January 20, 2001.
“I am honored and humbled to stand here where so many of America’s leaders have come before me, and so many will follow. We have a place, all of us, in a long story, a story we continue but whose end we will not see. It is a story of a new world that became a friend and liberator of the old, the story of a slaveholding society that became a servant of freedom, the story of a power that went into the world to protect but not possess, to defend but not to conquer.”
“It is the American story, a story of flawed and fallible people united across the generations by grand and enduring ideals. The grandest of these ideals is an unfolding American promise that everyone belongs, that everyone deserves a chance, that no insignificant person was ever born.”
“America has never been united by blood or birth or soil. We are bound by ideals that move us beyond our backgrounds, lift us above our interests and teach us what it means to be citizens. Every child must be taught these principles. Every citizen must uphold them. And every immigrant, by embracing these ideals, makes our country more, not less, American.”
“Today, we affirm a new commitment to live out our nation’s promise through civility, courage, compassion and character. A civil society demands from each of us good will and respect, fair dealing and forgiveness.”
In exactly one year, America will celebrate the inauguration of our 45th president. Who will it be?
As it stands now, the GOP field remains wide open. Trump and Cruz are trading jabs at the top, Kasich and Rubio are rising in the polls, Bush and Christie are hoping to gain momentum in some of the early primaries. Hillary seems to have locked up the Democratic nomination amidst new revelations that her private email server that she illegally used as Secretary of State contained highly classified messages.
As we rapidly approach Iowa and New Hampshire to officially kick off the 2016 political process, much will change between now and January 2017.