January 20, 2005

Tim Kreider wrote the following Inaugural Address to give in the event of his victory in the Presidential race. Although Mr. Kreider did not receive enough of the electoral vote to win the Presidency, he offers his thoughts on this day for all Americans:

Four years ago, America was hijacked. It was hijacked by a small group of extremists who had nothing but contempt for democracy and a radical agenda: they revoked the freedoms that are the birthright of every American, attacked countries without just cause, and turned our friends and allies around the world into enemies. They brought dishonor and disgrace to this great country, and turned our city on a hill into a fortress--embattled, fearful and alone.

They thought of themselves as visionaries, but their dreams were the same old dreams of despots throughout the ages—dreams of greed and conquest. They did not understand that what makes America different from any other nation, what makes it our civilization’s boldest experiment, is that it has always been about far bigger dreams. Ours is the last and greatest of all human dreams: that all men are created equal; that they will be judged by the content of their character, not the color of their skin; that government of the people, by the people, and for the people shall not perish from the earth.

Today this Republic is locked in a struggle against a deadly and implacable enemy, with no end yet in sight. It is a paradox of a pluralistic society founded on tolerance that we cannot tolerate societies that preach intolerance. Make no mistake; our enemies cannot be negotiated or reasoned with; they are without conscience, they do not fear death, and they are absolutely dedicated to our destruction. They’ve made only one mistake: they have no idea who they’re fucking with. They will learn what Hitler’s Third Reich and Hirohito’s empire and Stalin’s Communist Bloc learned before them; that only madmen dream that they can beat the United States. To attack this country is to invite utter ruin.

America has always been big and daring and crazy enough to make its dreams come true. This is the country that crushed Fascism, that cured smallpox and polio, that walked on the moon, and that taught the world how to rock and roll. Today I say to my fellow countrymen, and to our friends around the world: the America you knew and respected is back. We will defeat terrorism, not with clumsy and misguided force but with guile and cunning and deadly accuracy. Ultimately we will defeat it not with arms but with the exhilarating air of our freedom. We will drive back the darkness of ignorance and fear with the light of education; we will fill the well of hatred with the bottomless abundance of our food and aid. We will triumph, and we will transform this world. We will cure AIDS; we will end global warming; we will walk on Mars. And we still have a thing or two to teach the world about rock and roll.

America is back. And you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN AND THE E STREET BAND begin to play “Land of Hope and Dreams,” and the entire planet goes apeshit.

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