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Inaugural Address Redefines Basic Freedoms
Urging that “we break free of the archaic notions of our nation's so-called 'Founding Fathers,'” President Barack Obama launched his second term with a stirring call to “update our concepts to fit our modern circumstances.”

The President maintained that “the Founders' original idea that 'liberty' means freedom from government abuses and usurpations has no relevance today. Our government does not usurp our rights. The people elect their rulers and expect them to create the kind of rights appropriate to the world we live in now.”

“How much liberty does a person have if he lacks the will or ability to make his own way?” Obama asked. “Instead of leaving such a person alone and saying he is 'free to do as he pleases,' today's caring government must provide the means for his pursuit of happiness. Merely having the opportunity to seek employment is not enough. Some aren't suited to such a life. Should they then be denied the fruits of the nation's abundance?”

“And what about those whose freely exercised choices would entrap them in lives of misery?” the President continued. “Can we truly call our selves free if we are slaves to our vices—overeating, drinking, smoking, owning guns, listening to talk radio? Shouldn't government step in to try to help free people from these damaging predilections?”

Obama vowed “to continue the struggle for a more perfect union and not rest until every single person in America is assured that his welfare is the heartfelt concern of his government. I pledge that I will not be deterred from this course. No obstruction from the naysayers will be permitted to impede our progress.”

“If those aiming to stave off the march toward a brighter future ask 'by what authority' I act,” Obama concluded. “I will say that I act for the benefit of all of humanity. No higher authority is needed.”


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