I recalled how divided people in the US during the election last year. I think it’s reasonable. In the US the rift was, is, and will always there between the Democrats and the Republicans. Most people got emotionally and passionately involved during the campaign and election day ~ even most Hollywood celebrities got out of their comforts and campaign to the people to exercise their rights to vote. Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11 was thought to be damaging Bush’s foreign policy and his chance to a second term in the White House. However, we already knew the result… Bush (51%) won over Kerry (49%).
People were flabbergasted and disappointed. How could he win the election when so many went against him? How could he win the election when he laid all his unpopular convictions and beliefs on many issues on the table? How could he win the election when he’s part of everyday’s joke ~ for his ineptitude and undiplomatic response?
Many analyses were produced to dissect his key winning factors and the US political landscape. I guess he really has learnt lessons from past presidential elections ~ most probably Bush Sr.’s defeat from Clinton.
For me, it’s very obvious that he and his teams worked on three winning factors:
Is Bush’s second term in the White House going to be tarnished by power struggles between the executive and legislative branches of the government like happened in the legacies of his past comrades (Nixon, Reagan, Clinton)? Read on the following coverage…
Historically, Second Is Not Best for U.S. Presidents
Tuesday, January 18, 2005
By Megan Dowd (Fox News Channel)
NEW YORK — President George W. Bush joins a select club when he is sworn in Thursday, a group to which even his father doesn’t belong — men who have taken the oath of office for the presidency more than once.
And as part of that select group, Bush inherits all the promise and the pitfalls that come with a second term in the White House.
Bush, a man who won his first term in 2000 with a win in the Electoral College but not by getting the most votes, cleared the hurdle a second time with a decisive victory and the support of a majority of the voting public. The word “mandate” quickly became used by his supporters to describe what Bush believed he had won.
He has detailed ambitious plans to revamp Social Security, rewrite medical malpractice and immigration laws, push through nominations to the Supreme Court, and rewrite the nation’s tax code. Plus, he continues to advocate for a strong U.S. role in world affairs.
“He is running full boar into [his agenda plans]. Whether or not he will succeed is yet to be seen,” said Rich Lowry, editor of The National Review. “He really wants his second term to count. The stakes are huge.”
At stake is what the history books will say about him and his impact on the 21st century. Bush said he is prepared to use whatever political capital it takes to drive his intense initiatives through Congress.
“I’ve earned capital in this election and I’m going to spend it for what I told the people I would spend it on, which is, you’ve heard the agenda, Social Security and tax reform, moving this economy forward, education, fighting and winning the War on Terror,” Bush said after his win in November.
He may be up against tough odds. Many presidents who were not evicted from 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. after serving their first term have learned that an extended stay leaves them vulnerable to certain dangers. Some analysts point out that the more recent second terms have been mired in controversy.
“I certainly believe that since Nixon’s resignation there has been a pattern of second terms being consumed by scandal,” Lowry said. Richard Nixon was re-elected but was driven from office midway through his second term.
In his second term, Bill Clinton was impeached over his handling of his affair with then-intern Monica Lewinsky, but he survived a vote in the Senate to serve out his eight years. Ronald Reagan faced intense congressional scrutiny over Iran-Contra during his second term.
Going further back in the 20th century, the Soviet Union’s launch of Sputnik went right over the head of Dwight D. Eisenhower, leaving America a step behind in the space race.
Franklin D. Roosevelt — the longest-serving president who was elected to the White House four times but died early in his last term — thought he’d be able to use his popularity to expand the size of the Supreme Court to his advantage. He failed.
Woodrow Wilson led the nation through World War I but then failed in his attempt to get the United States to join the League of Nations.
But presidential analysts say second-term accomplishments of contemporary American presidents cannot be weighed on the same scale as leaders of earlier eras, like F.D.R. or Wilson.
“A successful second term in modern politics is no small feat — essentially it is the political equivalent to a rocket shot to the moon that lands successfully,” said FOX News Channel senior White House correspondent Jim Angle.
Angle — who has covered the presidencies of Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Clinton and the current president — said he learned from the experience of covering Reagan during Iran-Contra that grading a commander-in-chief’s second term isn’t easy.
“It is always difficult to say someone had a successful term when they had both scandal and great success, it becomes a value judgment,” he said.
Angle said it is hard to find any second-term achievements that match Reagan’s strides in dealing with the Soviet Union on arms control and working toward the drawing down of nuclear weapons. With that as his legacy, the Iran-Contra scandal should not overshadow his record, he said.
Many of the problems that presidents have had in their second terms were results of power struggles between the executive and legislative branches of the government — the Lewinsky affair, Iran-Contra, Watergate. Lowry pointed out that one major obstacle that created many of these situations will not deter Bush, who has a friendly majority in both houses of Congress.
For the first time since 1924, a GOP president has both a 55-seat majority in the Senate and a majority in the 435-member House of Representatives.
Michael Barone, senior writer for U.S. News & World Report, said another characteristic risk that has faced second termers is hubris, an invincible feeling that can be invoked from the high of winning — again. Whether or not this will be the case for Bush is yet to be seen.
“It is a very ambitious program, so we must wait to see about success,” Barone said.
Acting as a counter to the success of gaining a second term is the reality that at some point, the president is treated as a lame duck. This is a result of the two-term limit that became part of the U.S. Constitution in 1951, with the passing of the 22nd Amendment.
Early in the nation’s history, during his last year in office, James Monroe was frequently ignored by a Congress that realized its chief executive would soon lose his job.
Yet being free of the pressure of running a third time, this very factor may make for a powerful weapon. “To not face elections again is a huge advantage … the second term is your biggest opportunity,” Angle said.
Lowry said the fact that Bush had a tough re-election fight against Sen. John Kerry gave him a pre-election momentum that afterward positioned him to make quick calls for reforms to Social Security and the tax code.
He has not yet been inaugurated and already Bush has gotten the ball rolling to dramatically change the way the nation’s retirement accounts are set up. Foreign matters are also a major component of what will define Bush’s success. Besides the ongoing U.S. military and diplomatic roles in Iraq and Afghanistan, the recent death of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat gives Bush the chance to play a stronger role in the Middle East.
“It is something that he tried in his first term, but he couldn’t get it done with Arafat in power — he tried, but Arafat lied. Now he has a chance,” Angle said. “If he is also successful in the Middle East, that will be one heck of a legacy.”
Lowry agreed that if men and women in nations such as Syria, Iran and other closed societies enjoy greater freedom in 10 years and it can be linked to the Bush administration’s campaign to liberate Afghanistan and Iraq, that will be a “huge historic and geopolitical accomplishment.
“But it is totally up in the air,” he said.
Following is his second-term inaugural speech. The basic form of speech requires the repetition of key message(s) one wants to deliver to the audience ~ in this case America (or Americans), freedom, and liberty. You be the judge…
President Sworn-In to Second Term
January 20, 2005
Vice President Cheney, Mr. Chief Justice, President Carter, President Bush, President Clinton, reverend clergy, distinguished guests, fellow citizens:
On this day, prescribed by law and marked by ceremony, we celebrate the durable wisdom of our Constitution, and recall the deep commitments that unite our country. I am grateful for the honor of this hour, mindful of the consequential times in which we live, and determined to fulfill the oath that I have sworn and you have witnessed.
At this second gathering, our duties are defined not by the words I use, but by the history we have seen together. For a half century, America defended our own freedom by standing watch on distant borders. After the shipwreck of communism came years of relative quiet, years of repose, years of sabbatical – and then there came a day of fire.
We have seen our vulnerability – and we have seen its deepest source. For as long as whole regions of the world simmer in resentment and tyranny – prone to ideologies that feed hatred and excuse murder – violence will gather, and multiply in destructive power, and cross the most defended borders, and raise a mortal threat. There is only one force of history that can break the reign of hatred and resentment, and expose the pretensions of tyrants, and reward the hopes of the decent and tolerant, and that is the force of human freedom.
We are led, by events and common sense, to one conclusion: The survival of liberty in our land increasingly depends on the success of liberty in other lands. The best hope for peace in our world is the expansion of freedom in all the world.
America‘s vital interests and our deepest beliefs are now one. From the day of our Founding, we have proclaimed that every man and woman on this earth has rights, and dignity, and matchless value, because they bear the image of the Maker of Heaven and earth. Across the generations we have proclaimed the imperative of self-government, because no one is fit to be a master, and no one deserves to be a slave. Advancing these ideals is the mission that created our Nation. It is the honorable achievement of our fathers. Now it is the urgent requirement of our nation’s security, and the calling of our time.
So it is the policy of the United States to seek and support the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world.
This is not primarily the task of arms, though we will defend ourselves and our friends by force of arms when necessary. Freedom, by its nature, must be chosen, and defended by citizens, and sustained by the rule of law and the protection of minorities. And when the soul of a nation finally speaks, the institutions that arise may reflect customs and traditions very different from our own. America will not impose our own style of government on the unwilling. Our goal instead is to help others find their own voice, attain their own freedom, and make their own way.
The great objective of ending tyranny is the concentrated work of generations. The difficulty of the task is no excuse for avoiding it. America‘s influence is not unlimited, but fortunately for the oppressed, America‘s influence is considerable, and we will use it confidently in freedom‘s cause.
My most solemn duty is to protect this nation and its people against further attacks and emerging threats. Some have unwisely chosen to test America‘s resolve, and have found it firm.
We will persistently clarify the choice before every ruler and every nation: The moral choice between oppression, which is always wrong, and freedom, which is eternally right. America will not pretend that jailed dissidents prefer their chains, or that women welcome humiliation and servitude, or that any human being aspires to live at the mercy of bullies.
We will encourage reform in other governments by making clear that success in our relations will require the decent treatment of their own people. America‘s belief in human dignity will guide our policies, yet rights must be more than the grudging concessions of dictators; they are secured by free dissent and the participation of the governed. In the long run, there is no justice without freedom, and there can be no human rights without human liberty.
Some, I know, have questioned the global appeal of liberty – though this time in history, four decades defined by the swiftest advance of freedom ever seen, is an odd time for doubt. Americans, of all people, should never be surprised by the power of our ideals. Eventually, the call of freedom comes to every mind and every soul. We do not accept the existence of permanent tyranny because we do not accept the possibility of permanent slavery. Liberty will come to those who love it.
Today, America speaks anew to the peoples of the world:
All who live in tyranny and hopelessness can know: the United States will not ignore your oppression, or excuse your oppressors. When you stand for your liberty, we will stand with you.
Democratic reformers facing repression, prison, or exile can know: America sees you for who you are: the future leaders of your free country.
The rulers of outlaw regimes can know that we still believe as Abraham Lincoln did: “Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves; and, under the rule of a just God, cannot long retain it.”
The leaders of governments with long habits of control need to know: To serve your people you must learn to trust them. Start on this journey of progress and justice, and America will walk at your side.
And all the allies of the United States can know: we honor your friendship, we rely on your counsel, and we depend on your help. Division among free nations is a primary goal of freedom‘s enemies. The concerted effort of free nations to promote democracy is a prelude to our enemies’ defeat.
Today, I also speak anew to my fellow citizens:
From all of you, I have asked patience in the hard task of securing America, which you have granted in good measure. Our country has accepted obligations that are difficult to fulfill, and would be dishonorable to abandon. Yet because we have acted in the great liberating tradition of this nation, tens of millions have achieved their freedom. And as hope kindles hope, millions more will find it. 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.
A few Americans have accepted the hardest duties in this cause – in the quiet work of intelligence and diplomacy… the idealistic work of helping raise up free governments… the dangerous and necessary work of fighting our enemies. Some have shown their devotion to our country in deaths that honored their whole lives – and we will always honor their names and their sacrifice.
All Americans have witnessed this idealism, and some for the first time. I ask our youngest citizens to believe the evidence of your eyes. You have seen duty and allegiance in the determined faces of our soldiers. You have seen that life is fragile, and evil is real, and courage triumphs. Make the choice to serve in a cause larger than your wants, larger than yourself – and in your days you will add not just to the wealth of our country, but to its character.
America has need of idealism and courage, because we have essential work at home – the unfinished work of American freedom. In a world moving toward liberty, we are determined to show the meaning and promise of liberty.
In America‘s ideal of freedom, citizens find the dignity and security of economic independence, instead of laboring on the edge of subsistence. This is the broader definition of liberty that motivated the Homestead Act, the Social Security Act, and the G.I. Bill of Rights. And now we will extend this vision by reforming great institutions to serve the needs of our time. To give every American a stake in the promise and future of our country, we will bring the highest standards to our schools, and build an ownership society. We will widen the ownership of homes and businesses, retirement savings and health insurance – preparing our people for the challenges of life in a free society. By making every citizen an agent of his or her own destiny, we will give our fellow Americans greater freedom from want and fear, and make our society more prosperous and just and equal.
In America‘s ideal of freedom, the public interest depends on private character – on integrity, and tolerance toward others, and the rule of conscience in our own lives. Self-government relies, in the end, on the governing of the self. That edifice of character is built in families, supported by communities with standards, and sustained in our national life by the truths of Sinai, the Sermon on the Mount, the words of the Koran, and the varied faiths of our people. Americans move forward in every generation by reaffirming all that is good and true that came before – ideals of justice and conduct that are the same yesterday, today, and forever.
In America‘s ideal of freedom, the exercise of rights is ennobled by service, and mercy, and a heart for the weak. Liberty for all does not mean independence from one another. Our nation relies on men and women who look after a neighbor and surround the lost with love. Americans, at our best, value the life we see in one another, and must always remember that even the unwanted have worth. And our country must abandon all the habits of racism, because we cannot carry the message of freedom and the baggage of bigotry at the same time.
From the perspective of a single day, including this day of dedication, the issues and questions before our country are many. From the viewpoint of centuries, the questions that come to us are narrowed and few. Did our generation advance the cause of freedom? And did our character bring credit to that cause?
These questions that judge us also unite us, because Americans of every party and background, Americans by choice and by birth, are bound to one another in the cause of freedom. We have known divisions, which must be healed to move forward in great purposes – and I will strive in good faith to heal them. Yet those divisions do not define America. We felt the unity and fellowship of our nation when freedom came under attack, and our response came like a single hand over a single heart. And we can feel that same unity and pride whenever America acts for good, and the victims of disaster are given hope, and the unjust encounter justice, and the captives are set free.
We go forward with complete confidence in the eventual triumph of freedom. Not because history runs on the wheels of inevitability; it is human choices that move events. Not because we consider ourselves a chosen nation; God moves and chooses as He wills. We have confidence because freedom is the permanent hope of mankind, the hunger in dark places, the longing of the soul. When our Founders declared a new order of the ages; when soldiers died in wave upon wave for a union based on liberty; when citizens marched in peaceful outrage under the banner “Freedom Now” – they were acting on an ancient hope that is meant to be fulfilled. History has an ebb and flow of justice, but history also has a visible direction, set by liberty and the Author of Liberty.
When the Declaration of Independence was first read in public and the Liberty Bell was sounded in celebration, a witness said, “It rang as if it meant something.” In our time it means something still. America, in this young century, proclaims liberty throughout all the world, and to all the inhabitants thereof. Renewed in our strength – tested, but not weary – we are ready for the greatest achievements in the history of freedom.
May God bless you, and may He watch over the United States of America.
OK, now let’s see the parody of rich Texas boy from JibJab Production.
Beware: big Flash files… hilarious… witty…
This link for: “Second Term” Parody.
This link for: “This Land” Parody. Produced prior to last year’s election.
Following are four-part analyses by Fareed Zakaria (Newsweek – Jan 31 issue). Click the title or read on…
High Hopes, Hard Facts
The world’s a stage: His ideals are soaring,
but now Bush must live and lead by his own code.
Bush’s Inaugural Address
It was a speech written for the ages, and it will live in history as a powerful affirmation of American ideas and ideals. George W. Bush’s second Inaugural Address was the culmination, in style and substance, of a position he has been veering toward ever since September 11, 2001: that the purpose of American foreign policy must be the expansion of liberty. It is not a new theme for an American president. Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt, John Kennedy and Ronald Reagan all spoke in similar tones and terms. Bush, however, has brought to the cause the passion of the convert. In short declarative sentences, influenced by the King James Bible and by his most eloquent predecessors, Bush used virtually his entire speech to set out the distinctively American world view: that “the best hope for peace in our world is the expansion of freedom in all the world.”
To borrow an old saw about the mission of journalism, Bush’s words will “comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.” Democratic reformers around the world will surely take heart. Dictators will nervously ponder what it all means. This, too, is in a great American tradition. When Wilson and Roosevelt spoke out against empires, it rattled Europe’s great powers. When Kennedy and Reagan spoke about freedom, it worried the juntas of Latin America and the despots of East Asia. When the Carter administration began issuing annual reports on human rights, it unnerved regimes across the world. In speaking honestly and openly about the importance and universality of freedom, America—and, to be fair, Europe—have made a difference. They have put freedom on the global agenda. Bush has aimed to push it even higher.
In doing so, however, Bush has also pushed higher on the agenda the question of American hypocrisy. I often argue with an Indian businessman friend of mine that America is unfairly singled out for scrutiny abroad. “Why didn’t anyone criticize the French or Chinese for their meager response to the tsunami?” I asked him recently. His response was simple. “America positions itself as the moral arbiter of the world, it pronounces on the virtues of all other regimes, it tells the rest of the world whether they are good or evil,” he said. “No one else does that. America singles itself out. And so the gap between what it says and what it does is blindingly obvious—and for most of us, extremely annoying.” That gap just grew a lot bigger.
The gap is pronounced because Bush has done more with this speech than praise liberty. He has declared that promoting freedom is now American policy. In 1947, Harry Truman announced the “Truman Doctrine” that turned into the containment of the Soviet Union by saying, “I believe that it must be the policy of the United States to support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures.” Echoing that formulation, Bush declared, “So it is the policy of the United States to seek and support the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world.” The president goes on to outline various stances that the United States will adopt in the future, all suggesting a broad shift in American policy.
The chasm between rhetoric and reality, while inevitable, is striking. The Bush administration has not been particularly vociferous in holding dictators to account—no more or less, really, than other recent administrations. Vladimir Putin has presided over the most significant reversal of freedoms across the globe, only to be praised by Bush as a soulmate. More scandalously, the president has sided with Putin in his interpretation of the Chechen war as a defensive action against terrorists. In fact, while it is a complicated story, the Russian Army has killed about 100,000 Chechen civilians in a brutal campaign to deny them the right to secede.
The president said in his speech to the world’s democrats, “When you stand for your liberty, we will stand with you.” But when democratic Taiwan stood up to communist China last year, Bush publicly admonished it, siding with Beijing. When brave dissidents in Saudi Arabia were jailed for proposing the possibility of a constitutional monarchy in that country, the administration barely mentioned it. Crown Prince Abdullah, who rules one of the eight most repressive countries in the world (according to Freedom House), is one of a handful of leaders to have been invited to the president’s ranch in Crawford, Texas. (The elected leaders of, say, India, France, Turkey and Indonesia have never been accorded this courtesy.) The president has met with and given aid to Islam Karimov, the dictator of Uzbekistan, who presides over one of the nastiest regimes in the world today, far more repressive than Iran’s, to take just one example.
I do not mean to suggest that in all these cases the president should invade or break ranks with or even condemn these leaders. There are understandable reasons why the United States must look after its security, as well as its political and economic concerns. But President Bush has suggested in his speech that there is no conflict between America’s ideals and its interests. The record of his administration—as all previous ones—highlights the opposite.
The place where the president is fundamentally right to assert this convergence of interests and ideals is the Middle East. At base, the terror emanating from the region is produced by the absence of freedom and openness—economic, political, social, intellectual. In a familiar pattern, extreme and violent repression by governments has produced a culture of extreme and violent opposition. (There are other causes and complaints, such as American foreign policy. America has been guilty of injustices in countries like Vietnam and Chile, however, and it has not produced a culture of suicide bombers and jihadis.) In the Middle East, advancing freedom is, in Bush’s words, “the urgent requirement of [America’s] security, and the calling of our time.”
President Bush’s impulse to stop supporting the status quo in the Middle East and promote reform and freedom has broad support within America. The question is, how to do it? The answer is not always obvious. In Jordan, for example, the unelected monarch is more liberal, more open and more progressive than most of the elected democrats, many of whom are deeply reactionary. The United Arab Emirates is rated one of the least free countries in the world, yet its biggest city, Dubai, is quickly becoming an open, free-market haven.
The Dangers of American Idealism
While Bush has been visionary in his goals, he has not provided much practical wisdom on how to attain them in a complex world. This lack of attention to the long, hard slog of actually promoting democracy might explain why things have gone so poorly in the most important practical application of the Bush Doctrine so far—Iraq. Convinced that bringing freedom to a country meant simply getting rid of the tyrant, the Bush administration seems to have done virtually no serious postwar planning to keep law and order, let alone to build the institutions of a democratic state. If this sounds like an exaggeration, consider the extraordinary words in the “after-action report” of the most important division of the American Army in Iraq, the Third Infantry Division, quoted in a recent essay by Michael O’Hanlon. It reads: “Higher headquarters did not provide the Third Infantry Division (Mechanized) with a plan for Phase IV [the postwar phase]. As a result, Third Infantry Division transitioned into Phase IV in the absence of guidance.”
From Versailles to Vietnam, this has always been the danger of American idealism. Not that the ideals were wrong or dangerous, but rather that, satisfied by the virtues of their grand goals, American policymakers lost sight of the practical realities on the ground.
In Iraq, the administration is tackling the right problem, even if it has not been adept at constructing a solution. But outside of the Middle East, is the problem of tyranny the “calling of our time”? Is it the dominating issue for the world at large today?
In Iraq, the administration is tackling the right problem, even if it has not been adept at constructing a solution. But outside of the Middle East, is the problem of tyranny the “calling of our time”? Is it the dominating issue for the world at large today?
Bush has self-consciously echoed one Inaugural Address more than any other: John Kennedy’s 1961 speech, which JFK also addressed mostly to the world, promising to “pay any price, bear any burden… to assure the survival and the success of liberty.” When John Kennedy was speaking, the vast majority of the world was unfree. Some of the largest and most productive regions of the world were ruled by powerful, totalitarian regimes that controlled every aspect of their subjects’ lives and threatened the free world with armed might. Today, we live in a world that is mostly free. In 1972, when Freedom House began its practice of ranking countries on a scale of free and unfree, it placed 54 (of the world’s 149) in the unfree category, with scores of 6 or more (with 7 being the most unfree). Today only 25 of the world’s 192 countries score 6 or higher. Condoleezza Rice listed some of this ragtag bunch in her Senate testimony: Cuba, Burma, North Korea, Iran, Belarus and Zimbabwe. Is ending Burmese tyranny the urgent requirement of America’s security? Is battling Cuba’s decrepit regime the calling of our time?
Desire if Often Not for Democracy So Much as A Stable, Decent Government
We live in a democratic age. Many countries that are not liberal democracies are often strange mixtures of freedom and unfreedom. Russia, for all Putin’s faults, is a far more open society and economy than any communist country ever was. China, often described as a totalitarian state, is actually a similar kind of mixture: a country in which people can increasingly live, work, travel, buy, sell, trade and even worship where they want, but without any political freedom. Talk to a young Chinese official, and he will tell you that his country will loosen up those restrictions over time. This does not make Russia or China free, but neither are they the totalitarian tyrannies of old.
For much of the world, the problem is not the will for democracy but the capacity to build and sustain a stable, effective and decent government. Pakistan, for example, has not lacked a will for democracy; it established one in 1947. But since then, because of weak social structures, economic stagnation and political crises, it has often veered toward dictatorship and, even worse, collapse. Recently, while democratic, it was careering into an almost-failed-state status. Dr. Rice now says that it is on the path of moderation, but it is doing so under a military dictator. The United States has tried to bring democracy to Haiti almost a dozen times, in different ways. None of them has stuck.
For much of the world, the great challenge today is civil strife, extreme poverty and disease, which overwhelms not only democracy but order itself. It is not that such societies are unconcerned about freedom. Everyone, everywhere, would choose to control his own destiny. But this does not mean as much when the basic order that precedes civilized life is threatened, and disease and death are the most pressing daily concern. Much of Africa is reasonably free, holds elections and is far more open than ever before. The great challenge in, say, Senegal and Namibia is not freedom but an effective state. The author of American liberty, James Madison, wrote in The Federalist papers that “in framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.” Order and then liberty (we might have remembered this in Iraq).
The writing is on the wall. The remaining tyrannies will eventually perish. And the world will move slowly toward greater and greater freedom. The United States is right to push this trend forward. The president is wise to articulate the path ahead. But we should also note the trends toward chaos, plague and poverty, which consume the attentions of much of the world. These are also great evils, and we should propose ways to lead the world in tackling them. That, too, would make for an interesting and important speech.