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Congressman John Campbell

President Obama’s Second Inaugural Address

This native Californian was all bundled up to keep warm on a chilly Washington morning on Monday to witness the 57th United States Presidential Inaugural and hear President Obama’s second inaugural address.

To be honest, I was inspired by the address…..
….but, not in the way the president might have wanted.

I’m a big football fan. There’s nothing to bring you to your feet quite like the big touchdown pass. And, that is usually what brings accolades in the annals of football lore. But, just as important, and many times more important, is that tenacious defense. When you don’t have the ball, you count on those 11 defensemen to keep you in the game. Oh sure, they can sometimes get a “pick-6” and score a touchdown. But usually, they just hold the line and keep bad things from happening. The undefeated 1972 Miami Dolphins were led by what was dubbed the “no name defense”. They held the line and they were a big part of the only undefeated season in NFL history. As Republicans, we don’t have the ball right now. We may control the House, but we are the minority party in Washington since everything else is Democrat-controlled. We are on defense.

The president’s address started out rather well, I thought, as he talked about the enduring nature of our Republic and its establishment by some pretty bright and unquestionably brave guys. But then, the speech deteriorated rather badly, in the view of this attendee. You have probably already read or can read what he said. But, to this listener, there was not only no olive branch extended, but the president was confrontational. As he ticked off his points, what I heard was an agenda of, as Sir Winston Churchill once described it, the equal sharing of misery. I heard the mention of all kinds of specific groups that he would help, as well as the mention of classes. I did not hear about the only class that we have in this country – the American class. I heard a plea to lower medical costs when Obamacare has dramatically raised medical costs for everyone.  I heard a strategy of disengagement around the world, which works fine until some part of the world rises up against us. And, Mr. President, making the strong weaker does not make the weak stronger. In fact, it does just the opposite.

What I heard was the antithesis of why I have been in public service for more than a dozen years.

And, I was inspired. Not because I liked what I heard. I obviously did not. Not because I was encouraged that there will be common ground upon which we may move the country forward. I believe that will not be the case. I was inspired because I now know what I have to do. The country will be led in the next four years by an individual who, if left to his own devices, will make this country weaker and less prosperous. Much of what he laid out will make us more and more like the weakest and most troubled of Europe’s states: Focused on expanding failed programs, on driving out accomplishment and turning a blind eye to threats around the world.

I can’t let that happen. We can’t let that happen. I know that’s not an agenda of progress. That agenda was delayed by the election results on November 6th. But, we can stop a lot of bad things from happening. We can have a tenacious defense. And, we can save America in order to reap the exceptionally bright future that is before us just waiting for the right leadership.

Thank you, Mr. President. Thank you for lighting a fire underneath me and the silent majority of others like me. This is a battle of ideas. Yours are wrong. Our swords and our shields are at the ready. Let the fight begin.

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