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Peggy Noonan on the Inaugural Address

Former Reagan speechwriter and Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan has written a sobering critique of the president's inaugurual address.

I tend to think she is right, and the speech was a little over the top. It wasn't Wilsonian in the sense that the president tied America's ideals to her own interests, but it did seem a bit disconcerting. A lot of ambitious talk that seems to lock the nation in to various courses of action. But there seems to be some inconsistency: What about Sudan? Why are we still tight with the Saudis? These glaring issues undermine all of the big talk. What are the principles that cause us to stand with the "lovers of liberty?"

Compare the president's address with this speech by Michael Novak to the center-right governments of Europe. I know they have both read Sharansky's book, and I am sure it is inspiring, but how does this big talk about the march of liberty play out in practical action?

Furthermore, I'm pretty certain that the Hegelian march of liberty is not the defining narrative in history. So where does that leave us?

UPDATE: Another interview with Michael Novak, in a Slovakian daily called Tyzden. Interestingly, Novak notes that Bush's speech is very much in tune with Natan Sharansky's book. Hmmm. See above.

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Comments (1)

HELEN MURPHY:

I THINK THIS IS THE WAY JESUS TAUGHT US TO THINK. TO STRIVE FOR PERFECTION NOT JUST TAKE THE EASY ROAD. THE APOSTLES CERTAINLY TAUGHT IN THE POSITIVE. IT IS LIKE A COACH SAYING TO HIS TEAM, "TRY HARD TO HAVE A GOOD GAME, BUT DON'T BE DISAPPOINTED IF YOU DO NOT WIN." WHO WOULD SEEK A VICTORY WITH THAT ATTITUDE? OUR PRESIDENT IS NOT ADDRESSIG A GROUP THEOLOGIANS BUT THE AMERICAN CITIZENS. I FEEL THE LITTLE GUYS FIND IT INSPIRING.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on January 21, 2005 8:45 AM.

The previous post in this blog was Manners in the Moral Life.

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