The Next Inaugural Address

This draft address – a work in progress, subject to continual editing and refinement – represents not my own intentions but rather serves as a repository of all of the great ideas that together form a political philosophy that qb could support. It is the presidential platform that would command qb’s steadfast and energetic allegiance.  qb wishes someone who believes in these same things would run for the presidency in 2012 and win, and then deliver this address to lay out a coherent, constitutionalist agenda for a just and prosperous nation.  qb


Monday, 21 Jan 2013

My fellow Americans:

Today I have pledged before God and before you that I will preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States of America.  I take that to be my most solemn responsibility as the temporary steward of this magnificent office, an office that serves as one of the visible symbols of this nation’s unique self understanding.  But it is by no means the most visible, and it is by no means the most important symbol of our precious Union.  The Stars and Stripes, though magnificently symbolic and worthy of honor in their own right, likewise do not comprise the most important symbol of the United States.  Among all of the symbols that we hold dear, it is the Constitution alone that guards that honor.  It is our Founders’ prize achievement, embodying as it does the hopes and aspirations of a free and self-determining people under the providence of the Almighty.  If our Constitution falls, whether suddenly by force of arms or gradually by the inexorable forces of erosion and neglect, the United States of America yields its place and its role as the “shining city on a hill” on which oppressed peoples across the world for the last 224 years have longingly cast their collective gaze.  The sanctity and integrity of the Constitution must be, will be, my highest priority for the next four.  I therefore pledge to you that when the winds of convenience, or even the mounting gales of plurality opinion, would have us steer another way, my administration will seek to keep our collective eyes fixed on those high and noble principles of individual liberty that have by God’s grace permitted us to be the prosperous and generous nation that we are today.

Contrary to the caricature that modern liberals have drawn of us, we who revere the Constitution do not think of it as a static document.  The Constitution itself has sown the seeds by which it responds to evolutions of political thought, and we have before us today the plain and unmistakable evidence that, when compelling ideas have been adequately refined by the fires of public debate, we are both willing and able to amend and improve the terms in which we express our national self-understanding.  We must always be open to new and substantive ideas; as fallen humans with fallen institutions, and with the persistent evils and stubborn injustices that still cry out to us for resolution, we dare not presume to have issued the final word on the building of the City of God.

At the same time, we must be wary of any encroachments on the integrity of the Constitution and the solemn and deliberative process solely by which it is to be amended.  If our Constitution is to have any lasting force in climactic days of war or external conflict of any kind – may heaven forbid! – its integrity must be nourished and strengthened by the unwavering, daily attentiveness of a jealous citizenry, courageous officials, and dispassionate judges.  In this regard, I pledge to be the first among more than 300 million equals in sounding the alarm when our Constitution comes under siege, and I will appoint to the executive and judicial branches of the federal government only those who have demonstrated that same commitment and who are unafraid to articulate their commitment with clarity and passion.

It is significant, therefore, that our great nation is not called simply “America.”  America is a wondrous place, from the shores of Hawaii to the shoals of Maine, from the North Slope to Key West, from Lake Superior to the Rio Grande.  But what we call “America” is only geography.  No, our Founders gave birth to a nation that we know not as “America,” but as the “United States of America,” a nation forged from the consent of thirteen diverse and sovereign States who nevertheless found among themselves the compulsion to unite in energetic commerce, mutual deference, and common defense.  Our federal government was conceived, not as an end in itself, but as a means to protect the general sovereignty of its member States; and in ratifying the Constitution those States granted their newborn federal government a sharply defined and narrowly tailored set of enumerated powers.  Fellow citizens, we must return to those patterns of thought and action and invite our great States to reclaim the presumption of prerogative in all areas except those in which the States have explicitly delegated their sovereign authority through the Constitution.  To do so is a Constitutional imperative, but it is also a practical necessity.



Copyright 2010 by Brent Walter Auvermann

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