The full text of Bush's speech as presented on the President's official website is reprinted here and comments are in italics.
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines delusional as follows:
1. a) the act of deluding : the state of being deluded b) an abnormal mental state characterized by the occurrence of psychotic delusions
2. a) something that is falsely or delusively believed or propagated b) a persistent false psychotic belief regarding the self or persons or objects outside the self
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.
COMMENT: Bush quickly demonstrates that he is delusional. The President has spent four years ignoring the Constitution rather than celebrating it.
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.
COMMENT: The President reveals his bizarre sense of history and the absence of objective reasoning. He is apparently unaware that it was defending "our own freedom by standing watch on distant borders" that led to the "day of fire". While Bush spent years on sabbatical unaware of events transpiring, his father invaded Panama and fought a war with Iraq. President Clinton continued the war with Iraq and invaded Kosovo.
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.
COMMENT: Bush displays irrational thought in this statement. He use the royal "we" when he asserts that common sense can only lead "us" to "one conclusion". The events of recent history might lead different people to different conclusions, but he only is able to recognize one possible conclusion. This statement demonstrates a collectivist mindset that causes Bush to project onto others his own personal beliefs and conclusions. He asserts that the survival of liberty in America depends on the success of liberty in other lands, yet offers no hint of why. Bush apparently suffers under the delusion that foreign governments determine the extent of liberty in America rather than the United States government.
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.
COMMENT: Bush becomes more delusional as he proceeds. He seems to be confused when he states our external vital interests and our internal beliefs are "now one". This would be similar to saying that my money and my religion are "now one". One would only expect a statement like this to be made by someone having a psychotic episode. Again, he uses the royal "we" when asserting that we have rights because we "bear the image of the Maker of Heaven and earth". He is in denial of the fact that America has sought to subvert "the imperative of self-government" in other nations to benefit American interests. He reveals a messianic complex when he proclaims that promoting the rights of people is the "calling of our time", while he curtails the rights and privacy of Americans under the guise of national security.
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.
COMMENT: Bush pretends that he is unaware that many Americans, including conservatives, are weary of the soft tyranny of his own leadership. Certainly the President must suffer greatly from cognitive dissonance. Surely he must realize that the mandate he claims (based on a small majority of votes) is in fact a proclamation of majority rule, or the tyranny of the masses against the individual.
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.
COMMENT: Bush acknowledges that ending tyranny cannot be done primarily by war, but then states that "we" will defend ourselves and our friends by force of arms when necessary. His unnecssary actions in Iraq do not demonstrate any sincere belief in this rhetoric.
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.
COMMENT: Translated, the statement above means "my way or the highway". The President will decide what the meaning of oppression is and what the meaning of freedom is. As to other nations, "America" (the Bush regime), will not pretend that jailed dissidents prefer their chains, but in America he will pretend that jailed dissidents prefer their chains. Thousands of Americans sit in jail for nonviolent victimless crimes that Bush himself committed in his youth. Many in the world and America view the bellicose and belligerent rhetoric of the President as evidence that he is a bully. Yet, he will pretend that Americans aspire to live at the mercy of his "mandate".
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.
COMMENT: Again, Bush displays his inability to grasp the reality of his own actions. He wants to insist that other governments allow free dissent and the participation of the governed, but in America it is acceptable to herd protesters into "free speech zones" and curtail participation in the system by refusing to debate with third party candidates.
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.
COMMENT: Bush fails to address the situation that exists when the United States props up tyrants and oppressors. The world is littered with undemocratic leaders who are supported by America. It was the support of the House of Saud and the Zionists of Israel that provoked the attacks on September 11, 2001, according to Osama bin Laden.
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."
COMMENT: Bush implies that he is doing the work of God. Apparently, the President thinks that God will not notice his support for outlaw regimes in Pakistan or Uzbekistan.
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.
COMMENT: Perhaps the President is projecting his own traits onto the leaders of other nations. Bush has repeatedly demonstrated that he does not trust the American people. Recent statements regarding Social Security show that Bush does not trust Americans to provide for their own retirement. He believes the government should allow you to make investments that are approved of by government. He does not trust Americans to make their own investment decisions. Like many Presidents before him, Bush believes people can only be trusted with the choices that government has selected for them.
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.
COMMENT: The delusional aspects of Bush's rhetoric surface again in this statement. The President has never asked for patience. When others have shown impatience, he has dismissed their criticisms. He claims tens of millions have achieved their freedom, yet Afghanistan is still dealing with Taliban fighters and warlords. Outside of Kabul, there is little security and the nation is becoming a narco-state as opium production has increased ten-fold. Iraq is in chaos. "We" have lit a fire in the minds of men. Yes, the fire of anger. How bizarre that Bush chooses these words. Libertarian candidate Michael Badnarik often used a slogan while campaigning for president: lighting the fire of liberty one heart at a time. Perhaps Bush heard this slogan and garbled it in his delusional mind.
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.
COMMENT: Bush is asking the youth to "serve" to add to the nation's wealth and character based on the evidence of their eyes. The evidence he cites is the duty and allegiance in the determined faces of our soldiers. He doesn't cite any evidence of results because there is no evidence of good results. The consequences of Bush's doctrine of preventive war and ending tyranny and terrorism will only become fully apparent years from now. The consequences may well turn out to be perpetual war and more terrorist activity in America as one intervention leads to another.
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.
COMMENT: At this point in the speech, Bush loses all touch with reality. Many Americans are having a difficult time realizing the security of economic independence as they labor harder and harder to maintain a declining standard of living. Bush equates liberty with government programs that destroy dignity and promote economic dependence on government. He proposes using government to redistribute wealth to build an "ownership society". Obviously, The President does not trust the American people to provide for themselves without government help. He does not understand that out-of-control government spending, debt, inflation, and high taxes do not promote economic independence.
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.
COMMENT: Reality is discarded as Bush preaches that the public interest depends on private character, integrity, and tolerance. The President lied America into a war with Iraq and in the process his minions promoted hatred for Muslims. He was silent as his talk radio supporters called for nuking the "ragheads". He has shown little tolerance for the rights of Arabs and Muslims rounded up without cause as potential suspects. He has shown little tolerance for the right of states to determine the question of same-sex marriage by advocating a constitutional amendment prohibiting it. Bush then speaks of the controversial "truths of Sinai" and the Sermon on the Mount. What does "blessed be the peacemakers" mean to him? What is his interpretation of "the meek shall inherit the earth"? Does he believe that he is either meek or a peacemaker, or is he above those teachings?
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.
COMMENT: Bush displays his collectivist mindset by equating freedom with "service" and liberty with dependence on others. The line between government actions and private benevolence often seems blurred in Bush's mind - as demonstrated by his "faith based initiative" funding of private organizations. This further demonstrates that Bush does not trust people to fund charities and instead confiscates the earnings of Americans to fund these charities.
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.
COMMENT: Four years ago Bush promised that he was a uniter and not a divider. Now, he claims that he will strive in good faith to heal the divisions he caused while refusing to even entertain the views of others on numerous subjects. Divorced from the reality that freedom never came under attack by any party other than the government, the President fails to acknowledge that it was U.S. policies that provoked the attack on September 11, 2001. He also fails to acknowledge that it was the failure of government security that allowed the attack to occur. Then, we are told that we will experience unity and pride when "America" (the Bush regime) acts for whatever he defines as "good". Keep in mind that he determined that torture can be good, skirting the Geneva Convention can be good, and lying to the American people can be good.
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.
COMMENT: Once again, Bush uses the royal "we". There exists no collectivist consensus of "complete confidence" in whatever he means by "the triumph of freedom". It is obvious that Bush's definition of freedom is not the ordinary definition. One might assume that when Bush speaks of the "Author of Liberty", he is talking about himself since he has also redefined the word liberty. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines liberty as follows:
the quality or state of being free: a) the power to do as one pleases b) freedom from physical restraint c) freedom from arbitrary or despotic control d) the positive enjoyment of various social, political, or economic rights and privileges e) the power of choice
The dictionary definition of liberty is not Bush's definition. He believes that individuals have the power to do as the government dictates. He believes that "free speech zones", incarceration for victimless crimes, and a gulag in Guantanamo are justified uses of restraint. He believes individuals have no economic rights other than those dictated by government.
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.
COMMENT: America needs to proclaim liberty in the United States and move away from the interventionist and collectivist policies of big brother government. America should reclaim freedom and lead by example instead of leading by force. Americans should insist on economic liberty (free-markets), personal liberty, freedom from government intrusion, and peace. The constantly expanding government agencies, programs, wars, interventions, surveillance, and debt will eventually destroy liberty and freedom. This reality escapes Bush. The greatest achievement in the history of freedom would be to impeach the delusional President.
Commentary provided by Tom Blanton of Richmond, Virginia.