L. Neil Smith's
THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 102, December 11, 2000
Living in Infamy
The Inauguration Speech of George W. Bush
by David Roberson
Special to TLE
The following is an early draft of George W. Bush's inaugural address.
My fellow Americans, I stand before you today with many reasons to be both a grateful and a humble man.
First of all, I am grateful to the American people for the trust you expressed by electing me to the highest office in the land. Now, if you want to get technical, I will admit that more than half of the voters in this country, when faced with the prospect of me as president, chose to vote for someone else. But that majority of American voters couldn't come to a consensus on who the "someone else" should be, and so here I stand before you today as your new president. Down in Texas we have a colorful phrase to describe such dilemmas. It goes something like this: "Tough titty."
I am also grateful that my election, the most closely contested in U.S. history, has proven to the world once again that the American political process works. And note that I said "political process." That's because the election of 2000 gave our nation a chance to demonstrate not only our free and open electoral process, but also the calm and efficient workings of our state courts, and the careful and reasoned operations of the U.S. Supreme Court - in short, a it was a veritable showplace for the entire American democracy. I'm proud that the Bush/Cheney campaign had a part in that. And to those cynics who question why I, a champion of state government, rushed to the federal courts to seek their intervention in a state election, I would only ask that they refrain from their partisan attacks and work with me to help bring our nation together.
I have other reasons to be grateful, too. I'm grateful that Dick Cheney's feeble ticker held out until after the votes were cast. Grateful that Ralph Nader's campaign siphoned off votes from the lunatic fringe that would otherwise have given Al Gore the election. Grateful to Alec Baldwin, Barbra Streisand, and Rosie O'Donnell for their work on behalf of the Gore campaign that drove so many undecided voters to choose me. And if it weren't for my earnest desire to reach across party lines, I would express gratitude to the voters of Palm Beach County, Florida, for demonstrating to the world that Democrats really are so stupid that they probably need reminders on how to breathe. But in the spirit of cooperation and of building consensus, I will just say this to the many Democrats with whom I expect to be working: Inhale, exhale, repeat.
And, as I said, I have many reasons today to be humble. I am humbled by the immense responsibility that the voting public has entrusted to me, a known party boy and admitted boozehound. I can't be sure whether the American people's faith in me stems from my leadership qualities and my ability to build consensus, or from my family name and extensive connections with wealthy business leaders. But rest assured that as your president, I will do my best to live up to your expectations.
I am also humbled by the fact that so many of those who have not always been my supporters have been willing to put aside their differences and work with me for the benefit of the American people. John McCain, my strongest opponent during the Republican primary, came to my side during the general election, and even Ross Perot, a bitter critic of the entire Bush family, endorsed me as the best choice to lead our nation. Now I know that there are skeptics who say that McCain wanted to jump on the Bush bandwagon while there was still a chance of getting a Senate appointment more prestigious than the vice chairmanship of the Subcommittee on Municipal Waste. And there are those who say that Ross Perot simply continues to demonstrate the erratic behavior of someone with a dangerous mental illness. But the fact remains that many of my opponents have forsaken competition in favor of cooperation. I can only hope now that Al Gore, despite his long record of violating campaign finance laws, scaring voters with wild charges, and telling enough lies to create a veritable encyclopedia of falsehood, will now be willing to put aside his partisanship and name-calling for the benefit of the country. The ball is in your court, Al, you whining loser.
Finally, I made a number of pledges to the American people during my campaign for the presidency. I want to assure you that I will work diligently over the next four years to make good on those pledges, and to manage the affairs of our country more skillfully than I managed the affairs of those companies I bankrupted back in my cokehead days.
I promised to reach out across party lines, and I intend to do that. In the wake of this divisive election, we need to heal our nation's wounds, and I intend to work with the opposition party in a conciliatory and constructive way. I can only hope that the corrupt and immoral leaders of the Democratic Party will ask their masters in Beijing to let them do the same.
I promised to work to maintain our nation's strong economy, and I am proud to report that we are already seeing signs of that. For example, companies that manufacture electronic voting machines are reporting unprecedented demand for their products, and they predict record sales and profits in the coming years. I expect that by 2004 you won't find a butterfly ballot even at the National Wildlife Federation.
And our nation's vital energy industry is also poised for strong growth, encouraged not only by my own connections with and understanding of the oil business, but also by my new criminal justice reform plan, which I predict will substantially increase the need for electricity at our federal prisons.
I pledged to let our senior citizens exercise more control over their own retirement years, and to get the federal government off people's backs. I am combining both those goals in a new proposal under which private citizens can obtain licenses to drill for oil on land they own. What better retirement nest egg could anyone ask than a personal oil well right in his or her back yard? And for those who may lack the knowledge and financial means of exploratory drilling, I am confident that some of my campaign supporters will be happy to provide technical assistance, experienced labor, and funding, all at reasonable rates.
Today, our nation stands poised for a leap into a new era of prosperity. But to make that leap, we must make a break with the old failed practices of the past. And so I promise you today I will not involve our nation in foreign wars that we have no intention of winning, as President Johnson did. I will not allow our economy to stagnate and falter, as President Carter did. And I will not offer a pardon to my criminal predecessor, as President Ford did.
What I will do is unite the people of our country. I will be a leader for all Americans, regardless of their race, sex, age, or economic status. And I will work day and night to eliminate partisanship through the clearest and most effective means possible: Driving every last Democrat in the nation out of elected office. We must do it for ourselves, but most importantly, we must do it for our children.