NCOC Featured Discussion

The Power to Set This Country’s Course

January 22, 2013

In his Inaugural Address on Monday, January 21st, President Obama reflected upon the Inauguration tradition as an opportunity to, “affirm the promise of our democracy.” The President then called upon Americans to embrace the critical role that we, the people, play to “set this country’s course.”

The President spoke of the unending work that each of us must do to protect and realize the rights put forward in our nation’s founding—echoing his message on Election Night that the, “role of citizen in our democracy does not end with your vote.”

“My fellow Americans, the oath I have sworn before you today, like the one recited by others who serve in this Capitol, was an oath to God and country, not party or faction – and we must faithfully execute that pledge during the duration of our service. But the words I spoke today are not so different from the oath that is taken each time a soldier signs up for duty, or an immigrant realizes her dream. My oath is not so different from the pledge we all make to the flag that waves above and that fills our hearts with pride.

They are the words of citizens, and they represent our greatest hope. You and I, as citizens, have the power to set this country’s course.

You and I, as citizens, have the obligation to shape the debates of our time – not only with the votes we cast, but with the voices we lift in defense of our most ancient values and enduring ideals.

Let each of us now embrace, with solemn duty and awesome joy, what is our lasting birthright. With common effort and common purpose, with passion and dedication, let us answer the call of history, and carry into an uncertain future that precious light of freedom.”
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