TYPICAL INAUGURAL ADDRESS
Vorgeschmack auf Mitt Romneys Rede anlässlich seiner Amtseinführung.
My dear fellow Americans,
Today, on January 20, I, the newly elected President of the United States, will give a well-prepared and forceful speech. As you may have noticed, I addressed you as fellow Americans, because it is my aim to unite the country after a fiery election campaign that divided the country into Republicans and Democrats. Obviously, I cannot simply address the people who voted for me, because I’d like to be reelected in four years and therefore I have to at least pretend that I am interested in what the adherents of my political opponent have to say. Quite frankly, I feel nothing but contempt for them, but my spin doctors said it’s what is usually being done after an election. I think I am supposed to show that I’m lenient and understanding, and that I try to reach out to my political opponents. You know, a bit like Jesus, who said: Forgive them, for they know not what they do.
Anyway, an inaugural address usually starts with references to the past, so I will talk about our founding fathers who wrote and signed the Declaration of Independence. Apparently, it is one of our greatest achievements because it was trying to further the idea of equality among the people. It said, and I quote: All men are created equal. Of course, at the time, it didn’t really mean that all people are equal because Native Americans, slaves, women and men without money or property were not included in the term ‘men’. But, anyway, we like to boast about this declaration, even though, let’s face it, it was just a nice and noble idea. In reality, we clung to our segregation of blacks and whites until way into the 20th century. But my spin doctors told me not to dwell on the racial question, so I won’t.
By the way, another reason why newly elected presidents talk about our tradition and history is that we don’t have any. I mean, this country is only little more than five hundred years old and it’s made of people from all over the world, a concoction of sorts that is often metaphorically described as a melting pot or salad bowl. I believe this tendency to talk about tradition and history stems from an inferiority complex towards Europe (aka the Old World) because it has always had more tradition, history and culture than all of our 50 states together. The Canadians have the same problem, that’s one of the reasons why we see them roaming the globe with backpacks showing of the Canadian flag.
Hence, in my speech, I will be as vague as possible, because I don’t want to bug anyone. My speech will be dominated by open, associative and imprecise promises, so that if I haven’t done squat in five years, if my résumé is zilch, I can say that I didn’t make any promises in the first place.
Another thing that I won’t do is talk about divisive topics, like gay marriage, abortion, tax increases or religion, because that will just get you agitated. I will also refrain from talking about domestic policy for the same reason that it will just divide the people of the country. With speeches like this one, it’s best to talk about foreign policy, about enemies that are threatening us. It will create a sense of togetherness among the American people, and that’s just what I want. It worked for Kennedy who talked about the Soviet Union in his inaugural address and it worked for Obama who talked about Muslim extremists. If you create an atmosphere of fear, the people in America will, at least for a short time, forget about their petty and miserable lives. They will believe that I am a President that protects them from foreign enemies that are plotting nefarious schemes against our freedom, our liberty and our free market economy. If I manage to conjure this image of an evil monster attacking the US, the citizens will forget that I tax them like crazy, that they have no well-paid jobs and that the gap between rich and poor is getting bigger and bigger.
I also need to remind the audience of the glorious US history because it can be used to justify the wars we are currently engaged in. We have a military industrial complex that lusts for war and no president since the 1960s has ever managed to stand up to this powerful lobby of arms dealers. You see, WWII was our biggest success yet. We earned an awful lot of money, we were never really attacked (besides Pearl Harbor, of course) and we invented the so called nation-building. We helped Germany to become a democratic country, and, because of their history, they picked right up on it. We managed to sell our products, implement military bases and influence political institutions there. We have tried to do the same with Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan and some other countries, but to no avail. However, that doesn’t keep us from trying the same thing over and over again.
Another must when it comes to inaugural addresses is the concept of American exceptionalism. You see, when the Pilgrims came here on the Mayflower, they believed to be God’s chosen people, travelling to a New Canaan or New Jerusalem, a fine city upon a hill all the other stupid countries down in the valley could look up to. It is this transfigured, glorified and somewhat megalomaniac concept of ourselves that has driven us to treat other nations with condescension. It started with the Native Americans that were already here when we tried to settle in Jamestown. Thinking of ourselves as God’s chosen people, we considered the Indians to be Satan’s disciples, and that’s why we thought we had every right to capture, torture and eventually kill them. God and the Bible can be quite a fine excuse to commit genocide. It’s also the reason why I’ll finish this speech with the popular mantra: God bless America (and no place else).
Personally, I would like to add that my presidency is a new beginning. It’s common practice to make people believe that the new president represents the advent of a new era. Change is one of the words that are most often used to impress our citizens. Little do they know that they are actually in for four, maybe eight years of same old, same old. It’s the usual hubris of a presidential candidate before he assumes office. He doesn’t lie deliberately, he actually thinks he can make a change. But, like Barack Obama, many presidents soon find out that their room for maneuver, their scope of action, is rather limited. They discover that the real power is enforced by, for lack of a better word, the ‘system’. The presidents soon are institutionalized. This change became apparent, when Obama gave his speech after getting the Nobel Peace prize. This particular speech exemplifies how an idealist such as Obama slowly turns into a political realist.
Oh, yes, one last thing: Don’t expect any change soon. I am appealing to your patience, because I don’t want you to be too disappointed if you feel no change at all after a few months. This demand for patience will keep your hope up at times when everybody else already knows that I am a lame duck. And this imbecile clinging to hope is what might get me reelected in four years.
GOD BLESS AMERICA!