Thomas Jefferson – First Inaugural Address – Part II

todayJanuary 21, 2013 1

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Mandeville, LA – Exclusive Transcript – How many of you American exceptionalists now don’t like TJ now that you’ve heard his Inaugural Address? Jefferson was out there saying peace and commerce with all nations, entangling alliances with none. Isn’t Jefferson the one who wanted war with Tripoli? Didn’t he single-handedly call up the Marines and wage war against the Bashar of Tripoli? I was told, incorrectly of course, by some of you. Check out today’s transcript for the rest…

Begin Mike Church Show Transcript

Mike:  I’d like to hear President Obama hear this today — I’m not going to but I’d like to:


Read the entire, first inaugural address of Thomas Jefferson with a comparison to President Obama’s here. About to enter, fellow citizens, on the exercise of duties which comprehend every thing dear and valuable to you, it is proper you should understand what I deem the essential principles of our government, and consequently those which ought to shape its administration. I will compress them within the narrowest compass they will bear, stating the general principle, but not all its limitations.—Equal and exact justice to all men, of whatever state or persuasion, religious or political:—peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none.

This is an image of a banner, the oldest Presidential inaugural one in existence, (from the Smithsonian) celebrating the inauguration of Jefferson and that “John Adams is no more”.

[Mike: I had forgotten Jefferson said that. How many of you American exceptionalists now don’t like TJ? Jefferson was out there saying peace and commerce with all nations, entangling alliances with none. Isn’t Jefferson the one who wanted war with Tripoli? Didn’t he single-handedly call up the Marines and wage war against the Bashar of Tripoli? I was told, incorrectly of course, by some of you. This is a peculiar development, is it not?]

[T]he support of the state governments in all their rights, as the most competent administrations for our domestic concerns, and the surest bulwarks against anti-republican tendencies:

—the preservation of the General government in its whole constitutional vigor, as the sheet anchor of our peace at home, and safety abroad: a jealous care of the right of election by the people, a mild and safe corrective of abuses which are lopped by the sword of revolution where peaceable remedies are unprovided:

—absolute acquiescence in the decisions of the majority, the vital principle of republics, from which is no appeal but to force, the vital principle and immediate parent of the despotism:

—a well disciplined militia, our best reliance in peace, and for the first moments of war, till regulars may relieve them:

[Mike: There’s that thing about the standing army again from Jefferson.]

[T]he supremacy of the civil over the military authority:

—economy in the public expence, that labor may be lightly burthened:—the honest payment of our debts and sacred preservation of the public faith:

—encouragement of agriculture, and of commerce as its handmaid:—the diffusion of information, and arraignment of all abuses at the bar of the public reason:

—freedom of religion; freedom of the press; and freedom of person, under the protection of the Habeas Corpus:

—and trial by juries impartially selected. These principles form the bright constellation, which has gone before us and guided our steps through an age of revolution and reformation. The wisdom of our sages, and blood of our heroes have been devoted to their attainment:

—they should be the creed of our political faith; the text of civic instruction, the touchstone by which to try the services of those we trust; and should we wander from them in moments of error or of alarm, let us hasten to retrace our steps, and to regain the road which alone leads to peace, liberty and safety.

I repair then, fellow citizens, to the post you have assigned me. With experience enough in subordinate offices to have seen the difficulties of this the greatest of all, I have learnt to expect that it will rarely fall to the lot of imperfect man to retire from this station with the reputation, and the favor, which bring him into it.

[end reading]

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Mike:  What he’s saying there is nobody is perfect.  People have gone into this office of the presidency and they were untarred, unscathed for their entire lives.  They leave it having acquiesced or capitulated in some manner and they can never rescue their reputations, although I think Jefferson did.  Read his entire inaugural address if you get tired of listening to Obama droning on.  When the show is over, once we get a text of the president’s inaugural address, I’ll run it through the Flesch-Kincaid text analyzer and I’ll see how many levels of organized and official schooling it would take to comprehend Obama’s speech, and then I’ll run Jefferson’s through.  We’ll get a Flesch-Kincaid level.  I suspect from reading Jefferson’s, and from reading his first state of the union address and running it through the Flesch-Kincaid, this is more eloquent than the former, that TJ will come in somewhere on the order of 26, 27 years (Ed. note: it actually came in at 26 year old and 18 years of formal education needed) of formal education to understand what I’ve been reading to you from his inaugural address, and the president’s, as is his average, is somewhere between eight and ten years.  We’ll see.  I’ll be partial and totally unbiased in the administration of that comparison.

End Mike Church Show Transcript

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