Barack Obama ushers in new era

| 20/01/2009

(CNS): "What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them – that the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long no longer apply," President Barack Obama told the world, standing before a crowd of millions in the US capital, who travelled from all parts of the US and all parts of the world to witness first hand the inauguration of the first African American president. As Cayman heads towards its own election season, when voters will have to chose leaders to guide the country through tough economic times, Obama called for government accountability in the US.

"The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works – whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified. Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where the answer is no, programs will end. And those of us who manage the public’s dollars will be held to account – to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day – because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government."

President Obama also called for tolerance and celebrated the diversity of America: "For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus – and non-believers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this earth; and because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation, and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace."

Read the full inaugural speech here

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