Monthly Archives: December 2016

I Wrote President-Elect Trump an Inaugural Address

People have asked me over the years what I would like to do if I wasn’t a religious educator. I give them three ambitions or interests. A college basketball play by play announcer, an OBGYN, or a speech writer. I know that’s a broad professional range. Ask my boys about the first interest, my wife about the second one, and keep reading about my third interest.

Yes, I wrote president-elect Trump an inaugural speech. I realize Stephen Miller has been assigned to write the actual inaugural address. Feel free to edit, ridicule, or make observations.

First, a few thoughts about my attempt. I think president-elect Trump should deliver a very short inaugural address. George Washington’s second inaugural was only four sentences. I don’t think president-elect Trump should be that brief. But I do think he should follow the counsel that FDR gave to his son before a speaking engagement: “Be sincere, be brief, be seated.”

Speaking of FDR, his fourth inaugural was just over 500 words. Lincoln’s second inaugural was just over 700 words. Most of the others were quite long. Trump should come in under 1000 words. I think for most part, people will be watching and listening how he says his words, rather than what he says. The shorter and more sincere his speech, the more people will actually listen to his words. A shorter, thoughtful, and personal speech will be to his advantage.

For that reason I don’t think he needs to regurgitate campaign rhetoric. I don’t think he needs to explain policy during his address. I think he needs to genuinely tell people he is serious about getting to work and leave listeners with an assurance that is what he and his administration are going to do.

I hope the inaugural speech is simple and heartfelt. Here is my attempt of an inaugural speech for Donald Trump:

In Revolutionary rhetoric, patriot Thomas Paine wrote, “These are the times that try men’s souls.” Events of our day resurrect the words.

For many days I have been briefed on trying situations and trying issues that concern all Americans. There are solutions for these situations and issues. There are some serious tasks before me—and before you. Continue reading

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Pulling Down the Strongholds of Satan

“Statesmen my dear Sir, may plan and speculate for Liberty, but it is Religion and Morality alone, which can establish the Principles upon which Freedom can securely stand.”

These words were written by John Adams to his cousin Zabdiel, during the swelling days of Revolution. In the letter he unequivocally argued: “The only foundation of a free Constitution, is pure Virtue, and if this cannot be inspired into our People, in a greater Measure, than they have it now, They may change their Rulers, and the forms of Government, but they will not obtain a lasting Liberty. They will only exchange Tyrants and Tyrannies.”

Zabdiel who was a lawyer, also received this conclusion in his short letter from John Adams: “You cannot therefore be more pleasantly, or usefully employed than in the Way of your Profession, pulling down the Strong Holds of Satan. This is not Cant, but the real sentiment of my Heart” (See The Adams Papers Digital Addition or Bennett, Our Sacred Honor, 371). Continue reading

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