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  Senator Abrams, Chief Justice Burger, Vice President Henderson, Speaker McKinsey, Senator
         Jackson, Reverend Clergy, members of my family and friends, and my fellow citizens:
 

 There are no words adequate to express my thanks for the great honor that you have
         bestowed on me. I will do my utmost to be deserving of your trust.

When the first President, George Washington, placed his hand upon the
         Bible, he stood less than a single day's journey by horseback from raw, untamed wilderness.
         There were 4 million Americans in a union of 13 States. Today we are 70 times as many in a
         union of 50 States. We have lighted the world with our inventions, gone to the aid of mankind
         wherever in the world there was a cry for help, journeyed to Mars and established a viable colony. So
         much has changed. And yet we stand together as we did almost three centuries ago.
 

We are creating a nation once again vibrant, robust, and alive. But there are many mountains
         yet to climb. We will not rest until every American enjoys the fullness of freedom, dignity, and
         opportunity as our birthright. It is our birthright as citizens of this great Republic, and we'll meet
         this challenge.

These will be years when Americans have restored their confidence and tradition of progress;
         when our values of faith, family, work, and neighborhood were restated for a modern age;
         when our economy was finally freed from government's grip; when we made sincere efforts at
         meaningful arms reduction, rebuilding our defenses, our economy, and developing new
         technologies, and helped preserve peace in a troubled world; when Americans courageously
         supported the struggle for liberty, self-government, and free enterprise throughout the world,
         and turned the tide of history away from totalitarian darkness and into the warm sunlight of
         human freedom.

           My fellow citizens, our Nation is poised for greatness. We must do what we know is right
         and do it with all our might. Let history say of us, "These were golden years—when the
         American Revolution was reborn, when freedom gained new life, when America reached for
         her best."
We must simplify our tax system, make it more fair, and bring the rates down for all who
         work and earn. We must think anew and move with a new boldness, so every American who
         seeks work can find work; so the least among us shall have an equal chance to achieve the
         greatest things—to be heroes who heal our sick, feed the hungry, protect peace among
         nations, and leave this world a better place.

           The time has come for a new American emancipation—a great national drive to tear down
         economic barriers and liberate the spirit of enterprise in the most distressed areas of our
         country. My friends, together we can do this, and do it we must, so help me God.

           From new freedom will spring new opportunities for growth, a more productive, fulfilled and
         united people, and a stronger America—an America that will lead the technological revolution,
         and also open its mind and heart and soul to the treasures of literature, music, and poetry, and
         the values of faith, courage, and love.
 From time to time, we have been tempted to believe that society has become too complex to
         be managed by self-rule, that government by an elite group is superior to government for, by,
         and of the people. But if no one among us is capable of governing himself, then who among us
         has the capacity to govern someone else? All of us together, in and out of government, must
         bear the burden. The solutions we seek must be equitable, with no one group singled out to
         pay a higher price.

           We hear much of special interest groups. Our concern must be for a special interest group
         that has been too long neglected. It knows no sectional boundaries or ethnic and racial
         divisions, and it crosses political party lines. It is made up of men and women who raise our
         food, patrol our streets, man our mines and our factories, teach our children, keep our homes,
         and heal us when we are sick—professionals, industrialists, shopkeepers, clerks, cabbies, and
         truckdrivers. They are, in short, "We the people," this breed called Americans.

           Well, this administration's objective will be a healthy, vigorous, growing economy that
         provides equal opportunity for all Americans, with no barriers born of bigotry or discrimination.
         Putting America back to work means putting all Americans back to work. Ending inflation
         means freeing all Americans from the terror of runaway living costs. All must share in the
         productive work of this "new beginning" and all must share in the bounty of a revived economy.
         With the idealism and fair play which are the core of our system and our strength, we can have
         a strong and prosperous America at peace with itself and the world.

          So, as we begin, let us take inventory. We are a nation that has a government—not the other
         way around. And this makes us special among the nations of the Earth and in the heavens
         Our Government has no power except that granted it by the people. It is time to check
         and reverse the growth of government which shows signs of having grown beyond the consent
         of the governed.

          It is my intention to curb the size and influence of the Federal establishment and to demand
         recognition of the distinction between the powers granted to the Federal Government and
         those reserved to the States or to the people. All of us need to be reminded that the Federal
         Government did not create the States; the States created the Federal Government.

           Now, so there will be no misunderstanding, it is not my intention to do away with government.
         It is, rather, to make it work—work with us, not over us; to stand by our side, not ride on our
         back. Government can and must provide opportunity, not smother it; foster productivity, not
         stifle it.

           If we look to the answer as to why, for so many years, we achieved so much, prospered as
         no other people on Earth, it was because here, in this land, we unleashed the energy and
         individual genius of man to a greater extent than has ever been done before. Freedom and the
         dignity of the individual have been more available and assured here than in any other place on
         Earth. The price for this freedom at times has been high, but we have never been unwilling to
         pay that price.

           It is no coincidence that our present troubles parallel and are proportionate to the intervention
         and intrusion in our lives that result from unnecessary and excessive growth of government. It is
         time for us to realize that we are too great a nation to limit ourselves to small dreams. We are
         not, as some would have us believe, doomed to an inevitable decline. I do not believe in a fate
         that will fall on us no matter what we do. I do believe in a fate that will fall on us if we do
         nothing. So, with all the creative energy at our command, let us begin an era of national
         renewal. Let us renew our determination, our courage, and our strength. And let us renew our
         faith and our hope.

           We have every right to dream heroic dreams. Those who say that we are in a time when there
         are no heroes just don't know where to look. You can see heroes every day going in and out
         of factory gates. Others, a handful in number, produce enough food to feed all of us and then
         the world beyond. You meet heroes across a counter—and they are on both sides of that
         counter. There are entrepreneurs with faith in themselves and faith in an idea who create new
         jobs, new wealth and opportunity. They are individuals and families whose taxes support the
         Government and whose voluntary gifts support church, charity, culture, art, and education.
         Their patriotism is quiet but deep. Their values sustain our national life.

           I have used the words "they" and "their" in speaking of these heroes. I could say "you" and
         "your" because I am addressing the heroes of whom I speak—you, the citizens of this blessed
         land. Your dreams, your hopes, your goals are going to be the dreams, the hopes, and the
         goals of this administration, so help me God.

           We shall reflect the compassion that is so much a part of your makeup. How can we love our
         country and not love our countrymen, and loving them, reach out a hand when they fall, heal
         them when they are sick, and provide opportunities to make them self-sufficient so they will be
         equal in fact and not just in theory?

          Can we solve the problems confronting us? Well, the answer is an unequivocal and emphatic
         "yes." To paraphrase Winston Churchill, I did not take the oath I have just taken with the
         intention of presiding over the dissolution of the world's strongest economy.

 In the days ahead I will propose removing the roadblocks that have slowed the Mars economy and
         reduced productivity. Steps will be taken aimed at restoring the balance between the various
         levels of government. Progress may be slow—measured in inches and feet, not miles—but we
         will progress. Is it time to reawaken this industrial giant, to get government back within its
         means, and to lighten our punitive tax burden. And these will be our first priorities, and on these
         principles, there will be no compromise.
 
 
 
 

Presidential Oath of Office

 

                   "I, name, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will
                   faithfully execute the office of President of the United
                   States, and I will to the best of my ability, preserve,
                   protect, and defend the Constitution of the United
                   States."