President Barack Obama‘s inaugural address to the nation or his Cairo speech to the Muslim world are certainly among the most significant political prelections of the year. We more or less knew what was coming in both cases, yet they were significant in their signaling of new policies and postures from the presidency and this great nation. I believe there is another speech that deserves similar attention.
Nearly a year into his term, we have seen enough to make measured assessments of the president’s substance and style, his character and cause. To be sure, some have watched more carefully and probed more deeply since the early days of his campaign for the White House. In so many ways, what was seen and suspected then is seen and surpassed now.
In May I named Krauthammer leader of the opposition because he had become the principal intellectual critic of the Obama administration and the Democratic Congress, as noted by Politico at the time. He has more than lived up to that role.
While Republicans in Congress can and should serve as bold voices of opposition, they hold little (Senate) or no (House) legislative power, and are restrained in the sense that they speak as elected members of the lawmaking bodies and not as pure, principled critics or ideological advocates.
This is all a means of introducing what I believe is one of the most important speeches of the year. On October 5, Krauthammer delivered the Wriston Lecture at the Manhattan Institute in New York City. Entitling his remarks “Decline is a Choice,” he adroitly indicts, in full and sweeping terms, the Obama worldview and its effects on America’s place in the order of nations.
The speech runs about 48 minutes including introduction. Here’s a small quote from about 13 minutes in:
“Facing the choice of whether to maintain our dominance or to gradually, deliberately, willingly, indeed relievedly give it up, we are headed currently on a course towards the latter. The current liberal ascendancy in the United States, controlling the executive and the Congress, dominating the media and elite culture, has set us on a course for decline. And this is true for both foreign and domestic policy. Indeed they work synergestically to ensure that outcome.”
This is the voice of opposition, making the case against the Obama agenda. If you can make time to watch this speech, I highly recommend doing so. It’s one of the best – and most important – I’ve seen all year.
[UPDATE: 10/14/09: I’ve linked to it above but I’ll embed a clip of the first five minutes or so that I found]