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国际英文演讲高手 chapter5-2 2001年美国总统小布什的就职演说

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2001年美国总统小布什的就职演说
Inaugural Address of George W. Bush;

January 20, 2001


Chief Justice Rehnquist, President Carter, President Bush, President Clinton, distinguished guests and my fellow citizens,
The peaceful transfer of authority is rare in history, yet common in our country. With a simple oath, we affirm old traditions and make new beginnings.
As I begin, I thank President Clinton for his service to our nation; and I thank Vice President Gore for a contest conducted with spirit and ended with grace.
I am honored and humbled to stand here, where so many of America';s leaders have come before me, and so many will follow.
We have a place, all of us, in a long story. A story we continue, but whose end we will not see. It is the story of a new world that became a friend and liberator of the old, a story of a slave-holding society that became a servant of freedom, the story of a power that went into the world to protect but not possess, to defend but not to conquer. It is the American story. A story of flawed and fallible people, united across the generations by grand and enduring ideals. The grandest of these ideals is an unfolding American promise that everyone belongs, that everyone deserves a chance, that no insignificant person was ever born. Americans are called upon to enact this promise in our lives and in our laws; and though our nation has sometimes halted, and sometimes delayed, we must follow no other course.
Through much of the last century, America';s faith in freedom and democracy was a rock in a raging sea. Now it is a seed upon the wind, taking root in many nations. Our democratic faith is more than the creed of our country, it is the inborn hope of our humanity, an ideal we carry but do not own, a trust we bear and pass along; and even after nearly 225 years, we have a long way yet to travel.
While many of our citizens prosper, others doubt the promise, even the justice, of our own country. The ambitions of some Americans are limited by failing schools and hidden prejudice and the circumstances of their birth; and sometimes our differences run so deep, it seems we share a continent, but not a country. We do not accept this, and we will not allow it. Our unity, our union, is the serious work of leaders and citizens in every generation; and this is my solemn pledge, "I will work to build a single nation of justice and opportunity." I know this is in our reach because we are guided by a power larger than ourselves who creates us equal in His image and we are confident in principles that unite and lead us onward.
America has never been united by blood or birth or soil. We are bound by ideals that move us beyond our backgrounds, lift us above our interests and teach us what it means to be citizens. Every child must be taught these principles. Every citizen must uphold them; and every immigrant, by embracing these ideals, makes our country more, not less, American.
Today, we affirm a new commitment to live out our nation';s promise through civility, courage, compassion and character. America, at its best, matches a commitment to principle with a concern for civility. A civil society demands from each of us good will and respect, fair dealing and forgiveness. Some seem to believe that our politics can afford to be petty because, in a time of peace, the stakes of our debates appear small. But the stakes for America are never small. If our country does not lead the cause of freedom, it will not be led. If we do not turn the hearts of children toward knowledge and character, we will lose their gifts and undermine their idealism. If we permit our economy to drift and decline, the vulnerable will suffer most. We must live up to the calling we share. Civility is not a tactic or a sentiment. It is the determined choice of trust over cynicism, of community over chaos. This commitment, if we keep it, is a way to shared accomplishment.
America, at its best, is also courageous. Our national courage has been clear in times of depression and war, when defending common dangers defined our common good. Now we must choose if the example of our fathers and mothers will inspire us or condemn us. We must show courage in a time of blessing by confronting problems instead of passing them on to future generations.
Together, we will reclaim America';s schools, before ignorance and apathy claim more young lives; we will reform Social Security and Medicare, sparing our children from struggles we have the power to prevent; we will reduce taxes, to recover the momentum of our economy and reward the effort and enterprise of working Americans; we will build our defenses beyond challenge, lest weakness invite challenge; and we will confront weapons of mass destruction, so that a new century is spared new horrors.
The enemies of liberty and our country should make no mistake, America remains engaged in the world by history and by choice, shaping a balance of power that favors freedom. We will defend our allies and our interests; we will show purpose without arrogance; we will meet aggression and bad faith with resolve and strength; and to all nations, we will speak for the values that gave our nation birth.
America, at its best, is compassionate. In the quiet of American conscience, we know that deep, persistent poverty is unworthy of our nation';s promise. Whatever our views of its cause, we can agree that children at risk are not at fault. Abandonment and abuse are not acts of God, they are failures of love. The proliferation of prisons, however necessary, is no substitute for hope and order in our souls. Where there is suffering, there is duty. Americans in need are not strangers, they are citizens, not problems, but priorities, and all of us are diminished when any are hopeless. Government has great responsibilities for public safety and public health, for civil rights and common schools. Yet compassion is the work of a nation, not just a government. Some needs and hurts are so deep they will only respond to a mentor';s touch or a pastor';s prayer. Church and charity, synagogue and mosque lend our communities their humanity, and they will have an honored place in our plans and in our laws. Many in our country do not know the pain of poverty, but we can listen to those who do. I can pledge our nation to a goal, "When we see that wounded traveler on the road to Jericho, we will not pass to the other side."
America, at its best, is a place where personal responsibility is valued and expected. Encouraging responsibility is not a search for scapegoats, it is a call to conscience. Though it requires sacrifice, it brings a deeper fulfillment. We find the fullness of life not only in options, but in commitments. We find that children and community are the commitments that set us free. Our public interest depends on private character, on civic duty and family bonds and basic fairness, on uncounted, unhonored acts of decency which give direction to our freedom. Sometimes in life we are called to do great things. But as a saint of our times has said, every day we are called to do small things with great love. The most important tasks of a democracy are done by everyone. I will live and lead by these principles, "to advance my convictions with civility, to pursue the public interest with courage, to speak for greater justice and compassion, to call for responsibility and try to live it as well." In all of these ways, I will bring the values of our history to the care of our times.
What you do is as important as anything government does. I ask you to seek a common good beyond your comfort; to defend needed reforms against easy attacks; to serve your nation, beginning with your neighbor. I ask you to be citizens. Citizens, not spectators; citizens, not subjects; responsible citizens, building communities of service and a nation of character.
Americans are generous and strong and decent, not because we believe in ourselves, but because we hold beliefs beyond ourselves. When this spirit of citizenship is missing, no government program can replace it. When this spirit is present, no wrong can stand against it.
After the Declaration of Independence was signed, Virginia statesman John Page wrote to Thomas Jefferson, "We know the race is not to the swift nor the battle to the strong. Do you not think an angel rides in the whirlwind and directs this storm?" Much time has passed since Jefferson arrived for his inauguration. The years and changes accumulate, but the themes of this day he would know, "our nation';s grand story of courage and its simple dream of dignity.
We are not this story';s author, who fills time and eternity with His purpose. Yet His purpose is achieved in our duty, and our duty is fulfilled in service to one another. Never tiring, never yielding, never finishing, we renew that purpose today; to make our country more just and generous; to affirm the dignity of our lives and every life.
This work continues. This story goes on. And an angel still rides in the whirlwind and directs this storm.
God bless you all, and God bless America.


  尊敬的芮恩奎斯特大法官,卡特总统,布什总统,克林顿总统,尊敬的来宾们,我的同胞们:
  这次权利的和平过渡在历史上是罕见的,但在美国是平常的。我们以朴素的宣誓庄严地维护了古老的传统,同时开始了新的历程。
首先,我要感谢克林顿总统为这个国家作出的贡献,也感谢副总统戈尔在竞选过程中的热情与风度。
  站在这里,我很荣幸,也有点受宠若惊。在我之前,许多美国领导人从这里起步;在我之后,也会有许多领导人从这里继续前进。
  在美国悠久的历史中,我们每个人都有自己的位置;我们还在继续推动着历史前进,但是我们不可能看到它的尽头。这是一部新世界的发展史,是一部后浪推前浪的历史。这是一部美国由奴隶制社会发展成为崇尚自由的社会的历史。这是一个强国保护而不是占有世界的历史,是捍卫而不是征服世界的历史。这就是美国史。它不是一部十全十美的民族发展史,但它是一部在伟大和永恒理想指导下几代人团结奋斗的历史。
  这些理想中最伟大的是正在慢慢实现的美国的承诺,这就是:每个人都有自身的价值,每个人都有成功的机会,每个人天生都会有所作为的。美国人民肩负着一种使命,那就是要竭力将这个诺言变成生活中和法律上的现实。虽然我们的国家过去在追求实现这个承诺的途中停滞不前甚至倒退,但我们仍将坚定不移地完成这一使命。
  在上个世纪的大部分时间里,美国自由民主的信念犹如汹涌大海中的岩石。现在它更像风中的种子,把自由带给每个民族。在我们的国家,民主不仅仅是一种信念,而是全人类的希望。民主,我们不会独占,而会竭力让大家分享。民主,我们将铭记于心并且不断传播。225年过去了,我们仍有很长的路要走。
  有很多公民取得了成功,但也有人开始怀疑,怀疑我们自己的国家所许下的诺言,甚至怀疑它的公正。失败的教育,潜在的偏见和出身的环境限制了一些美国人的雄心。有时,我们的分歧是如此之深,似乎我们虽身处同一个大陆,但不属于同一个国家。我们不能接受这种分歧,也无法容许它的存在。我们的团结和统一,是每一代领导人和每一个公民的严肃使命。在此,我郑重宣誓:我将竭力建设一个公正、充满机会的统一国家。我知道这是我们的目标,因为上帝按自己的身形创造了我们,上帝高于一切的力量将引导我们前进。
  对这些将我们团结起来并指引我们向前的原则,我们充满信心。血缘、出身或地域从未将美国联合起来。只有理想,才能使我们心系一处,超越自己,放弃个人利益,并逐步领会何谓公民。每个孩子都必须学习这些原则。每个公民都必须坚持这些原则。每个移民,只有接受这些原则,才能使我们的国家不丧失而更具美国特色。
  今天,我们在这里重申一个新的信念,即通过发扬谦恭、勇气、同情心和个性的精神来实现我们国家的理想。美国在它最鼎盛时也没忘记遵循谦逊有礼的原则。一个文明的社会需要我们每个人品质优良,尊重他人,为人公平和宽宏大量。
  有人认为我们的政治制度是如此的微不足道,因为在和平年代,我们所争论的话题都是无关紧要的。但是,对我们美国来说,我们所讨论的问题从来都不是什么小事。如果我们不领导和平事业,那么和平将无人来领导;如果我们不引导我们的孩子们真心地热爱知识、发挥个性,他们的天分将得不到发挥,理想将难以实现。如果我们不采取适当措施,任凭经济衰退,最大的受害者将是平民百姓。
  我们应该时刻听取时代的呼唤。谦逊有礼不是战术也不是感情用事。这是我们最坚定的选择--在批评声中赢得信任;在混乱中寻求统一。如果遵循这样的承诺,我们将会享有共同的成就。
  美国有强大的国力作后盾,将会勇往直前。
  在大萧条和战争时期,我们的人民在困难面前表现得无比英勇,克服我们共同的困难体现了我们共同的优秀品质。现在,我们正面临着选择,如果我们作出正确的选择,祖辈一定会激励我们;如果我们的选择是错误的,祖辈会谴责我们的。上帝正眷顾着这个国家,我们必须显示出我们的勇气,敢于面对问题,而不是将它们遗留给我们的后代。
  我们要共同努力,健全美国的学校教育,不能让无知和冷漠吞噬更多的年轻生命。我们要改革社会医疗和保险制度,在力所能及的范围内拯救我们的孩子。我们要减低税收,恢复经济,酬劳辛勤工作的美国人民。我们要防患于未然,懈怠会带来麻烦。我们还要阻止武器泛滥,使新的世纪摆脱恐怖的威胁。
  反对自由和反对我们国家的人应该明白:美国仍将积极参与国际事务,力求世界力量的均衡,让自由的力量遍及全球。这是历史的选择。我们会保护我们的盟国,捍卫我们的利益。我们将谦逊地向世界人民表示我们的目标。我们将坚决反击各种侵略和不守信用的行径。我们要向全世界宣传孕育了我们伟大民族的价值观。
  正处在鼎盛时期的美国也不缺乏同情心。
  当我们静心思考,我们就会明了根深蒂固的贫穷根本不值得我国作出承诺。无论我们如何看待贫穷的原因,我们都必须承认,孩子敢于冒险不等于在犯错误。放纵与滥用都为上帝所不容。这些都是缺乏爱的结果。监狱数量的增长虽然看起来是有必要的,但并不能代替我们心中的希望-人人遵纪守法。
  哪里有痛苦,我们的义务就在哪里。对我们来说,需要帮助的美国人不是陌生人,而是我们的公民;不是负担,而是急需救助的对象。当有人陷入绝望时,我们大家都会因此变得渺小。
  对公共安全和大众健康,对民权和学校教育,政府都应负有极大的责任。然而,同情心不只是政府的职责,更是整个国家的义务。有些需要是如此的迫切,有些伤痕是如此的深刻,只有导师的爱抚、牧师的祈祷才能有所感触。不论是教堂还是慈善机构、犹太会堂还是清真寺,都赋予了我们的社会它们特有的人性,因此它们理应在我们的建设和法律上受到尊重。
  我们国家的许多人都不知道贫穷的痛苦。但我们可以听到那些感触颇深的人们的倾诉。我发誓我们的国家要达到一种境界:当我们看见受伤的行人倒在远行的路上,我们决不会袖手旁观。
  正处于鼎盛期的美国重视并期待每个人担负起自己的责任。
  鼓励人们勇于承担责任不是让人们充当替罪羊,而是对人的良知的呼唤。虽然承担责任意味着牺牲个人利益,但是你能从中体会到一种更加深刻的成就感。
  我们实现人生的完整不单是通过摆在我们面前的选择,而且是通过我们的实践来实现。我们知道,通过对整个社会和我们的孩子们尽我们的义务,我们将得到最终自由。
  我们的公共利益依赖于我们独立的个性;依赖于我们的公民义务,家庭纽带和基本的公正;依赖于我们无数的、默默无闻的体面行动,正是它们指引我们走向自由。
  在生活中,有时我们被召唤着去做一些惊天动地的事情。但是,正如我们时代的一位圣人所言,每一天我们都被召唤带着挚爱去做一些小事情。一个民主制度最重要的任务是由大家每一个人来完成的。
  我为人处事的原则包括:坚信自己而不强加于人,为公众的利益勇往直前,追求正义而不乏同情心,勇担责任而决不推卸。我要通过这一切,用我们历史上传统价值观来哺育我们的时代。
  (同胞们),你们所做的一切和政府的工作同样重要。我希望你们不要仅仅追求个人享受而忽略公众的利益;要捍卫既定的改革措施,使其不会轻易被攻击;要从身边小事做起,为我们的国家效力。我希望你们成为真正的公民,而不是旁观者,更不是臣民。你们应成为有责任心的公民,共同来建设一个互帮互助的社会和有特色的国家。
  美国人民慷慨、强大、体面,这并非因为我们信任我们自己,而是因为我们拥有超越我们自己的信念。一旦这种公民精神丧失了,无论何种政府计划都无法弥补它。一旦这种精神出现了,无论任何错误都无法抗衡它。
  在《独立宣言》签署之后,弗吉尼亚州的政治家约翰·佩齐曾给托马斯·杰弗逊写信说:"我们知道,身手敏捷不一定就能赢得比赛,力量强大不一定就能赢得战争。难道这一切不都是上帝安排的吗?
  杰斐逊就任总统的那个年代离我们已经很远了。时光飞逝,美国发生了翻天覆地的变化。但是有一点他肯定能够预知,即我们这个时代的主题仍然是:我们国家无畏向前的恢宏故事和它追求尊严的纯朴梦想。
  我们不是这个故事的作者,是杰斐逊作者本人的伟大理想穿越时空,并通过我们每天的努力在变为现实。我们正在通过大家的努力在履行着各自的职责。
  带着永不疲惫、永不气馁、永不完竭的信念,今天我们重树这样的目标:使我们的国家变得更加公正、更加慷慨,去验证我们每个人和所有人生命的尊严。
  这项工作必须继续下去。这个故事必须延续下去。上帝会驾驭我们航行的。
  愿上帝保佑大家!愿上帝保佑美国!

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