Jerry Kopel


Quotes from the Clinton inauguration speech and suggested amendments:

(1). "America became the world's mightiest industrial power, saved the world from tyranny in two world wars, and a long Cold war."

should be: "American became the world's mightiest industrial power, joined with allies who first stood alone to bear the brunt of war's massive destruction, joined with them to help save the world from tyranny in two world wars, and a long Cold war."

(2) "Our streets will echo again with the laughter of our children because no one will try to shoot them or sell them drugs anymore. Everyone who can work will work with today's permanent underclass, part of tomorrow's growing middle class.

"New miracles of medicine at last will reach not only those who can claim care now but the children and hard-working families too long denied. We will stand mighty for peace and freedom and maintain a strong defense against terror and destruction. Our children will sleep free from the threat of nuclear, chemical or biological weapons. Ports and airports, farms and factories will thrive with trade and innovation and ideas."

The two graphs above are junk food, bad enough to put a diabetic into a coma. They could have been: "When the 20th Century began, anyone who was foolish enough to prophesize the world's and our nation's future could never have predicted the events that did occur. We cannot predict our future. What we can do is be flexible and innovative and recognize that issues which seem so overwhelming today may actually be of little significance in future decades."

(3), "And in this land of new promise we will have reformed our politics so that the voice of the people will always speak louder than the din of narrow interest, regaining the participation and deserving the trust of all Americans."

could be: "Politics is the art of the possible, now and in the future. There are ways to reform the political system, but carried to extremes they can lead to mobocracy or dictatorship. Thanks to our constitutionally crafted balance of power, the taint of political corruption is usually exposed and the perpetrators punished."

(but that is one paragraph he could never write.)

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