If I’d been asked by The Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies to speak to the DC crowd a bit before the main attraction. This is what I’d say……..
Good morning neighbours and friends of Canada. Thanks for the chance to speak here at the Capitol before your 46th President, Joe Biden comes out to take the oath of office and give his inaugural address. As a Canadian, who has been a big fan of your Country all my life, I’m honoured to be here on this great stage in front of this historic building and in a city where so many amazing leaders have delivered inspirational, courageous and poignant speeches over the decades. Who could forget such powerful and hopeful quotes that are indelibly carved into our memories.
“I have a dream”
“Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country”
“The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much, it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little”
“For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness.
I can’t wait to hear the 2021 quote that will live on as these and others do.
I’ve never been uncomfortable speaking in front of crowds and today is no exception, but this is quite the audience. I’m less stressed too because it’s clear that adhering to COVID 19 protocols means most of you are at home watching on TV or on your computer, laptop or phone. Pandemic precautions aside, there’s also concern about more violence in response to the domestic terror attack on January 6th, right here, in this very spot. There are 25,000 members of the National Guard, that will insure this is the safest and most secure event EVER for a Presidential inauguration……..it’s sad that it’s come to this but it’s the right thing to do.
I know today that you all want to hear words that give you comfort and confidence and hope. Words to help soothe and begin to heal the wounds and damage created during the last 4 years. I’m confident you’ll get those from your next President in a few moments. I realize too though, that words alone will not unite your Country. I’m Canadian, and you know Canadians don’t tell anyone what to do, especially in America. Maybe we’ll start when we’re a perfect society, but until we are, we’ll carry on the good and worthy work of closing the gaps within our own divisions and inequities. I do want to make an observation though and that is, too many of you are too deep into a rabbit hole right now. Your issues of division didn’t just occur with the arrival of your last President, no, they are decades (centuries) in the making. Solving them all, will be generational, they are not anything any 1 or 2 term President can fix, no matter who holds that seat, Republican or Democrat. At the very least now you have a uniting leader again and that’s a good start.
Your new administration has its work cut out but we’re all cheering for them. Honestly. We’re big fans!!!
It’s always been a great pleasure living next to you. Comforting really. What’s not to like? Where do I begin? You have so much to offer. In no particular order, but one of great interest to we Canadians, you’re a great place to visit! You have it all, from the mountains to the prairies to the oceans white with foam. (everybody……!) Your scientists and doctors are among the finest in the world. You’re at the top of the class for entertainers, actors, musicians, theatres, writers, researchers, scholars, educators, professional sports, (we’ll take the Stanley Cup back this year ya know). You are the world’s capital for the Global financial system. You gave the world flight, you put men on the moon, Elvis, Sinatra, Seinfeld, Tiger Woods, Meryl Streep, LeBron James, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Michael Jordan, The Eagles…all from America. There’s so much to be proud of, and I never even touched on Instagram influencers. America, your best, inspires the rest!!! You probably aren’t even aware that your country is still admired all over the world. Even with the wealth and knowledge distribution gaps, you’re the richest and an educated nation with many respected institutions of higher learning. Your supreme court can’t be bought. Your mainstream media isn’t corrupt. You run fair and secure elections. And all things being equal, you’re the one country in the world that has the means and capabilities to protect other countries and to disincentivize war. Firstly through diplomacy (with your many brilliant minds in the right places pushing the right consequence levers), also by being part of the group of Eight highly industrialized nations, whose collective clout can exert economic havoc on rogue nations and lift others out of poverty. You don’t need to go it alone. World order is a team sport and America can’t do it by yourself, nor should you. The world needs your leadership at the United Nations, NATO and World Health Organization. It’s time get back on the global gravy train. You used to be the engine of it. On behalf of the world, please start talking to each other and find some common ground.
Thank you DC, goodnight…….