Inaguration: Four more years

A massive crowd gathered to observe the ceremony, and millions watched from their homes as George W. Bush was inducted last Thursday, saying he was determined to fulfill the oath to which he had been sworn.

“There is no justice without freedom, and there can be no human rights without liberty,” Bush said.

The President was officially introduced to the nation, in the presence of several past leaders, as the 43rd President of the United States, amid the cheers of the crowd following his second inauguration.

In his 22 minute speech, the president mentioned that survival and liberty in America is increasingly dependant on the success it met in other lands, and that the best hope for peace in our world is the expansion of freedom in all the world.

His theme was direct: freedom and democracy at home, and the spread of democracy throughout the world.

The president was optimistic about the nation’s future. He urged the youth to believe the evidence before their eyes. He asked them to make choices larger than their wants and selves, so that subsequently, in their days they would add not only to the wealth of the country, but to its character.

He continued with the promise of bringing higher standards to schools, and building a society with wider ownership of homes, businesses, retirement savings, and healthcare.

In addition, President Bush also reminded Americans to abandon racism. “We cannot carry the message of freedom and the baggage of bigotry at the same time,” he said.

Yet his message that freedom comes at a price did not resound well in the minds of many students, who fervently maintained their stance against both the war and the President.

Ekaterina Patronas, Art major, declared the president to be “War Crazy,” and though she did not agree with him, she admitted that he deserved respect. “Why not? He’s the President,” she said.

Other students failed to agree. Diana Lara, Biology major, said, “I don’t like [Bush] at all. He doesn’t deserve respect.”

Sean Fricke, Journalism major, believed the whole inauguration ceremony to be unnecessary. “I’m totally against Bush,” he said. “He did get the vote, but I think it was rigged.”

Protestors gathered on Thursday evening, in Los Angeles and other cities throughout the country, to protest the war and the reaffirmation of the President. Many students and faculty supported the idea of the protests.

Janine Mena, Veterinary major, said that people have every right to protest and she would be out there if she could.

Growing up in the 1960’s when protests were common occurrences, Val Mitchell, librarian, believes the act is a good way of taking the initiative toward change for something one feels strongly toward.

Others believed protests do not do any good.

Patronas said, “Protestors are wasting time. Who listens to them? Nobody does. Bush is still going to do what he wants.”

Debbie Jensen, head women’s soccer coach and P.E. teacher, said that although Bush was not her first choice for president, she believes he will do a good job. “I think the job is incredibly difficult.”

While Tom Munoz, undeclared major, believed the entire ceremony to be a waste of money, he was happy with the outcome of the elections, which ushered in the inauguration.

Despite all the talk of protest and chaos, the ceremony had no major interruptions from spectators. The closest seats were sold at $125. The estimated cost of the whole event was over $40 million.