Translating the President

President Barack Obama delivered his second inauguration address Jan. 21. Much of the speech was a string of unintelligible platitudes, so, as a public service, The Spectator has translated below some of the speech’s excerpts into plain English.

Obama: “Each time we gather to inaugurate a president, we bear witness to the enduring strength of our Constitution.”

Translation: Never mind the fact that I have ridden roughshod over the Constitution. After all, I signed the Affordable Care Act, a violation of the enumerated powers of Congress. I assassinated an American citizen without due process, a violation of the Fifth Amendment. I bullied Chrysler’s secured creditors into accepting less than their due for the benefit of my union allies, a violation of the Takings and Due Process Clauses. But I’m a constitutional scholar, so just trust me that I’m protecting the Constitution when I say I am.

President Obama at his 2013 inauguration

Obama: “…That they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, and among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Today we continue a never-ending journey to bridge the meaning of those words with the realities of our time.”

Translation: By saying the words of the Declaration of Independence are malleable, I can say they mean anything I want them to mean.

Obama: “Together we discovered that a free market only thrives when there are rules to ensure competition and fair play.”

Translation: Only with nearly unlimited, unreviewable government oversight of markets can we prevent economic crises.

Obama: “No single person can train all the math and science teachers we’ll need to equip our children for the future, or build the roads and networks and research labs that will bring new jobs and businesses to our shores.”

Translation: Don’t kid yourself — the individual cannot be strong. Only together can we prosper.

Obama: “We believe that America’s prosperity must rest upon the broad shoulders of a rising middle class.”

Translation: By rising, I mean falling. Since 2009, average income for the middle 20 percent of American households decreased by 4 percent.

Obama: “The commitments we make to each other through Medicare and Medicaid and Social Security — these things do not sap our initiative, they strengthen us.”

Translation: No matter how dire America’s fiscal situation, I will never be honest about the drastic changes needed to Medicare and Social Security. The political price is too great.

Obama: “We, the people, still believe that enduring security and lasting peace do not require perpetual war.”

Translation: My presidency has been a time of perpetual war. I sent 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan, have ordered more than six times the number of drone strikes in Pakistan than George W. Bush ordered, and have started military action in Libya, Yemen, and Somalia. But hey, I won a Nobel Peace Prize.


Tags: , ,


About the author

Oliver Hudson is editor emeritus of the Spectator and a graduate of Brown university in Applied Math-Computer Science.

More posts by


1 Comment

  • Loveofcountry

    Thanks for that translation. You gave me a good laugh which is a good start to my day. … Hmmm, I always suspected that POTUS’s words didn’t mean what they appeared to mean.



Leave a reply to Loveofcountry




Kyplex Cloud Security Seal - Click for Verification