by Toby Young, Telegraph
What a contrast last night's Inaugural Address
was compared to the one President Obama gave four years ago. Gone was any attempt to reach out to his Republican opponents. In its place was an aggressive assertion of modern liberalism, with the emphasis on gay rights, gun control, gender equality, combating climate change and – if his remarks about Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and income inequality are anything to go by – redistributive taxation. This is a fully-fledged socialist agenda that will leave the the 47.2 per cent of Americans who didn't vote for Obama feeling ostracised and angry. If this is going to be the tone of Obama's second term, the next four years are likely to see America more divided than at any time since the 1960s.
Obama's opponents will claim – rightly – that he has no mandate for his egalitarian agenda. He made numerous attempts yesterday to claim the mantle of previous presidents who've advanced the cause of equality, including Abraham Lincoln. But he overlooked the fact that in almost every case they were able to take the majority of the American public with them thanks to exceptional historical circumstances.
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