My guess is that, new or not, a lot will will be presented about where we've been and where we need to go during the next four years. If it was up to me, tomorrow's speech would focus on our Nation's past, specifically on three traditions that shaped this nation from its earliest days. A look back at our past may help guide us during the uncertain future that always seems to lie ahead. The three traditions would be these:
- We are a nation that pays its debts. After the Revolutionary War, the willingness to pay our just war debts was crucial to gaining early international acceptance.
- We are a nation that believes in compromise. We would not have our Constitution without it. At critical points in our history, compromise has been the solution, not the problem.
- The Constitution is a living document, subject to interpretation. No sooner was it approved then we amended it, not once, but ten times. The agreement to consider the Bill of Rights after ratification was a compromise essential to passage of the Constitution.