That's what the President believes. Obama doesn't believe in the prescription of hard work equals success. In that statement, he just puts it down. He just delegitimizes it. Cookie, find that from our archives. That was July 2012, Roanoke, Virginia. Give me the whole thing. "I'm always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something -- there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there." That's not what makes the difference.
The thing is, that quote has always been taken out of context. Several sentences of Obama's speech have always been artfully deleted by the talk-radio/Fox News media axis. Factcheck.org busted this myth back in July 2012, yet it still persists:
There’s no question Obama inartfully phrased those two sentences, but it’s clear from the context what the president was talking about. He spoke of government — including government-funded education, infrastructure and research — assisting businesses to make what he called “this unbelievable American system that we have.”In summary, he said: “The point is … that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together.”
Now here's what President Obama actually said, unedited and unabridged by talk radio and Fox News hacks, on July 13, 2012 [emphasis mine]:
There are a lot of wealthy, successful Americans who agree with me — because they want to give something back. They know they didn’t — look, if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own. You didn’t get there on your own. I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something — there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there. (Applause.)If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen. The Internet didn’t get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together. There are some things, just like fighting fires, we don’t do on our own. I mean, imagine if everybody had their own fire service. That would be a hard way to organize fighting fires.So we say to ourselves, ever since the founding of this country, you know what, there are some things we do better together. That’s how we funded the GI Bill. That’s how we created the middle class. That’s how we built the Golden Gate Bridge or the Hoover Dam. That’s how we invented the Internet. That’s how we sent a man to the moon. We rise or fall together as one nation and as one people, and that’s the reason I’m running for President — because I still believe in that idea. You’re not on your own, we’re in this together.
Now the thing about it, now that you've read it, is that Fact Checkers be damned, it's unequivocally true. You can go back as far as you like, and you can find the hand of government in the great successes of our nation, business or otherwise. The things that we take the most pride in as Americans are the things that we did together.
I mean, is it any wonder that our Armed Services -- not Microsoft, not Apple or Google -- are held today by Americans in such high esteem? Is it indeed because they "defend" us -- against whom? -- or because they are the last great institution devoted to a -- dare I say it? -- socialistic ethos of collective contribution, shared sacrifice, and honor for the glory of country? Instinctively, in our guts, we see the value in their honorable endeavors.
The great pity of modern American culture is that we cannot apply those same values of sacrifice, teamwork, equality and honor to making the lives of Americans better. The U.S. Military can teach us plenty; but we accept their lessons emptily, we accept their examples of self-sacrifice ritualistically, without thought or self-reflection. Glory be to them -- but shame on us!
Going further... The GOP talks about morals, they talk about values. What would be wrong with President Obama talking about the value of hiring American workers and paying them a fair wage? What would be immoral or un-American about Obama's naming and shaming those companies like Apple, Google... the list goes on and on... that call themselves "American," and yet employ most of their workers and pay most of their taxes overseas, and his demanding, "Can't you do better? Can't you be more patriotic?"
I'm not talking about a single law, a single executive order, just our Chief Executive saying what we all know in our guts to be true: so many U.S. companies treat American workers like Kleenex; meanwhile, they depend like the dickens on American consumers to buy their products. If this were wartime, if this were a time of crisis, we simply wouldn't put up with it. And yet we do. Because we believe that's just the way it is. Well who the hell said so??
|I'm fired up! WHOO!|