Every once in a while, Barack Obama lets something slip (e.g., during his previous presidential campaign, his comment to “Joe the Plumber” about redistributing the wealth and his dismissive remark to elite donors about how the common folk in western Pennsylvania “cling to their guns and religion”) that grants us a glimpse into his genuine core socio-political beliefs.
One of the clearest views offered by the current campaign has come with his now notorious “you didn’t build that” remark, made on 13 July in Roanoke, Virginia.
Here’s a heartfelt video response from a small businessman:
Several more such responses are available here:
And here’s some good commentary from Kim Strassel, at the Wall Street Journal:
Conservatives like myself are acutely aware that personal success relies on a complex network of values and habits inculcated by family and faith, on solid education, on a socio-economic and political system that permits it. I wasn’t all that offended by Hilary Clinton’s famous book title, It Takes a Village, which is said to come from an African proverb declaring that “it takes a village to raise a child.” That proverb seems to me true, in a sense. My parents and my brother were crucial in my upbringing. They played an incalculably huge role in making me, for good or for ill, what I am today. And so too, to a lesser but still significant extent, did a wonderful scoutmaster, an inspiring high school German teacher, the elementary school psychologist who saw to it that I skipped a grade, a handful of influential university professors, a number of pivotal authors, some neighbors, and so on and so forth.
But it’s a giant and unjustifiable leap from acknowledging that “no man is an island, entire of himself,” to paying homage to The State as the author of all, most, or even a substantial portion of what I have and am.
I will not do so.
I am not a slave.
I am not a serf.
Mr. Obama is not my benevolent Great White Father, as presidents used to be portrayed to American Indians back in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. (And, to forestall the obvious comment, neither is he my Great Black Father, or whatever, for the sake of strict accuracy, I would have to call him.) Moreover, one has to say, to the extent that those early Indians trusted in the benevolent care of the Great White Father, look what it got them.
I’m a free man in a Republic. Not a ward of The State. Not a child to be decided for by a purportedly omnicompetent government – which, anyway, hasn’t been doing such a good job with its own proper responsibilities that it should feel justified in attempting to relieve me of mine.
Addendum: Some have claimed that, along with others, I’ve taken Mr. Obama’s words out of context. But have a look at this and then try to tell me with a straight face that he wasn’t disrespecting those who’ve built successful businesses through hard work and ability.