It is a great irony that our Presidents Jimmy Carter and now Barack Obama sold themselves to us as builders of unity when in fact they have done just the opposite because of their eagerness to please.
Obama is now on his resentment tour, finding every interest group that he can and then pandering to them with all his might. But that anti-Republican, anti-wealthy coalition-building tour has gone off track. The smartest president in history, Barack Hussein Obama, is currently doing everything he can to distract from his latest and most egregious gaffe in a campaign that has been almost nothing but a long train of gaffes.
Now, I know that many Democrats think that we as Republicans aren’t being fair to our president because they think that we’re not giving any context to our criticism of the president’s statement. Therefore, out of fairness to our president, I will give his statement plenty of context:
“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. 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.”
Now, the president and his campaign are claiming that the word “that” refers to roads and bridges. “That,” of course, is singular, while “roads and bridges” is plural. How pernicious of those Republicans to assume that he used correct grammar! Shouldn’t they have been able to tell by his pseudo-Southern twang that he was talking down to the common plebeians? How else could a guy from Hawaii, who spent his youth in Indonesia, talk like that? He thinks that the American voter is too dumb to use correct grammar and too dumb to realize that he is attacking a straw man.
After all, who would have thought that in a presidential campaign in 2012, in a year with a $1.3 trillion federal deficit and unfunded liabilities somewhere in the neighborhood of $112 trillion, that the main issue of the campaign would be roads and bridges?
Let’s assume that the president meant what he now says he meant. In that case, his logic is even worse than his grammar. The argument that he makes in the above gaffe is taken almost directly from another Harvard-associated lawyer, Elizabeth Warren, who is now terrorizing the rational half of the country by running for U.S. Senate. As with Obama’s statement, I will be fair and give context to Warren’s statement as well:
“There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own. You built a factory out there, good for you…but you moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for. You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate.”
After analyzing both of their statements in context, I have come to the conclusion that Obama and Warren are sending one message to the American people loud and clear: They dismiss the efforts of free enterprise and individualism in favor of the state. They are not decrying just the rich either with this statement. They are saying that any successful businessman or woman who takes credit for his or her success is foolish for having the audacity to take credit for being successful.
Obama and Warren have forgotten that there are many other nations in the world with roads, bridges, teachers and other government services that have not even come close to the achievement levels of the United States. What those countries lack is the entrepreneurial spirit and the can-do attitude that allowed for the uniquely American explosion of talent and accomplishment. America is an exceptional country–a concept that Obama has grave difficulty with. It is time to celebrate what makes us great, and platitudes about doing “things better together” is not it.
If we continue to denigrate America’s accomplishments from the highest levels of government, the can-do spirit will be replaced by a mentality of complacency that will quickly manifest itself in the decline of a great nation. We must instill in people, left, right and center, the fact that prosperity and freedom are the exception to the rule. In the history of the world, poverty is the norm, tyranny unsurprising. What we have in America is a precious gift from God that, once gone, is not at all certain to come back. Life is terribly unfair, and so for us to take our blessings for granted makes no sense whatsoever. We are the few, the happy few; we are Americans.
Armstrong Williams content can be found on RightSideWire.com. He is also the author of the new book “Reawakening Virtues.” Come join the discussion live 4-5 p.m., 6-8 p.m. ET at www.livestream.com/armstrongwilliams or tune into S.C. WGCV 4-5 p.m., Sirius/XM Power 128, 7-8 p.m. and 4-5 a.m. ET, 6-7 p.m. D.C. a.m. 730 WTNT, 7-8 p.m. WGNU a.m. 920 St. Louis. Become a fan on Facebook and follow him on Twitter.