The Most Ridiculous Political Spin I Have Seen in a Long Time

And I still remember the whole “depends on what the definition of ‘is’ is” nonsense.

Anyway, here is the deal: President Obama, some days ago, said this:

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.

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.

Then the President got attacked for saying, basically, if you are a successful business person you did not make that success happen because you had to rely on of all these other things that, apparently in Obama’s mind, only government can do. And right now, the most ridiculous political spin I have seen in a long time is being hastily erected by a whole lot of left-wing pundits who are in a tizzy trying to say that what President Obama said is not what President Obama said.

Except that, yeah, he did say that. President Obama is basically saying if you worked hard for your success, you cannot claim your hard work helped you be successful because lot of people work hard. He is basically saying if you built your company, you cannot claim you built it because you had access to all these other things that other people built. President Obama is completely wrong.

The most amazing thing is not that President Obama said something so stupid, but that people were applauding him for saying it.

Let us talk about the working hard thing. I will tell you a little tale from my own life. While attending a college in Texas, I went to a play that was put on (as best I recall) by the school’s drama department. I went to the play, but I did not stay long. I think I was there all of fifteen minutes before I walked out. Understand that I can take a lot of what other people consider bad. (I actually like the movie “Ishtar” with Warren Beatty and Dustin Hoffman.) And I have seen other college productions that I very much enjoyed. (At another college I saw a production of “Cabaret” that was amazingly good.) But in this particular instance, this particular performance of this particular play was superlatively bad. The dialogue was awful. The acting was worse. And the set design was pathetic. The whole thing was fully and wholly bad. So as I said, fifteen minutes into this play, I walked out. The next day or maybe a day or two later, I was relating this to some friends of mine while we were in the cafeteria. A few chairs down the table was someone who participated in putting on the play. And I was scolded by that person for complaining about the play because the people who had made it had all “worked really hard on it.”

What is my point? Working hard does not in and of itself mean you are doing good work. When people work hard to do the right things and become successful, yes, that is not the same as just working hard.

But wait, it gets worse.

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.

And yes, there was more applause for that as well. Pooh yi!

We did not all build the Golden Gate Bridge together. As Thomas Purcell pointed out last year regarding another comment by President Obama about the Golden Gate Bridge:

In fact, it was the ‘One Percenters’, as is the term coined of the rich and powerful these days, that built the Golden Gate, not government. More importantly, it was government that posed more obstacles for the building of the bridge than any other entity and if the Department of Defense had their way it never would have been built at all.


The Golden Gate Bridge is not a symbol of government planning or a government project—it is a bridge built DESPITE government setbacks and government intervention and is the sole achievement of individuals working in and with the private sector to overcome these obstacles.

We did not all come together to create the Internet. As J.D. Tuccille pointed out the other day:

As for the Internet … Are we still humoring people who pretend that the modern Internet, with multimedia browsers, world-spanning commercial opportunities and unparallelled opportunities for free expression is a triumph of government planning? Government might have created standards for connecting computers from different organizations, but, as Robert David Graham of Errata Securitywrites:

What’s important about the Internet is that the OSI standard failed. It’s not the standard of today’s Internet. The government backed the wrong horse, so to speak. Instead, today’s Internet is based on TCP/IP — a networking standard the government tried to kill off.

Most people concede that government played a major role, but as a participant in something that was happening anyway. Some commenters, such as Peter G. Klein, argue that the government’s early involvement pushed the evolution of the technology behind the Internet in unfortunate directions. What’s clear, though, is that what we value about the Internet, such as streaming video, vast quantities of free porn, easy shopping, sharing of data and the like are private developments by innovators and entrepreneurs.

Make no mistake, when President Obama speaks of “we’re in this together” and “that’s the reason I’m running for President,” he is not talking about protecting individual rights or upholding the Constitution. He is talking about the idea that America is and should be a collective. “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.”

As to the whole “we’re all in this together” thing, I want to say the President Obama: Yes, doofus, of course we are all in this together, and no body was arguing otherwise, you strawman erecting dissembler extraordinaire.

Yes, we are are all in this together. That is not reason to impose social engineering and collectivist ideology from the federal government. On the contrary, that is why we need to stop trying to enlarge the scope of government. That is why the Founding Fathers made the Constitution a document that restricts the federal government, not the people. That is why we need more liberty, not more government intrusion into our daily lives.

We are all in this country together. We are all in this experiment that is the United States of America together. We are, however, not in absolutely every single thing that happens in the country together. Trying to force us all to be so is the opposite of liberty. The politics of President Obama push for a social order closer to fascism than to liberty and freedom. And he is getting more blatant about this all the time. And this speech in Roanoke is a prime example.

That he still has any political support at all says, in my opinion, very bad things about the state of politics in this country. Yet, I suppose it is proof of the old saying that people get the government they deserve. We have voted for this kind of politics for several decades now, and we have the government we deserve for that action. Thankfully, some of us are slowly making progress in trying to change that.

There is hope for this country, and it is called libertarianism. Because liberty and individual rights do matter. Libertarianism is here to stay.

2 Responses to “The Most Ridiculous Political Spin I Have Seen in a Long Time”

  1. thedreamingsub Says:

    This post made me smile. “you strawman erecting dissembler extraordinaire” 🙂

  2. […] President Obama Speaks In San Antonio & Austin TexasThe Most Ridiculous Political Spin I Have Seen in a Long Time […]

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