President Obama once proclaimed, “If you’ve got a business – you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen…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.”
That statement may define Obama’s mentality, a mentality that seems counter to the American work ethic and property rights – the right to keep and benefit from the fruits of our own labor.
With those phrases, Obama dismisses hard work and individual ideas. He trashes achievement. He says nothing, including proper health care, is possible without government assistance. Maybe Obama is too used to crony capitalism in his quest to transform America. It must take a heavily subsidized village.
“To take from one because it is thought that his own industry and that of his father’s has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, the guarantee to every one of a free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it.” –Thomas Jefferson, letter to Joseph Milligan, 1816.
Another characteristic of the collectivists is lying. As Paul Driessen writes:
“If we have learned anything about President Obama and his administration, it is that they are compulsive, practiced prevaricators…”
Thomas Sowell notes, “There was a time, within living memory, when the achievements of others were not only admired but were often taken as an inspiration for imitation of the same qualities that had served these achievers well, even if we were not in the same field of endeavor and were not expecting to achieve on the same scale.”
Sowell also writes, “People who succeed — whether in business or anywhere else — are often said to be ‘privileged,’ even if they started out poor and worked their way up the hard way….Personal responsibility, whether for achievement or failure, is a threat to the whole vision of the left, and a threat the left goes all-out to combat, using rhetoric uninhibited by reality.”
Charles Krauthammer writes, “The most formative, most important influence on the individual is not government. It is civil society, those elements of the collectivity that lie outside government: family, neighborhood, church, Rotary club, PTA, the voluntary associations that Tocqueville understood to be the genius of America and source of its energy and freedom….Moreover, the greatest threat to a robust, autonomous civil society is the ever-growing state and those like Obama who see it as the ultimate expression of the collective.”
In the collectivist mind, citizens are treated as orphaned children, who must be guided and cared for; only government can do that properly. Only the elites in government, the anointed ones, are smart enough and caring enough to do that “for the children.”
Above all, citizens must be taught proper thinking and action; they must be controlled so they can enjoy the resulting collectivist utopias such as Cuba, North Korea, and the former Soviet Union.
“I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.” -Thomas Jefferson
Obama’s words show that he does not understand America and what it is to be an American.
The Cato Institute has a report that bears on the matter of political philosophy: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty.
Copyrighted by Jonathan DuHamel. Reprint is permitted provided that credit of authorship is provided and linked back to the source.