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If You Built It, He Will Come

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It took President Obama’s infamous “you didn’t build it” speech to finally stimulate something in the economy; unfortunately for him that something was a week of blistering ridicule from producers.

The blowback was predictable – if the symphony conductor can’t read music, the folks playing the instruments take umbrage when he credits the gym teacher for all those beautiful sounds.

The President could have walked back from the precipice if he just said the first part of that sentence, pretending that he meant to say it’s a great country and we all help each other or some similar happy noises; but the damage was irreversible once he doubled down with “somebody else made that happen.”

While that might be welcome news to some slacker on the Maury Povich show, those are fighting words for everyone who has come up from nothing to make something of him or herself.  But he was not talking to us; he is out trolling for votes among the coveting class.

Envy is fuel that burns in the soul of the socialist.  You can only pretend to be Robin Hood after you have convinced yourself that those people you are stealing from didn’t deserve it in the first place.  “Somebody else made that happen” is the explanation for the looting that is to come.

I have only one question for the President: who made Oprah happen? According to him, she did not build the Harpo empire, somebody else made that happen. Maybe it was David Axelrod, the guy who made Obama happen. Or maybe Tony Resko, the racketeer who made the Obamas’ house happen.

Whoever it was that made Oprah happen, they gave her a lot more money than Mitt Romney’s got, so let’s start “spreadin’ the wealth around” by making her give half to Mitt. Or how about Obama gives half of his campaign war chest to Libertarian Gary Johnson, since somebody else made that stash happen. Let’s close that income gap first and then worry about the rest of us.

Mr. Obama did not reveal anything we didn’t already know about him. The President’s view of success is simply the reverse image of his view of failure. Deflection is the center-cut essence of liberal doctrine – screw up and they blame society; make something of yourself and society takes the credit. To be more specific, “society” means Republicans in the first instance and Democrats in the second.

We are teaching our kids to be helpless wards of the state with this worthless bunk. We are encouraging them to fail; telling them that everybody tries really hard, everyone is smart, and everyone gets a sticker and a hug and a do-over. The real world must seem like a cold, harsh place for those who grew up thinking they were special.

When I went off to college in 1972 socialism was in fashion on campus. But socialism is not hip or cool and it is definitely not new. It is an idea formed in the 1800’s by old white German guys. They were shaken by the industrial revolution and raging democratic capitalism that allowed so many ordinary people to become rich beyond imagination – the imagination of those old white German guys, that is.

But to truly understand the genius of capitalism and the stupidity of socialism you need to go a lot farther back in time; either 9,000 or 35,000 or 60,000 years depending on your belief about the origin of the species. Because President Obama did stumble into one profound truth in his assault against the right half of the bell curve – lots of people are smart.

Humans have always been smart and always worked hard, just like the man said. Our brains are no larger today and we certainly exert ourselves at a tiny fraction of what it took to survive in previous millennia. Economic exchange has been around forever, likewise for language, communication, and invention – humans have been smart and hard working economic beings for tens of thousands of years.

And yet all of the trappings of modern living that we have come to depend on have just come into being in the past 200 years. Ask yourself why. Why did this not take place in any of the other two-century stretches in the history of our species? They were smart, they worked hard, they understood mathematics, and the iron and oil and coal was right there in the ground the whole time. What changed?

America – that’s what changed.

For the first time in the history of the world, the person who “built it” got to keep it. Liberty – that is all that it took to free the unlimited human capacity for enterprise and advance the living standards of the human race beyond comprehension.

President Obama did not build America; somebody else made that happen.

That somebody else was our Founding Fathers, and they had a different dream than Mr. Obama’s Marxist father. They believed that our rights come from God and that individual self-sovereignty is the natural state of being. They believed that each of us owns our person and the fruits of our labors.

They set up a society where government is limited and liberty is not. They believed in equal rights, equal opportunity, and equal treatment under the law. They trusted the people, not the people’s government, and they made the law bow to our liberty not the other way around. That is how we prospered; that is why we prospered.

Millions upon millions of penniless immigrants came here from all over the world to live free and to become rich. We are not free in America because we are rich; we are rich in America because we are free, or were. Economic liberty and personal liberty are two sides of the same coin, and liberty, not government, is the first principle of this great nation.

We now have a President who does not believe in that first principle; he does not trust the people he was elected to lead. He thinks those old German dudes from the 19th century had the right answer for the 21st. He ignores the tens of millions of lives it has cost the world in the 20th to learn just how dead wrong they were.

It is ironic that an ideology born of those old German guys’ fear of progress should call itself “progressive.” Coveting is not progress, and envy is not social justice. The President should not try to weasel out of what he said in Roanoke; it is clearly what he believes, and he should run proudly on his own record and his own beliefs.

He should open every single campaign speech with “you didn’t build that…somebody else made that happen” just so that everyone is clear about what he intends to do to us in a second term. And then he should finish each speech with equal clarity, “from each according to his ability; to each according to his needs.”

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