A Rising Tide
“... If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.” President Barack Obama 13 July 2012
Several months ago in this column I addressed the ongoing assault from the Left, on our shared American history and values. The attempt to rewrite and recast the foundation mythology of our nation is seen not only as a favorable pursuit in such precincts as academia but necessary to advance an agenda which has little use for robust individuality and a truthful reckoning with historical fact. The bold traditions of individuality and self-reliance on which generations of Americans have prospered and which gave us such battle cries as “Give me liberty or give me death!” have given way to an administration which seems to pride itself on expanding government entitlements and a culture of victimization. Along these lines we have been witness recently to a new and progressively emboldened narrative of dependency which makes up for its lack of veracity with an overdeveloped imagination.
As a prime example we have a candidate for U.S. Senate in Massachusetts, Elizabeth Warren, who in addition to being a Harvard professor, claims to be Native American just for good measure. The problem is that her claim to Native American legitimacy, presumably in an effort to rewrite and add more ethnic flavor to her own personal history, has since been debunked as a complete fabrication. In fact, even family recipes which she had claimed as proof that she was part Cherokee, have been found to be exactly reproduced from previously published NY Times recipes of the 1970s. It appears that in order to advance her own wish to create a new history and her own vision of it as a U.S. Senator, Ms. Warren has been more than willing to redefine both her family tree and reality itself while cynically using a claim to minority status as her moral shield. It is this type of wanton disregard for the past and its disrespectful misappropriation as a tool to advance an agenda which is increasingly found to be at odds with the American public. Our current President, Barack Obama, another Harvard academic, has decided to forge ahead nonetheless.
In a speech made to a receptive audience last week, President Obama continued this pattern with what is sure to become one of the defining sound bites of the election season. His speech at a campaign stop in Roanoke, Virginia included the sentence: “... if you’ve got a business ... you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.” With this latest statement by Obama, who is also the de facto head of the Left wing in this nation, he has tipped his card hand to show Americans his true motivations. I don’t use the term “head of the Left wing” lightly but as a true indication of the ongoing division which he and his administration have been fomenting for several years now by taking sides in conflicts which were clearly not within the Presidential purview. These include the recent Governor Walker/ Union struggles in Wisconsin and the failed Occupy Wall Street movement which prominent members of his own party signed on to in complete agreement as they pushed the “us versus them” agenda. With this statement he becomes more the Leader of the Left than President of the entire United States by virtue of his own stated personal history and by his ongoing promotion and promulgation of the Left’s agenda throughout his presidency. A first term characterized by an increasingly marginalized opposing party for there is simply no room for compromise in President Obama’s agenda, only the “consequences” of his election. His own Debt Commission recommendations were readily ignored so why would we expect him to listen to a majority of Congress and limit spending for example? Anything less than complete capitulation to his administration’s will is met with a Justice Department all too willing to play guard dog of the Executive branch rather than guardian of the Republic (See Eric Holder’s Contempt of Congress vote, Holder vs. Arizona border enforcement and Holder vs. Florida voting fraud purge for more on this).
It doesn’t help that even the Chief Justice begins to wilt under these pressures and decides to punt a decision on Healthcare Reform rather than risk the danger of having his court’s entire legacy be re-written by a compliant media in the manner already described. There will undoubtedly be his defenders to state that the entire episode has been taken out of context, despite the fact that the sentiment echoes similar statements made by Professor Elizabeth Warren as well. Statements along the lines that the individual in America and the relationship to their own success is more a function of government largesse than personal initiative. Such statements by Warren made her the darling of the OWS crowd. Small wonder that both she and the President are affiliated with Harvard University. The statement is a moment of truth, however, and that is why it is resonating so greatly with the people against the backdrop of nearly four years of the same prevarications. The President has simply managed to avoid stating it so boldly up until now. The speech was made in the context of what is clear to many as an ongoing appeal to set “classes” apart in our nation instead of acknowledging that there is a fluid dynamic to class structure in America. This is ironic in that he himself, a millionaire, is the ultimate example of the fluidity of class within our nation. There is the sustained belief on his part, as is evident in his speeches and actions, that what ails America is the lack of something in the lives of those who are not considered to be part of the “wealthy” class. When in reality, what sets this nation apart is the overwhelming bounty and opportunity available to people of all classes. It is not a void of some sort and will therefore never be filled with promises of redistribution however easily they are dispensed.
What truly ails this nation is a lack of leadership when it comes to priming the engine that produces the jobs. If work is good for the soul it is the job of good government to foster vocations which help bring meaning and direction to so many people’s lives. This is his great misunderstanding because jobs are not created by fiat against the rich but by encouraging individual achievement as a cornerstone of our national psyche.
In rewriting the motivational factors that underpin this country, academics from Harvard fail to grasp one of the most basic motivators. That is, an understanding that Americans of all ethnic backgrounds and social levels are connected (not divided) by a spirit of investing in the fulfillment of their own individual dreams and not in those prescribed from an Ivory Tower for mass consumption.