( #didntbuildthat ) Once again, Obama has shown why he uses a teleprompter for virtually every exchange he has in public. When he starts to speak off the cuff, he just can’t hide his true feelings. At a speech in Roanoke, VA Obama had this to say about business owners – all business owners:
…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.
What colossal arrogance. Not to mention being sheerly, ignorantly wrong. It’s just not that terribly difficult to ask the immediate question, “well, if that ‘system’ was so empowering and no one was required to actually do anything out of their own volition to have these businesses suddenly made by ‘someone else,’ then why isn’t everyone doing it?” The roads and schools were in place for decades before Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak decided to bend their collective talents to making something no one else had conceived of before. They put in the effort and they brought the new ideas together to build a device no one else had and no one else was trying to make. And now, we literally cannot speak of the information age without invoking the name “Apple.”
The government didn’t do that, Mr. President.
The list goes on and on and on. To suggest that no business could be made or thrive without government intervention is just so laughably untrue in the face of centuries of history it’s ludicrous to think that any reasonably intelligent person would make such a claim. And yet, here he is. And worse, he’s our President. But it does do something valuable for us that he made this comment. It shows us where his true feelings lie. And they aren’t with us and the American way of freedom, innovation, and entrepreneurship. They are same tired, blatantly wrong collectivist feelings and commentary that have done nothing as a form of governance for any people on earth except increase the ranks of the destitute and kill millions.
As an IT professional, I take specific note of that last bit I’ve quoted above and I hold it out as the sterling example of this President’s ignorance. The Internet, Mr. President, was not created “so that all the companies could make money.” In fact, that was absolutely the furthest thing from the minds of the creators of that network. ARPANET, the ancestor to the Internet, was envisioned and made in the 1960’s for the purpose of connecting information resources between the Defense Department and both universities and defense contractors. Throughout the next 2 decades the Internet was solely the domain of those agencies – the public, and most certainly the private sector, didn’t gain access to the Internet until 1992.
Do I expect the President to be conversant in the history of the Internet and IT in general? If he’s planning on using it as an example of why small business owners aren’t really responsible for their success – with the clear implication that they haven’t really earned the money they’re making – then hell yes, I expect that. It just goes to show that he’ll spout off anything he can think of to support his position that more government is the answer to everything and that we all just need to cough up the cash and shut up about it.
We need leadership who understands that this stance is just woefully wrong, someone who believes in the power of Americans to innovate and make this nation better than it is today. That is not Barak Obama, not by a longshot. We need someone who’s actually been a success in business, a success in executive positions both in and out of government. That person is Mitt Romney, the sooner the better.