Back in July, old Barack Hussein delivered a speech that may yet lose him the presidential election. However, it ought to win him the Nobel Prize for economics, to go with the one of the peace variety he claimed in 2009.
Some naysayers, who, if you believe the American press, must all be racists or Republicans (the terms used interchangeably), were bleating at the time that Obama had done nothing to deserve the Peace Prize, coming as it did a mere month into his presidency. No doubts this time – in his ‘you didn’t build that’ speech the president made an earth-shattering discovery:
People who start a business don’t make it a success by their own efforts. Most of the credit should go to the government, led so ably by Barack Hussein himself. But forgive me for diluting the fiery message by a feeble paraphrase. Here’s what Obama actually said:
“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.”
There he was, youngish, shirt-sleeved, open-collared, italicising the key words with hand gestures that must have taken months to rehearse in front of a full-length mirror – uttering a statement that one would never expect from any American, never mind a president.
A British PM, possibly. A French president, definitely. An Italian PM, you bet your bottom euro. But a US president declaring individual achievement null and void? Orating, gesticulation and all, that it’s the state that wrote every success story? Implying that the state is the senior partner in every enterprise, entitled to a lion’s share of the profits? I shake my head in disbelief, twirl my index fingers in my ears and run the video again. No, I haven’t misheard. There’s Barack again: “You didn’t build that!”
This is like the Pope stating ex cathedra that it wasn’t God but Darwin who created the world. For Obama committed apostasy, he blasphemed against the article of faith Americans hold as ‘self-evident’, to quote from their Declaration of Independence. It’s their unshakeable belief in the American Dream, that of starting from scratch, taking risks, working your donkey off – and becoming a rip-roaring SUCCESS. And doing so not because of the state, but in spite of it.
Thus America’s greatest essayist H.L. Mencken: “The state remains, as it was in the beginning, the common enemy of all well-disposed, industrious and decent men.” Now Obama is claiming that, rather than being ‘the common enemy’ of such men, the state isn’t just their friend but benefactor. In one fell swoop the president turned the dream into a nightmare.
No sooner had the words left his mouth, helped on their way by manual punctuation, than Obama’s campaign flacks gasped. They, hard-nosed, dyed-in-the-wool political mechanics, knew instantly that their boss had screwed up big time. He landed the campaign in the sort of stuff that gets stuck to your shoe sole, and now it was up to them to get it out again. The flacks’ trusted pooper-scoopers then saw the light of day.
Obama didn’t mean it the way it sounded, they explained. He just got the grammar wrong by using ‘that’ instead of ‘them’. What he was trying to say was ‘If you’ve got a business – you didn’t build them’, meaning the roads and bridges in the previous sentence. Anyway, what do you expect from an alumnus of Harvard Law School? The president isn’t like those hoity-toity country-club Republican racists. Barack, he don’t give a flying buck about grammar. He’s a regular guy, speakin’ from the heart, tellin’ it like it is.
Yeah, yeah, winced Americans. Pull the other one. Obama indeed spoke from the heart, his socialist, collectivist, determinist, social-engineering heart. What he said reflects the core of the social philosophy shared by those folk who think ‘Republican’ is a synonym of ‘racist’.
At the core of this philosophy lies the hysterical denial of the doctrine of free will. People aren’t free agents; they are automata whose buttons are pushed by anything other than their individual choices. This could be their social class, if you listen to Marx. Their nature as it has evolved from a random cell, if Darwin is your source. Their desire to copulate with their Mums and kill their Dads, if Freud is your hero. The genes they’re born with, if you believe sociobiologists like Edward O. Wilson. Anything – other than the choices people make freely and of their own accord.
Collectivism follows with the certainty of night following day. Indeed, if people are but cogs in a social-evolutionary-sexual-genetic machine, they can neither claim the credit for their success nor take the blame for their failure. Both belong to some button-pushing entity, doesn’t really matter which. Barack thinks it’s the state, him specifically. And why not? In a different situation, he just as easily could’ve said society or evolution or Oedipal longings. Whatever it takes.
One would expect that Romney, now enjoying a slender lead in the polls, would waltz into the White House after this. His rival has shown his true colours, and none of them is black – they are all various tints of red. It’s as if Obama explained why his first term was so awful, why, for example, he pushed the disastrous healthcare bill through Congress.
This expectation, though natural, is ill-founded. For socialist demagogues to be run out of town, their opponent must offer a discernible – and believable – alternative. So Barack may still win a second term, thanks to the evil of two lessers. After all, our own Dave didn’t manage to score an outright victory against the worst government in British history.
But let’s not blame Dave or Romney, should he lose in November. It’s all society’s fault.