Obama's Robust Defense of Statism - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Obama’s Robust Defense of Statism

On Tuesday night, we, the American people, were swindled by our own president, not merely out of cash, but out of our most cherished national ideal: independence.

The deception was deliberate. With all the charm he could muster, the president who spent the last two years elongating the tentacles of the leviathan delivered an aria of adoration for the symbol of global prosperity and ingenuity: the American entrepreneur.  

“At stake is whether new jobs and industries take root in this country, or somewhere else,” he began.”  It’s whether the hard work and industry of our people is rewarded.”

He continued, “…the stock market has come roaring back.  Corporate profits are up.  The economy is growing again.”

My god…Barack Obama is delivering Mitt Romney’s speech.

“No country has more successful companies, or grants more patents to inventors and entrepreneurs…. What’s more, we are the first nation to be founded for the sake of an idea — the idea that each of us deserves the chance to shape our own destiny… We need to out-innovate, out-educate, and out-build the rest of the world.” 

The man who bore the law that compels each of us to buy health insurance says the very foundation of our nation is “the idea that each of us deserves the chance to shape our own destiny.”

The incompatibility of Obama’s signature legislative accomplishment with what he identified on Tuesday night as the founding idea of our country is as plain as the nose on George Washington’s face. Obama’s goal on Tuesday: blur the line. Make the two seem closer than they really are.

So he spoke with enthusiasm (summoning passion for the topic was beyond even his considerable gifts) of America’s independent spirit, the father of our robust innovation culture.

“What we can do — what America does better than anyone else — is spark the creativity and imagination of our people. We’re the nation that put cars in driveways and computers in offices; the nation of Edison and the Wright brothers; of Google and Facebook.”

Yet just when it appears that this is a speech made in tribute to the independent American entrepreneur, Obama reveals the real hero: the state.

“Our free enterprise system is what drives innovation. But [with Obama, there is always a “but”] because it’s not always profitable for companies to invest in basic research, throughout our history, our government has provided cutting-edge scientists and inventors with the support that they need. That’s what planted the seeds for the Internet. That’s what helped make possible things like computer chips and GPS. Just think of all the good jobs — from manufacturing to retail — that have come from these breakthroughs.”

Bait… and switch.

Save the introductory lines about Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, Obama spent the first 19 percent of his speech praising American entrepreneurship and individualism. The remaining 81 percent? A sales pitch for breaking the individual to the saddle of the state.

In Obama’s narrative, the individual is not the source of America’s success and prosperity — the state is. In every sector of the economy — from health care to energy to technology to transportation — Obama set this scene: Idea men and financiers are this close to moving us forward; all they need is the nudge, and that nudge can come only from the government.

For instance: “Within the next five years, we’ll make it possible for businesses to deploy the next generation of high-speed wireless coverage to 98 percent of all Americans.”

We? In Obama’s world, without Washington’s help not even the great American telecommunications companies can find ways to saturate the market with their most expensive product.

Within the grand swindle of the speech were many smaller swindles, all structured the same way: a statement sounding vaguely conservative, followed by a “but” that transitions into a robust defense of government activism.

If President Obama’s trust were in free enterprise, would he have delivered as his one piece of advice to young people, these lines: “If you want to make a difference in the life of our nation; if you want to make a difference in the life of a child — become a teacher. Your country needs you.”

The president’s true goal with Tuesday night’s speech came in these 16 words: “In the coming year, we’ll also work to rebuild people’s faith in the institution of government.”

One year from now the people of Iowa and New Hampshire will begin the process of selecting Obama’s challenger in 2012. He has a year, a year-and-a-half at most, to “rebuild people’s faith in the institution of government.” Tuesday night’s speech was the opening salvo in that long campaign.

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