July 29, 2012 by David K. Sutton
Conservatives continue the Obama “you didn’t build that” nonsense, because lies come naturally
When you have nothing to run on, nothing to cite as success and you are all out of ideas, you can always fall back on lying. You can always take someone’s words out of context so that you can extract meaning to match up with a preexisting narrative. This is what conservatives are good at. This is what they do. So it’s not a surprise that conservatives are still citing Obama’s “you didn’t build that” line out of context over two weeks later.
Just take a look at Steve Maley’s article on Red State titled: Obama to Super Bowl Champs: ‘You Didn’t Build That’. Someone who is not trying to fulfill a preexisting narrative would recognize the fallacy right off the top with that title. It plays right into Obama’s message that there are plenty of hard-working people. By using the Super Bowl in his ridiculous example, does Maley imply that the New England Patriots (who lost the Super Bowl) are not hard-working? Of course not, and it plays right into Obama’s message – There are many people who do not reach the pinnacle of their given career path, that doesn’t mean they are not hard-working. And they had plenty of help along the way to get to where they are (ultimate reward or not). A society that recognizes this might not be so quick to demonize the disenfranchised, something the Republican Party seems increasingly comfortable doing.
Republicans spend a lot of time worrying about the demonizing of success, but since nobody is demonizing success it turns out that it’s simply cover for their lack of compassion to the plight of so many millions of Americans. It goes something like this: Let’s not talk about the real problems in this country, instead let’s talk about how Obama hurt business owners’ feelings.
Small businessmen, risk takers and entrepreneurs are the primary engine of job growth in our economy. Few if any are looking for public adulation. They just want a fair and predictable return on their investment. By demonizing them and asking them to carry an ever-greater share of the load, politicians like Obama discourage their participation.
What I take away from Obama’s speech is that we should never use our own success to judge someone else’s (real or imagined) lesser success. We should recognize that it took the hard work of family, friends, co-workers and people who we don’t even know to make it possible for us to succeed. That is it. That’s the summary of Obama’s speech. He was not demonizing people who start businesses, he was responding to a growing sentiment among certain isolationist groups in this country who think their success happened in a vacuum. This is false. Obama was calling them out. That’s it. Conservatives can continue to twist Obama’s words, just as they can continue to lie. It’s their prerogative.