My two favorites of the memes...
So, the right-wing has gone into a frenzy over remarks by Obama that seemed to me at least, perfectly unremarkable. He said, to wit:
“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. The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together.”
Pure heresy! I know that we Americans like to believe that we are all rugged individuals, possessors of steely resolve and iron determination, but to get to any level of success, you are going to need some help and cooperation from your fellow man in several forms or the other. You are guaranteed to use some government resources to get to the highest pinnacles. This was a fact that I thought was very much understood, but apparently to Republicans, every man is indeed an island.
Republicans tend to believe whole-heartedly in "American exceptionalism”, the idea that the American people hold a special place in the world, by offering opportunity and hope for humanity, derived from its unique balance of public and private interests governed by constitutional ideals that are focused on personal and economic freedom. Yet, some seem to have difficulty understanding that “invisible hand” helping them to achieve their goals isn’t just the market, but other people, who buy their products, give them an education, drive their trucks, finance the networks that they rely on, deliver their mail, etc. Other people also help to provide and maintain a stable government which helps businesses thrive and grow.
The Romney response to that concept is this:
“The idea to say that Steve Jobs didn’t build Apple, that Henry Ford didn’t build Ford Motor, that Papa John didn’t build Papa John Pizza, that Ray Kroc didn’t build McDonald’s, that Bill Gates didn’t build Microsoft, you go on the list, that Joe and his colleagues didn’t build this enterprise, to say something like that is not just foolishness, it is insulting to every entrepreneur, every innovator in America, and it’s wrong.
“And by the way, the president’s logic doesn’t just extend to the entrepreneurs that start a barber shop or a taxi operation or an oil field service business like this and a gas service business like this, it also extends to everybody in America that wants to lift themself [sic] up a little further, that goes back to school to get a degree and see if they can get a little better job, to somebody who wants to get some new skills and get a little higher income, to somebody who have, may have dropped out that decides to get back in school and go for it. . . . The president would say, well you didn’t do that. You couldn’t have gotten to school without the roads that government built for you. You couldn’t have gone to school without teachers. So you didn’t, you are not responsible for that success. President Obama attacks success and therefore under President Obama we have less success and I will change that.”
P.S. Dude in the Romney ad received millions in government money...