Ever since last week when Barack Obama said, If youve got a business --you didnt build that. Somebody else made that happen, his far-left backers have gone to great lengths to minimize the damage. One of the most frequent refrains is a call for context.
OK, lets look at the context, shall we?
There are a lot of wealthy, successful Americans who agree with me -- because they want to give something back. They know they didnt -- look, if youve been successful, you didnt get there on your own.
Im 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 hard-working people out there.
If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help, Obama said. 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 youve got a business -- you didnt build that. Somebody else made that happen. The Internet didnt get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.
Context may actually make it worse.
Clearly, this was not just some gaffe. This is actually what our president and his staff believe. The leader of the free world does not believe in meritocracy. Thats just mind-boggling. But as much as I would like to know how he thinks he got elected president, wrote bestselling books, and won the Nobel Peace Prize without hard work --OK, maybe the last one isnt the best example --there is a greater question at stake: namely, what do Democrats believe?
On the one hand, their eagerness to insist on context suggests that they understand entrepreneurs really do build their own businesses and provide millions of jobs. They rightly see the presidents claims as ludicrous and are trying to walk them back. This makes sense: Many Democrats are business owners themselves. On the other hand, the president was essentially parroting a speech made by Elizabeth Warren earlier this year. Big surprise: she doesnt think small-business owners create growth, either. To her, government is the be-all, end-all of our economy.
So which is it, Democrats? Do you respect our nations small-business owners and job creators, meaning that our president has advanced an attack on the fundamental American values of hard work and self-reliance? Or do you support the president, meaning you have no regard for the backbone of our economy and no understanding of how enterprise works? You cant have it both ways.
U.S. Rep. Connie Mack IV, R-Fla., is running for the Republican nomination to challenge U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla.