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Obama’s American Vision: Roads, Bridges, and Shovels

July 30, 2012

It is not often that the mindset of the American left is completely unmasked by a single statement, yet that is clearly what Barack Obama accomplished in his July 13 speech in Roanoke, Virginia, encapsulated in his now famous “If you have a business, you didn’t build that.” remark. Not surprisingly, the response of the American public, or at least the segment that recognizes the worth of entrepreneurial initiative, has rightfully been loud and indignant.

Since that time however, Obama’s primary effort has been to “double down” on his comments, essentially reaffirming every abhorrent collectivist principle that he holds dear. Of course, he also claims to have been “taken out of context,” which is the monotonously predictable fallback position of every liberal Democrat under fire. Yet even his subsequent revisions of the speech completely fail to undo the outrage of his original assertion. In multiple statements, he attempted to “clarify” his commentary, referencing a previous sentence in his speech that mentioned “roads and bridges” as the actual entities benefiting business owners, but which they presumably did nothing to build.

Apparently, this should settle any uneasiness among his critics. Except that his characterization of small business owners was both wrong on its face and illustrative of even more ominous delusions in his guiding philosophy. And like the numerous bows to foreign leaders, his frequent “missteps” regarding the American marketplace and its importance to a free and prosperous society are too consistent and too deliberate to be dismissed as unintentional blunders. Rather, they constitute evidence of a deep seated loathing of everything that has made this country great. More significantly, they give an invaluable but disturbing insight to the real nature of the “change” that he and his leftist minions have long desired to institute in America.

Among the many inspiring and uplifting deeds of the late Ronald Reagan were his frequent references to America as a “shining city on a hill.” From his earliest days in politics, right up until the time he left the public scene altogether, he never missed an occasion to proclaim the greatness of the country, and laud his fellow citizens for their contributions to it. In Reagan’s mind, America represented a bastion of freedom and opportunity, the bounty of which only needed to be accessed by those individuals willing to make the effort. And while success could not be guaranteed for each and every endeavor, anyone striving to better their situation in life could be assured that they would succeed or fail based on their merits, and their willingness to overcome the challenges they might face.

As to the direction they might take in their pursuits, this was a matter of personal choice. And all who transformed their passions into worthwhile livelihoods were ultimately rewarded by reaping monetary profits from their ventures, and Reagan enthusiastically held them up as the examples of how the people of this nation can make their dreams come true.

During the Reagan years, federal income tax rates were cut by nearly two-thirds. And though liberals decried this policy, the unprecedented economic boom that followed very quickly generated almost twice the revenues to the federal treasury. On Wall Street as well as Main Street, businesses thrived as common people found they could keep vastly greater proceeds from the work they performed. In a very major sense, the tech boom of the 1980s set the stage for the massive expansion of computer and electronic industries that blossomed in the following decades.

In sad contrast, the lavish but wholly intangible promises from the Obama cabal, both on the campaign stump in 2008 and in scripted public appearances ever since (in fact the two venues are undistinguishable), dealt with such matters as lowering sea levels and righting past “wrongs” (as defined according to the skewed moral compass of the “politically correct”). However, neither Barack Obama nor his defenders ever quantified just how such pivotal changes in the fundamental makeup of this country would take place. And when the grim truth was revealed amid such despicable actions as the nationalization of the auto industry and the squandering of nearly a trillion dollars in a bogus and fruitless economic “stimulus” package, real America recoiled in horror.

Early references to “shovel ready jobs” were initially presumed to be figurative. Surely nobody really expected that Barack Obama and his cohorts might believe the best course for the productive citizens of this nation was to be driven out of their highrises and on to the roadsides to dig ditches. That definition of “work” would be much more in keeping with the typical avocation of chain gangs. Yet over time the consistency of such references has become unmistakably clear.

In Barack Obama’s worldview, “building America” consists not of achieving new heights by expanding on past triumphs, but only of toiling with a hammer on a road crew, or swinging a sickle out in some field, all to the ultimate betterment of the state. And although Americans have never been hesitant to engage in hard physical work, it was not undertaken as a faceless ongoing cavalcade of mindless drones, but with the intention of providing a better life for future generations. Now, liberals instead present it as the only worthwhile station of the lowly masses.

Like the looming prospect of a transformed nation under the thumb of government run, government rationed “healthcare,” the all-consuming “nanny state” seeks to cement its image in the minds of the people as the sole provider of every citizen’s livelihood, and thus the ultimate benefactor to which the people must render their total allegiance and loyalty. In return, they are not inspired with opportunity to rise to greater pinnacles, but are falsely assured of a government provided and government controlled subsistence, as long as they conform to all government imposed requirements.

Over time the pieces continue to fall into place. After three and a half years of legislative gymnastics and executive overreaches, this country is being systematically refashioned into the bleak form envisioned by the socialist left. Only those who accept this new version of their nation will be lauded as virtuous, while any who cling to the traditional ethics of work and freedom will be disparaged and condemned. Food-stamp America is a compliant America, and those who dare to breach its boundaries will soon find that the government intends to be their biggest obstacle.

Come November 6, the people will have one last chance to determine whether or not this is the America they want.

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Copyright ©2012 Christopher G. Adamo

Christopher G. Adamo is a resident of southeastern Wyoming and has been involved in state and local politics for many years. He writes for several prominent conservative websites, and has written for regional and national magazines. He is currently the Chief Editorial Writer for The Proud Americans, an advocacy group for America’s seniors, and for all Americans. His contact information and article archives can be found at www.chrisadamo.com, and he can be followed on Twitter @CGAdamo.