The Platitudes President

Obama warps the concept of the American dream

If you didn’t see President Obama’s State of the Union speech Tuesday night, don’t sweat it. You probably saw the same speech a year or two ago.


A little research has unearthed the naked truth that Mr. Obama’s platitudes are bald retreads – an amazing number of them astoundingly, unashamedly lifted straight from his past addresses. Is that a result of scam or sloth?

Just one example:

• In 2010: “And we should continue the work of fixing our broken immigration system.”

• In 2011: “I strongly believe that we should take on, once and for all, the issue of illegal immigration.”

• In 2012: “I believe as strongly as ever that we should take on illegal immigration.”

Wow. You can’t make this stuff up.

Notice two things about his statements across three years – other than their jaw-dropping repetitiveness, like a number of his boiler plate phrases: 1) it never gets done, no matter how “strongly” he feels about it, and 2) he doesn’t say what he wants done about it.

Ah, but there’s a reason for not saying: Mr. Obama knows when he’s talking to a broad swath of America – such as in a State of the Union address. He trots out all the moderate buzzwords for our problems, but doesn’t spell out the far-left solutions he has been otherwise pursuing.

How empty are this president’s platitudes? Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, said Wednesday that he agreed with 80 percent of what the president says, and disagrees with 80 percent of what he does. One example is Mr. Obama’s oft-stated claim to want to grow jobs and energy, compared with his shutdown of the Keystone XL pipeline project, which would grow both.

But it is when he talks of the American dream that Mr. Obama’s rhetoric is the most empty, and even misguided.

He talks about the opportunity to have a job and home – but suggests that it’s the richest Americans’ alleged failure to pay their fair share in taxes that is somehow stunting your ability to get a job and home. Exactly how does that work again? More taxes, bigger government, equals more opportunity? Less money in your boss’ pocket means more hope for you?

That’s just inane. But it’s precisely that government-centric notion of “fairness” that is the odd cornerstone of his entire presidency.

And let’s talk about fairness, which the president trotted out prominently Tuesday night – calling it, in fact, “the defining issue of our time.” He talks – notably, again, in a speech aimed at a vast mainstream America – about ensuring a “fair shot.”


But in a free country, that doesn’t mean equality of outcome. Moreover, disparities in wealth aren’t inherently unfair, as the president and his supporters like to put on. They’re most often the result of variations in talent, skill, focus, desire, determination, work ethic, upbringing, choices and more.

In addition, how you end up in life also has a lot to do with how responsible you are. People are infinitely less likely to succeed who have children out of wedlock, particularly at a young age; abuse themselves with substances; overindulge in self-gratification; drop out of school; commit crimes; adopt defeatist attitudes and more.

To understand how fundamentally this man misunderstands the concept of the American dream, just consider his recent lament that “we can’t go back” to “you’re-on-your-own economics.” What he fails to understand, or refuses to acknowledge, is that – while there’s always help out there, and no country is more compassionate than America – being “on your own” is a beautiful, liberating, uplifting thing.



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