In July, President Obama spoke in Roanoke Virginia and (inadvertently?) presented a partisan antecedent Rorschach test in one of his most outlandish speeches yet. This time, the antecedent Rorschach test uses “that” instead of Clinton’s “is”.
If you’re an Obama supporter, his use of ‘that’ in “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that” means infrastructure – roads, the internet, the economy and so on. It also means everyone who sees it differently is taking it out of context.
If you’re not an Obama supporter, “that” refers to the business that you built. It also means Obama is a Socialist promoting a Collectivist theory.
(I’m including written context of part of the speech and video context of more of the speech to avoid being told that I’m taking this out of context.)
After a HUGE reaction to the speech, Obama put out an ad in which he claims that this speech actually says “we need to stand behind businesses”. Which he literally did not say. If you take it in context and consider it allegorical, given his belittling comments about “lots of smart people” and “lots of hard working people” and pretty much everything else in the speech, it’s absurd to conclude that the speech in any way implies, teaches or encourages the listener to ‘support businesses’.
The Honey Badger View
This isn’t some fallacious conservative ‘context issue’. This is a Philosophy issue!
Regardless of how you saw the inkblot, this whole concept is a preposterous and un-American viewpoint. If you claim that the antecedent is referring to infrastructure and you support this asinine idea, you really belong in Canada or Mexico and a lot of Americans would appreciate it if you’d start walking – including the American that pays you.
If I didn’t build the infrastructure – SO WHAT!? – I still built my business, NOT YOU. The infrastructure is there. Me taking advantage of it and building a company is what Americans do. It’s called the American Dream.
To build any business requires a huge sacrifice of personal time, money, family time, time with your kids, time you could be sleeping and so on. It requires that your entire family be willing to be impacted while you gamble everything to try to build a better life for them. It requires that you take a huge opportunity risk – time you could be earning a paycheck vs. building a dream – and if you fail, you can’t go back and do-over.
In this Collectivist mentality, in which part does society give me back everything I lost if my business venture fails? If I lose my house, vehicles, land, savings, retirement and equipment because my business failed – do I get all that stuff reimbursed by the Collective? NO! And rightfully so. Society doesn’t share in the risk of my collapse. To claim that society should then share in the benefit of my success is intrinsically evil.
How do you explain color to a blind person?
For the sake of example, let’s say I spend two years building my business and then I make it huge and I suddenly have $10 million. For two years my family basically lived in poverty; my kids never had new clothes, we ate cheaply, we drove old cars, we lived in too small of a house, we didn’t have Christmas or Birthdays and my kids couldn’t go to the pool, the amusement park, vacation or anything else that all their friends who had ‘normal’ dads were doing. Basically, life sucked because dad had this crazy idea and drive to build a business.
Did the collective live that way? Did society provide all those missing things? Did you come over and put gas in my car? NO! And rightfully so.
Now, I suddenly have $10 million dollars. I’m an overnight success (in your eyes) that took 2 years to materialize.
According to the Socialists, I should now have to pay LOTS of taxes. I’m now obligated to pay MORE taxes than those who have been safely collecting a paycheck because I OWE society because I built my business on the very same infrastructure that is available to them. Now that I’m successful, suddenly they care and they want their fair share! They want to un-rightfully and forcefully take it from me so they can hand it out to whomever they deem worthy of it, whether I approve or not.
Even though I took all the risk, the Collective believes they are entitled to the reward.
YOU Didn’t Build That
You know what? The Collectivists, Liberals, Lefties, Socialists, Marxists, whatever you want to call them are just jealous, selfish, greedy and mean. The funny thing is, they call themselves loving, tolerant, wonderful and so on. As far as I’m concerned, they’re just Evil. If you couldn’t tell by now, I have deep personal experience with this.
You want to “share the wealth”? Then go get your own wealth and do it. Keep your filthy hands out of my pocketbook. The same infrastructure I used is available to you. So are the teachers, preachers, garbage men, firemen, government loans, federal purchase contracts and whatever else you claim society ‘provided me with’ to be able to build my business.
I did it, you did not. I risked, you did not. I succeeded, you didn’t even try. We had the same opportunity, options and choices. You chose a ‘secure’ job and benefits, I chose to risk everything – we both got the payout from our choices.
If I’ve got a business, YOU didn’t build that. YOU, and society, didn’t have anything to do with it.
No matter how Obama saw his Rorschach test, he definitely wasn’t saying to get behind my business and nobody has any right to claim that I owe more to society than you do just because we have a common infrastructure, that’s ludicrous.