What would politics be without a little truth distortion here and there? Consider:
As expected, Republicans have been all over this, stripping the speech of every single ounce of context and leaving the term “that” to refer to businesses as opposed to all the things the government contributed to help businesses. Romney’s supporters offered some ridiculously twisted version of what the President said, using it to promulgate the notion that he doesn’t support American businesses and, is ultimately anti-American. Rush and his talk radio crew along with scores of elected officials have been using this as a rallying cry prove Obama’s out-of-touchness. I mean, even Fox News stooped to an all-time low by inviting two kids on who run a lemonade stand, asking for their comments. Seriously. I’m not making that sh*t up.
Fortunately for you good folks, the intrepid host of this blog is on the scene. As fun as it was to just show that clip and leave you to believe that Obama is decidedly anti-small business, the TRUTH tells a much different story. Here’s the transcript of that Obama actually said.
“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.”
Perhaps Obama didn’t use the best grammar, and maybe his speeches are more fluid and concise when he uses a teleprompter. Or maybe, Obama made a grave mistake by assuming the American people were smart enough to understand what THAT meant in the proper context. But given the declining literacy rate in this country (and the increased viewership on Fox News. Coincidence?), and people’s increased tendency to have their opinions informed by sensationalism and the 24 hours news cycle, I am growing more pessimistic by the day. This is why I hate Republicans. They take people who are hungry for something and feed them manure packaged as facts. Sure, Democrats are also guilty of distorting the truth, taking things horribly out of context, and presenting a much different view of reality. But let’s not kid ourselves here. Republicans are the lords and masters of lying and distorting truths to satisfy their own agendas.
It’s pretty clear to me that investment in infrastructure is critical to the success of private entrepreneurship. I’d take it a step further by suggesting that having a financially and physically healthy society is conducive to the success of businesses. People are are jobless, broke, or dead from some very treatable (but incredibly expensive) illness don’t buy goods and services; least of all through private businesses. If the government can make some of that happen, why stop it?
Side note: wasn’t it our dear friend Willard who told Olympic athletes they didn’t “…get here solely on [their] own power”? Also, our friend Jack Gilcrest, the business owner in the clip. Congratulations on running your business ALL on your own, with no government support whatsoever.
…and a silence falls over the Republican party.