So here’s a little quiz for everyone. Which President said this:
We must reject the idea that every time a law’s broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions.
If you guessed “Ronald Reagan”, congratulations, you’re correct. If, however, you guessed, “Barack Obama”, oh I’m so sorry but perhaps you haven’t been quite paying attention the last eight years. On the other hand, if the question was, which President just gave a speech in which he basically took a giant dump on Reagan’s successful philosophy, then you guessed, “Barack Obama”? Congratulations, you got that one right.
According to the President Obama’s speech, as transcribed by Politico, Barry was happy to declare a victim philosophy to the graduating class of historically black Howard University stating,
We have cousins and uncles and brothers and sisters who we remember were just as smart and just as talented as we were, but somehow got ground down by structures that are unfair and unjust
President Obama did start out the speech by commenting on how far the African American society has progressed the last few years by holding up, uh, Beyoncé, as a model of greatness.
Later, Obama revealed to the audience a secret pet peeve of his along with what can only be assumed was a sudden audition for a reboot of What’s Happening when he stated “That’s a pet peeve of mine — people who have been successful and don’t realize they’ve been lucky. That God may have blessed them; it wuddn’t nothin’ you did. So don’t have an attitude.” I wonder if Obama is including Beyoncé in that group?
Just contrasting these quotes from such different Presidents explains so much about how fouled up America has become in the intervening 25 years. In 1990 an outgoing President celebrated eight years of unbelievable economic, global and cultural success and took that opportunity to remind us that maintaining it required a willingness to own responsibility for our decisions. In November, a very, very, different President will likely double down on the philosophy he expressed at Howard University.
Namely that you’re success is pure luck and your failure in a some “ism”’s fault.
Watch the full speech below: