‘You Didn’t’… How to Kill the American Entrepreneurial Spirit

Written by Suzanne Olden on February 13, 2013

MH900386224I was watching TV the other night and flipped past one channel, Current TV, as it had an ad for this week’s State of the Union Address. They said the President would probably discuss Gun Control, Immigration and something else that I honestly wasn’t paying enough attention to remember, then they continued on with “Now Conservatives will hear Grab our Guns, Immigration Amnesty…” and whatever the third was. It made me think about how we, as a society, have accepted that the left’s message is normal, natural and reasonable, while the right is hysterical, crazy and off the charts unreasonable. The messages we hear about business and Americans being self-sufficient and self-reliant are a perfect example.

The left has, for decades, been telling the American people that doing for yourself, being independent and being, for lack of a better word, special, isn’t possible. When I first started noticing it, I was annoyed. Now I’m flabbergasted at how much we have bought into the message. It’s a message that is the antithesis of the American entrepreneurial spirit.

It started back with Hillary Clinton and “it takes a village.” She said it in a speech and in her book in 1996 while she was First Lady. Apparently, although there is question about its true origins, the title of her book is attributed to an African proverb that says “it takes a village to raise a child.” Except it doesn’t.

It takes parents willing to love, educate and discipline their children. At the time the book and speech came out, I was still a relatively new mother. My son was almost two and I listened to her speech in utter disbelief. “No one,” I thought to myself “will raise my children besides their mother and father!”

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Do I realize that having the help of an extended family is a blessing? Yes. Do I realize that a solid church community and good school system are also a blessing? Yes. Do I let them raise my children? Oh hell no! My husband and I raise our children and teach them our values, faith and morals. It is not the place, nor the job of the schools to teach morality, ethics and manners. All that does is leave us with immoral, unethical and ill-mannered children.

Then came Obama. He is the king of “You didn’t.” First was his comment to small business people during the last election. On July 13, 2012 in a campaign speech he said:

If you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own. You didn’t get there on your own. I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something — there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there. 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…

Did you catch the even more important part than “you didn’t build that”? He said “I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something — there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there.”

Message: you’re nothing special, because plenty of people are smart, and lots of people work hard. Yes, his “you didn’t build that” says point blank that you are incapable of doing it on your own: “If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help.” Really, Mr. Obama? You were with every single business person in America to see if they got help from anyone? Small business people in America certainly did build their own businesses. They did it with smarts and hard work, and more importantly, they did it with a work ethic that wouldn’t let them quit.

Then in January Obama took it one step further. Now, none of us are, apparently, American either! Now, he didn’t come out and say that, what he said in his January 29th immigration speech was “Unless you’re one of the first Americans, a Native American, you came from some place else, somebody brought you.”

I hate to tell you this, Mr. President, but even Native Americans weren’t originally from here either. Scientists have shown through archeology that they traveled over the then existent land bridge between Russia and Alaska and made their way east and south, eventually settling in parts of Canada, the US and Central and South America. That said, I am a natural born citizen of this country. On one side of my family since the 1600’s and the other since the early 1900’s. I am no less an American than a person from a native tribe that settled the US. It doesn’t matter how each of us got here if we are citizens.

So why would he say it? Because if we are special, self-reliant and self-sufficient people, we will succeed and not need government to step in and run our lives. Believe you will fail, and you will. We need to stop this attitude and make our next generation know they can, because to tell them differently is, well, un-American.

Suzanne Reisig Olden is a Catholic Christian, Conservative, married mother of two, who loves God, family and country in that order. She lives northwest of Baltimore, in Carroll County, Maryland. She graduated from Villa Julie College/Stevenson University with a BS in Paralegal Studies and works as a paralegal for a franchise company, specializing in franchise law and intellectual property. Originally from Baltimore, and after many moves, she came home to raise her son and daughter, now high school and college aged, in her home state. Suzanne also writes for The Firebreathing Conservative website ( www.firebreathingconservative.com) and hopes you'll come visit there as well for even more discussion of conservative issues.


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