The War Against the Entrepreneurial Spirit

When President Obama was campaigning for a second term as president last summer, he gave a speech in which he attacked the private sector and the entrepreneurial spirit that is America:

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.

What President Obama was saying is really part of the fabric of modern-day Leftism.  Thus, in Obama’s mind, successful people like Steve Jobs didn’t really build Apple Computer; since the Government built roads, the Government should really take the credit for Apple’s success.

Leftists love big government and they love to have as many people as possible see themselves as victims and as dependent on the government.

The American Spirit, by contrast, values independence, self-reliance, and personal responsibility.  The American Spirit values hard work, ingenuity, dogged determination, and an acceptance of risk.  Entrepreneurship, which I teach at the college level and practice in my own professional life, is thoroughly American in nature.

Leftist ideology, being European in nature, is wholly foreign to such thinking.  That is why President Obama believes very strongly in over-taxing the rich, which translates into punishing the successful.  This may be the first time in American history that we have had a sitting president who openly extends a middle finger to success.  He does this because Leftism endorses equality – the notion that when two little league baseball teams compete in a game, both teams should receive the same trophy regardless of whether they won or lost the game.  Sameness.  Equality.  No one is superior to anyone else.  We are all equal.  No incentive to strive for greater things.  No rewards.  This is the kind of ideology that permeates the minds of those on the Left.  And it is part and parcel with how the current occupant of the White House thinks.

But it is wholly foreign to the American Spirit.

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