Obama: Successful people didn’t make it on their own

In case you weren’t already convinced that President Obama is anti-capitalism and anti-success, his comments from a recent speech are sure to clear that confusion right up.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: And, you know, there are a lot of wealthy, successful Americans who agree with me. Because they want to give something back. They know they didn't – look, 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 just because I was 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 hard working people out there.

If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. 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.

“This is great,” Glenn said on radio this morning in reaction to the President’s remarks.

Yes, successful people rely on others to help them get to where they are – Glenn is a perfect example of this – but the President took the idea to a whole different extreme when he insinuated that successful people are only successful because of the government.

That makes so much sense.

The misconception that only the people who run a company benefit from it's success, creating that pesky 1%, is ludicrous. Glenn went around the radio room pointing out that Stu, Pat, and even Jeffy had all financially and personally benefited from Glenn's success. They helped him become a radio superstar, and in return they have become successful as well. Glenn said that kind of mutual benefit happens when companies are run right, and when it doesn't happen those businesses usually do not last.

With Obama’s logic in place, one has to wonder how someone like Henry Ford became so successful.

“Now I have to ask,” Glenn said sarcastically. “How was Henry Ford successful if there weren't roads?! There weren't roads! We had to build the roads for the cars that Henry Ford built!”

“How was he successful? How is that possible,” he continued. “Henry Ford failed three times, three times. He tried the assembly line three times. He kept going to investors, not the government, the investors and saying, Okay, I know I blew it the last time, but this time I've got it and then he blew it the second time. Okay, okay, okay. Guys, guys, this time I've got it. Finally he got it. It took him, like, 15 years.”

So can we thank the government for Ford’s success? No! But we can thank the group of private investors who believed in Ford and his idea.

“Now, Mr. Obama says that if you succeed in America you didn't do it on your own,” Glenn said. “Well, you know, tell me something, Mr. Obama. How come Solyndra has failed? You are trying to force people. You're forcing towns and states, you're forcing insurance companies, you're forcing everybody to depend on you. We don't want to depend on you! We don't want you! We don't want the big, fat government in our lives!”

Based on Obama’s comments it seems as though he places no value on the individual. He is essentially saying the playing field is leveled because everyone is exactly the same.

“Give a monkey enough time and he'll invent a car. Give a monkey enough time and he'll write the Bible,” Glenn said. “No, he won't. No, he won't. Not everybody is a great writer. Not everybody is a genius. Not everybody can do what you do. We're all unique. Whatever it is you're doing in your job right now, I can guarantee you I can't do it.”

“It's such communist philosophy,” Pat added. “We are all the same. We’re all exactly the same.”

This was one of the first homesteads in the area in the 1880's and was just begging to be brought back to its original glory — with a touch of modern. When we first purchased the property, it was full of old stuff without any running water, central heat or AC, so needless to say, we had a huge project ahead of us. It took some vision and a whole lot of trust, but the mess we started with seven years ago is now a place we hope the original owners would be proud of.

To restore something like this is really does take a village. It doesn't take much money to make it cozy inside, if like me you are willing to take time and gather things here and there from thrift shops and little antique shops in the middle of nowhere.

But finding the right craftsman is a different story.

Matt Jensen and his assistant Rob did this entire job from sketches I made. Because he built this in his off hours it took just over a year, but so worth the wait. It wasn't easy as it was 18"out of square. He had to build around that as the entire thing we felt would collapse. Matt just reinforced the structure and we love its imperfections.

Here are a few pictures of the process and the transformation from where we started to where we are now:

​How it was

It doesn't look like much yet, but just you wait and see!

By request a photo tour of the restored cabin. I start doing the interior design in earnest tomorrow after the show, but all of the construction guys are now done. So I mopped the floors, washed the sheets, some friends helped by washing the windows. And now the unofficial / official tour.

The Property

The views are absolutely stunning and completely peaceful.

The Hong Kong protesters flocking to the streets in opposition to the Chinese government have a new symbol to display their defiance: the Stars and Stripes. Upset over the looming threat to their freedom, the American flag symbolizes everything they cherish and are fighting to preserve.

But it seems our president isn't returning the love.

Trump recently doubled down on the United States' indifference to the conflict, after initially commenting that whatever happens is between Hong Kong and China alone. But he's wrong — what happens is crucial in spreading the liberal values that America wants to accompany us on the world stage. After all, "America First" doesn't mean merely focusing on our own domestic problems. It means supporting liberal democracy everywhere.

The protests have been raging on the streets since April, when the government of Hong Kong proposed an extradition bill that would have allowed them to send accused criminals to be tried in mainland China. Of course, when dealing with a communist regime, that's a terrifying prospect — and one that threatens the judicial independence of the city. Thankfully, the protesters succeeded in getting Hong Kong's leaders to suspend the bill from consideration. But everyone knew that the bill was a blatant attempt by the Chinese government to encroach on Hong Kong's autonomy. And now Hong Kong's people are demanding full-on democratic reforms to halt any similar moves in the future.

After a generation under the "one country, two systems" policy, the people of Hong Kong are accustomed to much greater political and economic freedom relative to the rest of China. For the protesters, it's about more than a single bill. Resisting Xi Jinping and the Communist Party means the survival of a liberal democracy within distance of China's totalitarian grasp — a goal that should be shared by the United States. Instead, President Trump has retreated to his administration's flawed "America First" mindset.

This is an ideal opportunity for the United States to assert our strength by supporting democratic values abroad. In his inaugural address, Trump said he wanted "friendship and goodwill with the nations of the world" while "understanding that it is the right of all nations to put their interests first." But at what point is respecting sovereignty enabling dictatorships? American interests are shaped by the principles of our founding: political freedom, free markets, and human rights. Conversely, the interests of China's Communist Party are the exact opposite. When these values come into conflict, as they have in Hong Kong, it's our responsibility to take a stand for freedom — even if those who need it aren't within our country's borders.

Of course, that's not a call for military action. Putting pressure on Hong Kong is a matter of rhetoric and positioning — vital tenets of effective diplomacy. When it comes to heavy-handed world powers, it's an approach that can really work. When the Solidarity movement began organizing against communism in Poland, President Reagan openly condemned the Soviet military's imposition of martial law. His administration's support for the pro-democracy movement helped the Polish people gain liberal reforms from the Soviet regime. Similarly, President Trump doesn't need to be overly cautious about retribution from Xi Jinping and the Chinese government. Open, strong support for democracy in Hong Kong not only advances America's governing principles, but also weakens China's brand of authoritarianism.

After creating a commission to study the role of human rights in U.S. foreign policy, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo wrote last month that the principles of our Constitution are central "not only to Americans," but to the rest of the world. He was right — putting "America First" means being the first advocate for freedom across the globe. Nothing shows the strength of our country more than when, in crucial moments of their own history, other nations find inspiration in our flag.

Let's join the people of Hong Kong in their defiance of tyranny.

Matt Liles is a writer and Young Voices contributor from Austin, Texas.

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