“If you’ve got a business—you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.”
Did you ever think you’d hear so much disdain for American entrepreneurship from the President of the United States? The statement above was made last Friday by Barack Obama at a Virginia campaign event.
I can’t help but recall my Dad and Mom. Depression era kids, 8th and 9th grade educations, clawed and scratched to make a living as dairy farmers their whole life. At least two drought cycles nearly took it all away. They just worked harder, longer…and they made it.
And, in the process they made life better for my sister, two brothers, and me. From 1952 until 1965 they never took a day off or so much as slept in a little late in the morning. That’s more than 5000 mornings in a row of heading to the barn to milk those cows. I don’t recall anyone from the government ever showing up at 4:00AM to help out.
My parents were exactly like millions of other Americans who had a fire in their belly to build something of their own, and in so doing they exemplified the dignity of work, the opportunity available in this great nation to those willing to work, and they left the world a bit better than it was when they first showed up. That’s always been at the core of what we call the American Dream.
I was blessed to witness and benefit greatly from it. I understand and revere it. And, I am repulsed by anyone – most especially a President – who is disrespectful and insulting to the millions of Americans like my parents and what they accomplish every single day.
During these days of dismal economic performance and a woeful lack of understanding and leadership from the White House, thoughts naturally turn to other Presidents and how they handled difficult times.
Ronald Reagan inherited an economic recession, too. But, unlike Obama who has vilified the private sector, Reagan understood and respected business. He knew that a healthy business environment was necessary to recover from the economic woes of the early 1980s, and his leadership and policies set the stage for more than two decades of unprecedented economic expansion in the history of the world.
For 17 seconds of Reagan at his best explaining the difference between small business and big business, watch the video below. But, to be truly uplifted please take a couple moments and read the text of Reagan’s May 14, 1983 address on small business here.
Contrast Obama’s vile comments with Reagan’s reverence. Much like Reagan, Mitt Romney has been a Governor with considerable experience in and with the private sector, as well. Barack Obama has none of that experience. America has a chance to get better again in November. It is an opportunity we cannot afford to miss.
Bob Beauprez is a former member of Congress from Colorado with successful careers as a dairy farmer, community banker, and real estate development. He has published his first book, publishes a public policy website, www.ALineofSight.com, and operates a buffalo breeding ranch in the Colorado mountains.
This column was originally published here