Our View: The anti-American president


Our View: The anti-American president


Date: July 19, 2012
by: Observer Staff



He just leaves you breathless, dumbfounded … enraged.

Barack Obama is now incessantly demonstrating and articulating his disdain and hatred for free enterprise and capitalism at every turn.

His words and actions are anti-American, anti-individualism. He is pure despotic, the poster boy for government dependency and centralized, Marxist control.

It’s really scary. Call-to-arms alarming.

With every dictatorial decree — the latest his arbitrary executive order to wipe out portions of Bill Clinton’s welfare law without congressional approval — Obama increasingly resembles the Third World socialist, anti-capitalist despots in the vein of Hugo Chavez and, dare we say, the Castro brothers. Capricious, confiscatory tyrants.

Too extreme of a characterization?

Sample portions of Obama’s Friday speech about entrepreneurism and success in the accompanying box. Judge for yourself.

The underlying, and yet clearly blatant, message there is “the government” is responsible for everyone’s success.

As Obama sees it, individuals — with their own rational minds and choices and effort — never achieve or build or grow without the hand of the government. They never do it without the government hand that takes wealth from one and redistributes it, munificently, to another.

Tell that to Murf Klauber, to Harry Christensen, Ray Arpke, Ed Chiles, Alan Moore, Michael Garey, Robbie Ball; to Maria Sharapova; to Michael Saunders, Barbara Ackerman, Roger Pettingel, Cheryl Loeffler; to Lee Scott, Samir Raghib, Claude Engle, Weldon Frost, Woody Wolverton; to the Jenkins, Barnett and Rollins families …

We could fill this page and more of names of successful people on Longboat Key who made their achievements happen, who built businesses because of their individual efforts, not because of government handouts.

Yes, many of them received help along the way. But in the vast majority of those instances, that help came in the form of a fair exchange, because one helped the other. Business success in the free-enterprise system is always built on the free, peaceful, mutually beneficial exchange between two parties. Two parties acting in their own, rational, self interest.

Take that alleged “great teacher.” If you had one, you were not given that teacher. You paid for her or him — through taxes or tuition. You may have learned great lessons from that teacher, but that teacher was not responsible for what you learned or the actions you took to succeed. Those were your actions, your effort.

If you’re an entrepreneur who obtains startup capital for a business, you are not given that capital. It is a free, peaceful, fair trade — the investor’s capital in exchange for what he believes will be a fair return on his capital. And that return is contingent on the entrepreneur’s ingenuity and ability to make his business a success, his own effort.

“Somebody invested in roads and bridges,” Obama said. Those roads and bridges came out of the sweat and toil and labor of every taxpayer. They didn’t come from “the government.”

To hear the anti-free-enterprise, the anti-individual, the anti-American words come out of this president is beyond belief, especially so for those of us who believe the tenets of the Declaration of Independence — that we, as individuals, are endowed by our Creator with the inalienable rights of Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That is, the right to live free and the right to our property, by our own effort.

It is un-American for the president of the United States to say what Obama says. Indeed, the president of the United States should be, must be this nation’s biggest champion for the American Dream, that you can go as far and as high as your efforts will take you.

Believers in free enterprise and the American Dream, this is a call to arms.


“If you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own … “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. (italics added)
“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.”

— Barack Obama


+ Idea: 10; execution: 3
The idea was great — a proposed charter amendment for the city of Sarasota to convert the city’s governance from a commission-manager form to an elected, CEO mayor.

It should have won support to be placed on the November ballot for voters to decide. But with all of the back stories and players behind it and around it and its being introduced, unfortunately, at the last minute, it was doomed — DOA.

All of which points to a strong need for a coming together in Sarasota of three groups that can’t ever seem to get aligned.

Let’s start at the end, with Sarasota City Commissioner Terry Turner’s deft maneuver to kill Commissioner Paul Caragiulo’s elected strong-mayor proposal.

It was late Monday, 9:45 p.m. Everyone was tired, mentally and physically, and wanted to go home. The question of whether to place the elected-mayor charter amendment on the November ballot was the last agenda item.

That was strike one. It clearly didn’t have the commissioners’ enthusiasm.

Turner had good reason not to want to debate it, either. Earlier in the night, commissioners approved a measure to draft an ordinance that would place another charter amendment on the ballot — Turner’s amendment. It would revise the charter to give more power to the city manager and reduce the city clerk’s responsibilities.

Turner, with the help of the Argus Foundation, sponsored this measure and collected enough voter signatures to guarantee its placement on the ballot.

Clearly, it would be better for Turner’s amendment not to have a competing charter amendment on the same ballot.

While he never expressed that desire, Turner adroitly raised a procedural concern about Caragiulo’s proposal. He said he didn’t receive it until 1 p.m. Monday and didn’t have time to study the 36-page proposal. “It would be irresponsible governance for the commission to consider a major item” on such short notice and without proper vetting, he said.

Turner motioned to postpone discussion until the commission’s Aug. 20 meeting. Commissioner Shannon Snyder seconded Turner. And without giving supporters of the measure an opportunity to speak, Mayor Suzanne Atwell called a vote. Turner won, thanks to Snyder and Vice Mayor Willie Shaw’s votes.
Caragiulo’s proposal was moved to August, causing it to be too late to be placed on the November ballot.
Turner’s concerns about the last-minute nature of Caragiulo’s proposal were legitimate. He feared voters wouldn’t have time to understand all of its effects well enough before they voted in November.

In truth, however, no one would have been harmed by placing it on the ballot. Doing so would have given voters sole responsibility for deciding the merits of Caragiulo’s proposal. Let the market decide.

One of the tragedies here is because of the factions that exist in city politics — the business community in one corner, neighborhood associations in another, Newtown in another and none of them speaking with each other — the citizens of Sarasota are are missing a prime opportunity to debate and decide how this city should be governed for the next 50 years.

Sarasota City Hall isn’t working, and it needs to be changed. Too bad voters won’t have the opportunity in November to decide which idea they prefer: Turner’s strong manager or Caragiulo’s CEO mayor.


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Currently 11 Responses

  • 1.
  • If anyone at the Observer has any intellectual curiosity, they would have discovered that the president was a poor "borrower" of the stump speech of Elizabeth Warren. She coined most of the "un-american" verbiage.

    I would say he made a poor choice of words, but his policies and legislation are far from socialist or Marxist. Obamacare is not a socialized healthcare system like Canada or UK single payer system. It is in fact a system the resembles one that was originally proposed by our President in 1972 - Richard Nixon. In 1995 - Newt Gingrich supported an individual mandate. Mitt Romney enacted a plan in Massachusetts that is almost identical.

    I've been an entrepeneur and still am. The infrastructure of our country both physical (highways/bridges) and virtual (wireless spectrum, internet) were developed in large part through government initiatives. Many businesses have benefited from them and utilized them. Is that not true? Obama was not attacking individual freedoms, but making a point that in many cases the government is helpful and to simply say as many Tea Partiers do that taxation and government is bad is too black and white a view.
  • John Medina
    Thu 2nd Aug 2012
    at 7:44am
  • 2.
  • I find it humorous that anyone would have the audacity to name Germany and the EU as an example of how socialism works. Germany is the only country doing well here. We'll see how strong Germany is as their wealth is redistributed to Greece, Spain, and the rest of EU in much needed bailouts because of their unaffordable entitlements. The American dream is changing from "anyone with a dream and works hard can be successful" to "sit there and do nothing and we will give you everything you need while we tax you to death".
  • thomas hauenstein
    Mon 30th Jul 2012
    at 9:55am
  • 3.
  • Reading the first eight comments made me realize that they and like minded people are not acquainted with History. True enough, they may be quite acquainted with American History, but not with World History. Wake up! Read!

    It is not coincidence that Jorge Agustín Nicolás Ruiz de Santayana y Borrás [born in Madrid, December 16, 1863; died September 26, 1952, in Rome] better known as George Santayana a philosopher, essayist, poet, and novelist. [A lifelong Spanish citizen, Santayana was raised and educated in the United States and identified himself as an American, although he always kept a validated Spanish passport] famously said: "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it".
  • Milton L Pozo, MD
    Mon 30th Jul 2012
    at 8:35am
  • 4.
  • Why did you ignore my comment yesterday? Because it didn't agree with your editorial bias? Your publication is the essence of elitism.
  • Gary Singer
    Tue 24th Jul 2012
    at 6:29pm
  • 5.
  • I'd be far less gentle, but as my grandmother would say, " wash Billy
    Watters mouth out with soap." Calling this or any president a "thing" speaks little of the president, but volumes about Mr. Watters."
  • Gary Singer
    Mon 23rd Jul 2012
    at 8:50pm
  • 6.
  • Clearly the staff at the Observer in addition to having no journalistic ethics along the lines of anything resembling the truth also have no respect for the office of the President of the United States by engaging in such a blatant homiletic diatribe that can have no truth to it whatsoever. As an American expat who is a progressive blogger I live in Germany which is the richest country in the European Union. A European Union which has a population that is greater than that of the United States, whose currency the Euro rivals the US dollar's power. In a posture wherein there is a far more democratic indeed egalitarian distribution of wealth, wherein as a human right everyone has cradle to grave medical access. Everyone to include low wage workers have 4 weeks paid annual leave, paid sick leave and paid maternity leave by right of law, whereas the US does not. So instead we in America have 59 million Americans who do not have medical insurance; 132 million Americans who do not have dental insurance; and 45 million on food stamps.

    Somehow all of this is reminiscent of the line from Charles Dickens tale A Christmas Carol, when Ebeneezer Scrooge asked have we no prisons, have we no work houses? Indeed we in America while we have 4% of the world's population we have 25% of the world's inmates, and thanks to prison labor practices they receive on an average in the federal system of about 45 cents an hour. Clearly this has become the mark of a right wing pariah ideology fueled by unbridled avarice spawning a mentality that has made tax avoidance a GOP religion. This at least flies in the face of what I was taught in the B school from which I earned my MBA degree, wherein we learned that if you want good roads, good infrastructure, good schools for our kids then you have to be prepared to pay for them, because there is no such thing as a free lunch anywhere on earth except in the illusory vision of the GOP, wherein these posturing, pontificating little people are quite happy to bankrupt the nation if only it means enriching themselves and their friends in support of what they call the American dream, which in the words of the late George Carlin tell us you have to be asleep to believe it. To which I would ask how long can you tread water? Because thanks to the GOP mentality America stands alone in the civilized nations of the world in drowning its youth in student loan debt while they are living in the basement of their parents' underwater mortgages.

    Clearly the Observer's staff in publishing this homiletic diatribe that passes for journalism in their low bar, no bars hold mud wrestling match ought to be commended for they have proven that yet once again that pigs have no shame! In keeping with the aphorism as the good book states we ought best not to cast our pearls before swines, as these people are clearly divorced from reality itself. A reality wherein the United States finds itself alone in the nations of the world as the only major industrialized country in the world that doesn't provide job protected paid maternity leave by right of law. Yes the only major industrialized country in the world that doesn't offer universal medical coverage and dental access as a human right. But clearly none of this matters, because to the editorial writers of the Observer truth doesn't matter, nor does reality itself matter. The only thing that seems to matter to them is the full throated support of nothing less than the wholesale de-industrialization of America, wherein America is hemorrhaging 200,000 high wage manufacturing jobs abroad annually. Whereas in Germany where I'm resident, high wage manufacturing jobs are not exported they are grown, therein proving the obvious lie that the world economy will no longer support high wage unionized manufacturing jobs. The German model proves this to be an outright prevarication with no truth to it whatsoever, because that's exactly how Germany got to be the world's second leading export nation ranked only behind China, which has a vastly greater population. The simple fact is that GOP dogma is anti-American family and their ideology ought to be held up as nothing short of an international badge of shame in a clear posture wherein pigs have no shame! Clearly we can expect no quarter in the GOP led class warfare against the American union movement and against American working class families.
  • Democrats Ramshield
    Mon 23rd Jul 2012
    at 7:12pm
  • 7.
  • The Observer is delivered to my home every week, despite the fact that I have never subscribed to it or requested it. After reading the editorial criticizing our President as being "anti-American," which I found to be totally disgusting, I will from now on, pick up the Observer from my driveway & take it directly to the trash!
  • Elaine Zwelling
    Mon 23rd Jul 2012
    at 7:00pm
  • 8.
  • Congratulations Observer!!!!!!! Your message was "RIGHT ON" The "thing" that has been put in the White House is a Disgrace to the American people, especially our forefathers. I am sure we will be having more earthquakes with honest hardworking AMERICANS turning over in their graves. If something is not done about the totally disgusting "body" responsible for leading this country - we TRUE AMERICANS have lost all that our forefathers fought and lost their lives for. Please get your heads out of the Sand - This country is in a terrible situation and gets worse by each of BOs speeches.
  • Billie watters
    Mon 23rd Jul 2012
    at 2:38pm
  • 9.
  • This is the most vile, disrespectful trash I have ever read about the President. Not one shred of decency or truth included. And your quote "Believers in Free Enterprise and the American Dream, this is a call to Arms" sounds like a veiled request for assassination. Shame on you. I'm embarrassed for Sarasota.
  • sandy caplan
    Sun 22nd Jul 2012
    at 1:00pm
  • 10.
  • Your editorial left me more than breathless, dumb founded and enraged! It left me absolutely disgusted with your publication. I have never read such hateful and untrue remarks about a sitting president. You took his comments out of context and manipulated them to fit your own odious mindset. Obama was totally correct in saying we built this country together. Proper infra-structure, education and a well functioning society as a whole are ALL prerequisites for the success of ANY business, large or small. Any sensible person would agree to this. To say his statement was "call to arms alarming" and "anti-American" is outrageous and anti-American in itself. It is slander. Shame on the Observer staff and for sinking to a new low!
  • Baerbel Kavanaugh
    Fri 20th Jul 2012
    at 5:14pm
  • 11.
  • I expect to read strong, right wing opinions in The Observer, but today’s column, “The Anti-American president” was over the top. To characterize Barack Obama as anti-American, anti-individualism – even Marxist, is just plain crazy, not to mention completely hateful, disrespectful, and uncivil.
    I just don’t get how you can argue with Mr. Obama’s premise that “If you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own….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.”
    Yes, it is this American system of government with roads and bridges built with taxpayer money by a government, schools built and run by the government with the taxpayer money and public libraries (to name a few) that allows all of the successful entrepreneurs you mentioned to make their businesses “happen”. You could not have built the interstate highway system by yourself no matter how much money you had. You would have had some difficulty becoming educated by paying for your teacher individually without a government system in place. No matter how “hard” you worked if you didn’t live in a country with the rule of law and a court system and criminal justice system paid for with taxpayer money but run by the government, your business could be closed down and your assets taken away at the whim of the people in power.
    Successful American entrepreneurs have used their wealth to do many good things in this community, country, and around the world, but they would not be able on their own to provide the infrastructure I described above. I don’t know the individual stories of the local entrepreneurs you mentioned, but I have patronized many of their businesses, and I know that they do work hard, but there might be one or two, at least, who would be grateful for the help that someone else “gave” them along the way whether it be money, encouragement, or other support. There might even be one or two of those people who know someone who worked just as hard as they did, but their business failed.
    I hope that you will consider a more respectful and civil tone in your future columns. As a retired Sarasota County teacher, I would not have wanted my students to read this column and conclude that your extreme language was an appropriate way to communicate. I might tell them how lucky we are to have the Bill of Rights with freedom of the press, and use this column in a lesson to illustrate the abuse of that right.
    Candace Fisher
  • candace fisher
    Thu 19th Jul 2012
    at 2:39pm
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