Of the many disturbing issues that have arisen in the campaign cycle of 2008 and much more in 2012, the Obama years may be best remembered as the point in American history when being successful – particularly financially successful – has become a negative rather than a positive.
America has always been known as the land where one can be free to reach his potential, regardless of how incredibly high one’s aspirations are. Anyone who lived the American dream was highly-respected in America as it was anyone’s for the taking via hard work. Being American and attaining success was the goal of many and the envy of all.
During the current election campaign, for the first time in American history, President Barack Obama and the “left” have made success in America to be negative. Though nothing has changed through the years as far as wealthy people being hardworking and – more times than not – generous contributors to society via charitable-giving and more, the financially successful in America have been made the enemy by the efforts of President Barack Obama.
The “left” has allowed President Obama to create a class warfare that shouldn’t be. Those of wealth who worked long and hard to achieve their goals should still be respected for their successes and given gratitude for their contributions. They should be admired – not shamed – for their contributions such as creating American businesses with jobs for Americans and for donating incredibly huge amounts of money to the many causes they support. And regardless of the percent of tax they are paying, imagine how much more broke America would be without these wealthy people’s taxes that they are paying every year.
Perhaps the “left” need to read more history as Horace wrote: “He who is greedy is always in want.” Of greed, contemporary radio host Neal Boortz said: “Greed: A word commonly used by liberals, low, achievers, anti-capitalists and society’s losers to denigrate, shame and discredit those who have acquired superior job skills and decision making capabilities.”
In spite of what Obama says, there is nothing wrong with being wealthy – as he is wealthy – just as there is nothing wrong with being middle class or poor. One should not be shamed for their extreme effort, intelligence in making the right choices, and perhaps even in their degree of luck. People of success have worked for their success and learned to make the right financial decisions. The president should not publicly force them to be embarrassed, apologetic, and – worst of all – bullied into being the subject of scorn and hate.
Yet, that’s what’s happening in our country. President Obama continually reminds everyone, as he did last week again at the Al Smith charity dinner for the Catholic church, that his presidential challenger Mitt Romney is rich. He has been taking a failed-stab at Romney’s wealth during the presidential debates, too. Obama knows that he has – with great effort – made Romney’s wealth a negative, and he is stressing Romney’s success and wealth to a negative for becoming president.
The question is why? Romney may be worth hundreds of millions of dollars, but by last report, President Barack Obama is worth $11 million. Let’s be honest – both men have more money than most of us will ever see. That’s right – both men, not just Mitt Romney. How does Obama get away with criticizing a man for his wealth when he, himself, is worth $11 million? If Obama really thinks being very rich is not a good characteristic for being the president of the United States, he shouldn’t be running. And if we look at how the two men acquired their wealth, Mitt Romney comes out the more-impressive as he earned his money by running an American business and creating jobs while President Obama made his millions by being a politician, writing books, and allegedly wise investments of that money.
How President Obama continually aligns himself with the middle class – and even the poor – and insists Romney is a lesser candidate because of his wealth is incredibly odd. Just as odd is the vast number of Americans who are falling for this lack of logic. Blind Obama-followers do not step back, think about what the president is saying or doing, and logically calculate. They just follow.
Look at the contradictions Obama has regarding success and wealth in this country. There is no criticism coming from President Obama – and definitely shouldn’t be – of Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey, Mark Zuckerberg, Warren Buffet, Larry Page, Jeff Bezos, Jay-Z and the list goes on and on. Obama would have no problem embracing any of these people and complimenting them to the highest esteem imaginable. And he has embraced some of these and many like them for the benefits they can give him via public support and donations.
But when it comes to his political foe, “wealth” and “success” are dirty words. Why is one extremely wealthy person embraced by Obama while another person is severely criticized for his wealth? Obviously, because of the insulting game of politics that Obama is playing – and no other reason. Criticizing the “filthy rich” is “filthier politics” on the part of the president. And to think the notion comes from a man worth $11 million makes it even more unimaginably absurd.
If Obama wants an unwritten rule that a wealthy person should not be president, what’s the figure that defines too wealthy? Obviously, the figure is higher than $11 million because that’s Obama’s worth. So what is it? Is it okay to be worth $15 million and be president? $20 million and be president? $50 million and be president? What does Obama consider to be too wealthy to be president?
In these final weeks before the election, it is time for America to tune out Obama’s ridiculous and horrendously illogical assertions that one can be too successful to be president of the United States as he has suggested throughout this campaign. There is nothing wrong – absolutely nothing wrong – with an American being successful and wealthy. It’s called “the American dream” of which many Americans aspire. And regardless of what Obama says, Americans should continue to aspire for the best they can be – for the most success they can achieve.
Obama spoke of “hope” in his election campaigns – perhaps the kind of “hope” Mitt Romney had when Obama was only a child. Decades ago, Romney got to work and saw his miraculous achievements begin to materialize. He is a success, an achiever, and more than worthy of the presidency. Yet, Obama harshly criticizes Romney for having turned those decades-old hopes into achievements. Obviously, turning one’s hopes into the accomplishments, as Mitt Romney has, is an extreme positive – not the negative which President Obama wants Americans to believe it is during his reelection campaign.
About Scott Paulson
Scott Paulson writes political commentary for Examiner.com and teaches English at a community college in the Chicago area. The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of CBS Local.