For those who don’t understand, or think it’s all a matter of context, allow me to explain what is so offensive about Obama’s statements.
What Obama said cuts very deep for a lot of people. It is a very personal attack to tell someone that they only succeeded because somebody else helped them. That’s basically saying that you don’t deserve the success you received, because you didn’t do it yourself. Of course, that’s exactly what Obama wants to say, because in that speech, he’s explicitly making an argument in favor of taking more money from the successful to pay for more government-controlled “investments.”
Obama has made this personal by using his bully pulpit to attack the achievements of every single individual in this country. And we all know he’s wrong, because each of us knows what it took to achieve the success that we have. I didn’t get into a PhD program just riding on somebody else’s coattails. Certainly, I received plenty of help, from my friends, from my family, from my teachers, even from the government. And I know I couldn’t have done it without them, and am eternally grateful for all of that. But it was still my own hard work, focus, and perseverance that made the difference and got me to my goals. As a scientist, I spend every day struggling to elucidate the intricacies of systems that nobody else in the world understands. Every time I make a breakthrough, that is a great personal achievement. And yet, Obama doesn’t think so.
That is why Obama’s statements were so very insulting. That is why Obama’s entire economic philosophy is an insult. Obama believes that success comes in the form of five year plans and Sputnik projects for the glory of a nation. But we are not just cogs in some productivity machine that he runs. We are all individuals, and we all have our own individual goals and achievements. Collective success comes from the contributions of individuals, not the other way around. I don’t want to live in a country where I am a servant to the nation. I want to live in a country that secures the freedom for me to achieve my goals, and lets me help society in the way I feel I am best suited to.