President Obama: ”If you’re successful, you didn’t get there on your own”

Posted by on July 17, 2012 9:51 pm
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Categories: 2012 Campaign

Picture of President Obama in front of Firehouse #1 in Roanoke VirginaLEE’S SUMMIT, JULY 17, 2012 – On Friday last, at a historic firehouse in Roanoke Virginia President Obama made the remark “…if you’re successful, you didn’t get there on your own”.  I’m sure if you read newspapers, and blogs like this one, or even listen to the radio or watch television you’re aware of Obama’s follow up comments (see the video if you have not)


I wonder if you go downtown in Lee’s Summit  and ask the owner of the Dew Drop In bar if they got to their level of success on their own what they would say.

I wonder if you go to Total Body Fitness across from the railroad station, and ask Bobby Smith if he achieved his level of success on his own, what he would say.

I even wonder if you go to Extreme Fitness and asked the owner if he had help along the way, what he would say.

There is truly a difference between humility – a wonderful human trait – and honesty to yourself and those around you.  I’m not a giant of industry, and I’m not on speaking terms with Bill Gates, but I know that while my family and my friends were always around to help when I needed motivation; in the end it comes down to my own decisions as to whether I take that extra effort, or decide to play it safe.

I suspect that the small business owners from all over Lee’s Summit will readily admit that there was someone to whom they can point to, and say: “I’m glad they were there.” The truth is that they made the choices that put them in the position to succeed.

In baseball the difference between success and failure is less than the blink of an eye.  A home run, and a foul ball are fractions of a second apart.  Connect too early, you pull it.  Connect too late, you fade it.  Connect just over the heart of the bat, and the ball flies straight back onto the stands.  Only when everything is right can you hit that coveted home run: the transfer of weight, the path of the head of the bat, the slight upward slant of path of the bat, the eyes on the ball watching the bat head hit it, and the long flight out of the park.

That ball player was taught by coaches – but so was I, and probably you.  He was presented with opportunities, and he made the best of his abilities.  He achieved, while the rest of us could only dream.  He put in the hours of batting practice, and fielding practice.  He ran the extra laps.  One day he made it all the way to Triple A baseball.  He was confronted with the toughest decision: Do you want to settle for nearly making it, or do you want a shot at the Show?

If you pay the price of admission you can watch him play ball with the Royals, or with the T-Bones.  If he pays the price of sacrifice, extra work, and the ability to hone his God given talents to the level very few others get to; then he gets the chance to play in the big leagues.

Coaches, family, friends, even strangers have helped him get to the point where everything stands in the balance.  What tips the scales one way or the other?

Business is the same way.  All of us have ideas.  All of us work hard.  Everyone likes to achieve.  Only a few have the talent, the desire, the discipline, and the CAN DO, WILL DO attitude it takes to make it a success – and even then, we are only in Triple A ball.

What tips the scales one way or the other?  WE DO!  We take all of the potential and convert it into action.

President Obama, inadvertently or purposely (We’ll never know), slapped us on the face and said that our achievements are not ours – “…you didn’t build that.”  I don’t know about you, but I am proud of my achievements.  They may not be much in comparison to yours or anyone else, but they are my achievements.

I’m grateful for the manager at the old Panel Hut in Fort Wayne Indiana that hired me when I could not figure out how I was going to pay my rent.  But that was not enough to get me my college degree – I had to work hard to obtain that.

In view of all of that, the most damaging thing would be for me to stand here tonight and agree with President Obama and say “Yes, you’re right – I’ve achieved nothing, it was all given to me.”  It would be damaging because it would be removing my own worth from the equation of my life.

Are you responsible for where you are today – or is it all someone else’s doing?

Respectfully Submitted
The Lee’s Summit Conservative

4 responses to President Obama: ”If you’re successful, you didn’t get there on your own”

  1. Patrick Graham July 17th, 2012 at 10:03 pm

    The President was not saying business owners aren’t responsible for their success, nor was he saying small business owners aren’t responsible for their business. He was saying that roads and the infrastructure allowing people to access individual businesses were built by someone else, and that we as Americans rely on each other as well as the Government to provide for certain needs, such as infrastructure.

    No matter your political views, it’s important to not allow either candidates quotes to be taken out of context.

  2. Jon July 18th, 2012 at 7:56 am

    Nice try Patrick but its not a secret anymore that Obama is a true socialist. Don’t be afraid to admit it. Don’t be afraid to recognize that it is in his blood. From his mother and father to almost every influence that he has chosen his entire life, it’s all anti-capitalist and anti-American. You can sugar coat it as he was talking about infrastructure but it doesn’t really matter. It’s all the same thing. He is saying that government is good, government is better, government is essential in every aspect of our lives because we are not capable of doing it our selves. As the article mentioned. That is a big fat slap in the face to anyone who has worked hard and achieved anything. Since baseball was used to relate things here’s my analogy. Next time your son or daughter wins a game or better yet the tournament, instead of giving them the trophy you can just have them all salute the flag of Obama and let them watch as he accepts the trophy to put in the federal hall of accomplishments. Nice try kids, but Obama actually earned this one for you.

    • Patrick July 18th, 2012 at 9:19 am

      Obama is a true socialist? Oh my word, not even in the slightest. Listen, I’m not the biggest Obama fan, but I’m a well informed enough American to know that Barack Obama is anything but a Socialist. He’s moderate left at best. And to say it’s “in his blood” and that his whole life he has made decisions that are “anti-capitalist” and “anti-american”? That’s just fear mongering. I’m not trying to pick a fight with anyone. I’m just trying to set the record straight that it’s wrong for the far right and Mitt Romney to take Obama’s quotes out of context. You can wrongly scream about him being some Communist Muslim all you want, but at least demand that the Conservative media and the Republican candidate not verge on lying by taking quotes out of context.

  3. Jon July 22nd, 2012 at 6:48 am

    Typical liberal responce. “I’m fear mongering”. And you are worried about the “conservative media”. Tell us all what conservative media you’ve been listening to Patrick. You can say Mitt and the “conservative media” took things out of context, but the whole world heard and read his comments in its enterity. I said nothing about communism or Muslim. Nice thing about this public forum, you can go back and read my words. You are the one trying to fear mongering here. Patrick, I would say open your eyes but I think it’s pretty clear that you are lost!!!