Among all the President’s preposterous claims in his defense-of-spending speech, perhaps the most laughable was his claim to be a “rugged individualist.”
The statement invokes a real rugged individualist, Henry David Thoreau, who said, “Government never furthered any enterprise, but by the alacrity with which it got out of its way. It does not keep the country free. It does not settle the West. It does not educate. The character inherent in the American people has done all that has been accomplished.”
Rather than follow Thoreau, Obama parodies him. “Through government, we should do what we cannot do ourselves. We’ve built a military to keep us secure; public schools to educate our citizens; laid down railroads to facilitate commerce… unleashed repeated technological revolutions, and led to countless new jobs and entire industries.” In other words, government educates, furthers enterprise, keeps us free, and settles the West. For Obama, it has done all that has been accomplished.