President Obama likes to talk about "who we are" on the stump, but his campaign for reelection says far more about who he is. He is someone who holds the vast majority of his fellow citizens in contempt, specifically anyone who has worked in the segment of the economy that he has avoided during his own career -- the private sector.
There was a time when pundits gave Obama credit for seamlessly weaving his own story into the finest fabric of the America story, but that moment has passed now, never to return. "If you’ve got a business -- you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen," Obama said last week on the campaign trail. In a country where immigrants become entrepreneurs, a candidate who runs against the ideals of enterprise and self-reliance runs from the very values that those yearning for a better life have always most associated with America.
Behind Obama's remark is a view that sees those in the private sector -- the vast majority of Americans -- as taking more from the country than they give. Obama attributes their every innovation to government support. He describes any tax cuts these Americans receive as spending increases, as if the money originated with the government. He downplays hard work as a meaningless force in a world of random luck. Under this philosophy, a successful businessman is no more than a robber baron, who plundered what government created.
No wonder Obama and his campaign staffers have begun tossing around words like "felony" when describing presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney's work in the private sector. Over at Forbes, I have a new column about the disturbing trend toward describing the private sector in criminal terms. This president has put free enterprise on trial, and those who believe in the system must defend it.