WASHINGTON, DC, February 14, 2013 ― Early in his response to President Obama’s State of the Union address, Senator Marco Rubio drew a bright line of demarcation between himself and the president: “America is exceptional because we believe that every life, at every stage, is precious, and that everyone everywhere has a God-given right to go as far as their talents and hard work will take them.”
With this he encapsulated the wide gulf that exists between our founding principles and our president’s vision of a transformed America. While Rubio believes that America is exceptional, everything Obama says proclaims a vision of America that is wrong, arrogant, and selfish—a country and culture that deserves knocking down a few pegs.
With Rubio, “we” does not mean government or a collective. He speaks of the individual opportunity that made America the birthplace of freedom and prosperity for an entire world. Rubio is a child of immigrants; his father worked as a bartender while his mother worked as a cashier and as a maid. His personal story explodes the liberal myth that “the real opportunity to accomplish” dreams only comes from undeserved wealth or the government.
Rubio reminds us that America’s foundation rests on the principle that life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are intrinsic human rights bestowed by God, not by the government. While Rubio speaks of a “God-given right to go as far” as talent and hard work will take you, Obama again proposes higher taxes “for the well-off and well-connected.”
It never dawns on this president that well-off is the American dream, and it is achieved by hard work and talent. Obama believes that “fair” means no one should ever rise above the middle class, and self-anointed visionaries like him should define that cap.
Obama has run trillion-dollar deficits, and still he demagogues spending cuts as “asking nothing more from the wealthiest and most powerful.” He should remember the words of Abraham Lincoln:
“The strongest bond of human sympathy, outside of the family relation, should be one uniting all working people, of all nations, and tongues, and kindreds. Nor should this lead to a war upon property, or the owners of property. Property is the fruit of labor; property is desirable; is a positive good in the world. That some should be rich shows that others may become rich, and hence is just encouragement to industry and enterprise.”
Obama says that “our most fundamental right as citizens” is the right to vote. But when he talks of citizens, all he means are voting units of yet-to-be determined value to him and his administration.
Compare this to Rubio’s belief that “every life, at every stage, is precious.”
We can debate everything else, but if we as citizens don’t first have the God-given right to life, there are no other rights that have any meaning at all. And that is the starkest of differences.
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