Obama's Responsibility Rhetoric

Adam Fowler
Jun 9, 2010 at 5:01 PM

Politicians are masters at saying one thing and doing another. Translation: Politicians make good hypocrites.

A pertinent example is this charge to high-school graduates from a recent speech by President Barack Obama, urging the graduates to:

 Take responsibility not just for your successes; take responsibility where you fall short as well.

Perhaps the 17- and 18-year-old graduates in the room believed the president really meant that. However, one would hope the more informed adults in the room had a collective gasp after Obama uttered those words.

Such comments flatly fly in the face of policies he has promoted since and prior to coming to the White House. Policies ranging from the bank bailouts to the car bailouts to the seemingly never-ending supply of unemployment benefits to Americans all highlight that Obama believes, in reality, that the government should shield businesses and individuals from the eventual results when they "fall short." The net result of such a bailout culture is dependence on government and a greater incentive to continue activities that lead to failure -- not to mention increasing government debt.

It was to a large extent Obama's lofty and appealing rhetoric that propelled him to the presidency. Rhetoric is a powerful force in politics. Now, if we could only elect more politicians whose actions are consistent with their rhetoric.