This article was originally going to ponder President Obama’s
off-the-cuff remarks in Roanoke. While revealing his belief that government is
the fountainhead of all opportunity, he also exposed the serious flaw of Statism:
if the individual is not responsible for his own success but is rather dependent
on the existence of the State, then why isn’t everyone successful? Obama
implied that teachers and roads and bridges and the Internet (all in his mind
government creations) are responsible for an individual’s success. So why isn’t
In fact, if Obama’s sworn enemy, the 1% (who nonetheless
donate millions to his reelection), were truly successful only because of
government, then government has a 99% failure rate and should be abolished
immediately as a horribly wasteful experiment.
That’s what this article would have been about. Then came
Aurora. A dropout from a doctoral program planned an elaborate solo terror
slaughter of a dozen people who did nothing to him but attend a midnight movie
that he decided to attack.
The tragedy was immediately and cynically exploited by
Democrats such as Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who demanded gun bans--another failed
statist plan that leads to such disarmed-victim killing fields as Columbine and
Aurora. The counter-argument--that there weren’t enough guns inside that theater that night--barely gets any
coverage at all amid the cries to surrender essential liberties in the name of
So now the question is this: if President Obama thinks the
State is responsible for the success of businessmen, is it also responsible for
the murders in Aurora? After all, the killer used the Internet to order his
ammunition and he didn’t create the Internet. Government research created the
Internet so that he could buy ammo on it. He didn’t invent ballistic armor--somebody
else made that happen. He didn’t pave the road that he drove on to the Century
theater--somebody invested in roads and bridges. He didn’t think up the
explosive devices on his own--government schools gave him the scientific
training and research skills to learn how to make bombs.
If individuals are not responsible for their own success--if
the State makes individual virtue possible--then individuals are not
responsible for their own evils. The State makes individual vice possible, too.
So if Obama wants the electorate to think that government is the engine of
success and he--as president--deserves praise for individual success, then he
must also accept responsibility for mass murders such as those in Aurora. If
not, why not?