Slowly Explaining Things to Conservatives

I haven’t blogged much about politics recently, but since we’re well into the silly season better known as the 2012 Presidential Campaign, I thought I would be nice to dissemble a rightwing meme that made it’s way through the interwebs yesterday thanks to a desperate and pathetic attempt by the Romney campaign to deflect heat.

To back up: Romney refuses to release tax returns, and has said in various statements and filings things that contradict his time with Bain. Either he lied to the SEC, or he lied to the FEC. Either one is a felony. With even conservatives like Rick “one..two…um, uh-oh” Perry calling for Romney to release his financials (like every other Presidential candidate in recent memory), it was time for Team Romney to drop whatever gutter-dwelling ad they had in the can. Hence, they took this quote….

If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.

…pulled it out of context, and attacked Obama as being anti-business. They issued a press release that said:


Of course, that’s not the full quote, and the context is wrong. Here it is:

Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen. The Internet didn’t get invented on its own.Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.


The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together.


So to recap, here are things that businesses didn’t build, that were in fact paid for by taxpayers and built either by the government, or contracted to be built by the government, but benefit from:

  • roads, bridges, the interstate highway system
  • the court system (protect patents, intellectual property, copyrights, uphold contracts, etc.)
  • police and fire
  • the military
  • the internet
  • education (you can’t have illiterate people with no math or science skills)

So, is the difference clear? If you say yes, move on. If not, start over and read slower.

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