As I prepare to take on the even more important role of citizen, know that I will be there with you every step of the way to ensure that this country forever strives to live up to the incredible promise of our founding — that all of us are created equal, and all of us deserve every chance to live out our dreams. — Barack Obama
Note that the phrase contains nothing about effort. Deserve denotes a right, but there are no rights that come at the expense of others. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happyness. Pursuit, not happyness itself. Housing, food, water, work. Things people need to live aren’t enumerated. Why? Because the government can try to protect the first three without burdening others. It could be said that if people were perfectly honorable, it could protect them without cost. Rather, everything else requires the use of force, even if everyone behaved honorably. — onwyrdsdream at Mind Shoved Ajar
Onwyrdsdream deconstructs the president’s statement here. As usual, it takes more words of logic to illuminate just a few words of foolishness, but it’s worth it. President Obama has had an interesting life, but he has not struggled and lost, or even struggled and won. Both build character and make for a quality leader.
We can all be in favor of a country with equal opportunity, but when the only measures of success seem to relate to “equal outcomes,” then the argument falls apart.
I’m optimistic about 2017, in part because I’ve prepared for it in previous years, and not because the soon-to-be former president will be looking out for me.