MORRIS: Remember our founding principles

Greg Morris
September 22, 2012
Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

MorrisI’ve avoided talking politics for several weeks now, but I just can’t avoid it any longer. The election is only about 45 days away, and, in spite of polls that tilt toward the incumbent, there’s still a lot of ground to cover before Nov. 6. So, here’s my first installment of various thoughts to ponder before casting your vote.

I’ve gotten to know a Florida-based journalist and newspaper executive, Matt Walsh, professionally over the past few years. Matt is editor and publisher of the Gulf Coast Business Review in Sarasota. He’s also a co-founder, owner and CEO. Matt has been with the Miami Herald and Florida Trend magazine and was the southeast bureau manager for Forbes magazine.

Matt wrote a column several weeks ago that inspired me to buy several copies of Edward Klein’s book, “The Amateur.” I sent a copy to about 30 family members, friends and business associates. Here’s a brief portion of Matt’s writing, which carried the headline, “It’s cast in bronze: Obama rejects who we are” and reflects on the now-infamous remark from Barack Obama: “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.”

[Obama] unequivocally rejects what Hoover Institution senior fellow John B. Taylor calls “the first principles of economic freedom upon which the country was founded.” As Taylor writes in his new book, “First Principles: Five Keys to Restoring America’s Prosperity”:

“At its most basic level, economic freedom means that families, individuals and entrepreneurs are free to decide what to produce, what to consume, what to buy and sell and how to help others. The American vision was that those decisions would be made within a predictable government policy framework based on the rule of law with strong incentives derived from the market system and with a clearly limited role for government.”

Obama rejects this. His words and actions over the past three and a half years definitively confirm that his vision is that of a collectivist, a deep-rooted statist. His words and actions have shown that he believes the job of the state is to intervene in greater and greater scope, arbitrarily if necessary (i.e. health care, immigration, scrapping the great welfare law); to pick winners and losers (Solyndra versus Keystone Pipeline); and to redistribute wealth to achieve more equal outcomes (tax the rich).

And that is a rejection of the soul of the United States, the first principles.

This is not right-wing ranting. You should read the New York Times bestseller by Edward Klein, “The Amateur.” Klein is the former editor of the New York Times Sunday Magazine, a former foreign editor for Newsweek and a contributing editor to Vanity Fair — all unambiguously liberal publications. Based on his interviews with nearly 200 people who have worked closely with Obama, many who have known him for more than 20 years, and with people inside and outside the White House, Klein presents 259 pages of scathing facts and true stories. So stunning, they will trigger your adrenaline.

One that captures the essence of Obama’s grand vision is Klein’s telling of a June 30, 2009, gathering in the family quarters of the White House. Obama “invited nine like-minded, liberal historians” to a private dinner. Obama unveiled his vision for his presidency: to be a “transformative” president.

According to Klein, Obama self-confidently told the historians he intended to bring permanent peace to the Middle East; he would open “constructive dialogues” between the U.S. and Iran and North Korea; he would revolutionize the nation’s health care system and energy policy; and he “would inject the regulatory hand of the federal government into the American economy in an effort to create ‘a more just and equitable society.’”

When some of the historians recalled for Obama the difficulties Lyndon Johnson had with similar intentions, “Obama grew testy,” Klein writes. Klein summarized the dinner’s conversation as “a breathtaking display of narcissistic grandiosity,” with Obama revealing “his ideological bent as a far-left corporatist.”

There’s a lot more. Click here to read Matt’s full opinion piece. Thanks to Matt for allowing me to include some of his writing in my column. I recommend you pick up a copy of “The Amateur” and read it before visiting your polling place. It should scare you to death, if you’re not so inclined already.

Until next time.•


Morris is publisher of IBJ. His column appears every other week. To comment on this column, send e-mail to gmorris@ibj.com.


  • Vision of the Annointed
    Our president's self-enamored vision for America is one wherein the free choice and risks associated with a free enterprise system are replaced with the "security" of a statist vision of a centrally planned government control. Hasn't this failed enough already. Free enterprise - a great idea, we should try it sometime.
  • Still Looking for the ultimiate conspiracy theory?
    I would have expected better from an editor of IBJ. Are you suggesting that this "expose" will achieve what all the other dirt did not? Rather than address the middling policies that Obama has proposed - e.g. fiscal policy in line with 60 years of previous practice and empirical monitoring while that of the opposition finds their guiding light in Hoover and the Austrian school. Why is it that supply-side economists like Bruce Bartlett and David Stockman pick responsible fiscal policy over do nothing "let it drop" proposals from the opposition. Why oppose the health reform act when ongoing results from Massachusetts show that health status is improving and costs are moderating. Moreover with the level of uninsured down to 2%, new paths to managing quality and costs are opening up. There are years of evidence for the rationale behind these policies which personal scurrilous attacks miss completely. I prefer an evidence based appraisal rather than another "commie birther" polemic. Please at light to the discussion, not more dark side venting.

Post a comment to this story

We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. How much you wanna bet, that 70% of the jobs created there (after construction) are minimum wage? And Harvey is correct, the vast majority of residents in this project will drive to their jobs, and to think otherwise, is like Harvey says, a pipe dream. Someone working at a restaurant or retail store will not be able to afford living there. What ever happened to people who wanted to build buildings, paying for it themselves? Not a fan of these tax deals.

  2. Uh, no GeorgeP. The project is supposed to bring on 1,000 jobs and those people along with the people that will be living in the new residential will be driving to their jobs. The walkable stuff is a pipe dream. Besides, walkable is defined as having all daily necessities within 1/2 mile. That's not the case here. Never will be.

  3. Brad is on to something there. The merger of the Formula E and IndyCar Series would give IndyCar access to International markets and Formula E access the Indianapolis 500, not to mention some other events in the USA. Maybe after 2016 but before the new Dallara is rolled out for 2018. This give IndyCar two more seasons to run the DW12 and Formula E to get charged up, pun intended. Then shock the racing world, pun intended, but making the 101st Indianapolis 500 a stellar, groundbreaking event: The first all-electric Indy 500, and use that platform to promote the future of the sport.

  4. No, HarveyF, the exact opposite. Greater density and closeness to retail and everyday necessities reduces traffic. When one has to drive miles for necessities, all those cars are on the roads for many miles. When reasonable density is built, low rise in this case, in the middle of a thriving retail area, one has to drive far less, actually reducing the number of cars on the road.

  5. The Indy Star announced today the appointment of a new Beverage Reporter! So instead of insightful reports on Indy pro sports and Indiana college teams, you now get to read stories about the 432nd new brewery open or some obscure Hoosier winery winning a county fair blue ribbon. Yep, that's the coverage we Star readers crave. Not.