The Osawatomie Speech: A Defining Moment In History


I am not a fan of Barack Obama, but I have not criticized him as harshly as many other writers do. I have a different view of him. I see him as a rather run of the mill Progressive/Liberal who firmly believes his ideology and acts somewhat consistently on those ideas. Rather than pillory him personally, my approach has been to criticize the philosophy of which he is a product. In my mind, it’s all about ideas. I detest his ideas because I believe they are anti-intellectual and they don’t work. 

There are many like Mr. Obama out there. His admirers perceive themselves as being the “downtrodden”, envious of the accomplishments and wealth of those whose abilities they cannot match. I get that: if you can’t achieve it, take it from those who can. Even those limousine liberals who have wealth and accomplishment perceive themselves as either being guilty of their wealth or come from backgrounds where these ideas are passed along. Mr. Obama is no different than any other politician: he seeks power and admiration and the ability to impose his ideas on America.

We here at the Daily Capitalist try everyday to combat those ideas by demonstrating their lack of efficacy and by presenting analyses of events in a free market framework which analyses have actually been quite accurate in forecasting economic outcomes. We try to be the antidote to the Progressive juggernaut. 

And then I heard President Obama’s speech at Osawatomie, Kansas this week.

It perhaps wasn’t surprising, but I was appalled. It was deceitful, inaccurate, revisionist, and demagogic. 

Mr. Obama uses every cliché in the Progressive handbook to make his point. His direct point was that the “rich” should pay more taxes. The underlying point and theme of his speech was that individual effort, individualism, free market capitalism, and success is a gift bestowed by “society” on the successful and that what “society” grants, it can take away because “society” needs it. It is the collective versus the individual.

His speech is a recreation, a fabrication if you will, of history, economics, and philosophy into a Pandoran construct of collectivist statism whereby society can demand the individual’s obedience and obeisance. In short, folks, it’s a crock.

If you think I am exaggerating, I urge you to read or hear his entire speech. You may find the full text and video of the speech here.

Here is just one typical statement from his speech:

Now, just as there was in Teddy Roosevelt’s time, there is a certain crowd in Washington who, for the last few decades, have said, let’s respond to this economic challenge with the same old tune. “The market will take care of everything,” they tell us. If we just cut more regulations and cut more taxes — especially for the wealthy — our economy will grow stronger. Sure, they say, there will be winners and losers. But if the winners do really well, then jobs and prosperity will eventually trickle down to everybody else. And, they argue, even if prosperity doesn’t trickle down, well, that’s the price of liberty.

Now, it’s a simple theory. And we have to admit, it’s one that speaks to our rugged individualism and our healthy skepticism of too much government. That’s in America’s DNA. And that theory fits well on a bumper sticker. (Laughter.) But here’s the problem: It doesn’t work. It has never worked. (Applause.) It didn’t work when it was tried in the decade before the Great Depression. It’s not what led to the incredible postwar booms of the ‘50s and ‘60s. And it didn’t work when we tried it during the last decade. (Applause.) I mean, understand, it’s not as if we haven’t tried this theory.

This is the stuff that demagogues spew to the guileless. And the problem is that he believes it with all his heart. The man is not stupid nor slow on his feet, despite what his harshest critics day. He’s not a mere puppet of the union bosses. He’s bright, articulate, and well educated. Yet he has learned nothing despite his years of education and now he’s at the vanguard of the Progessive/socialist/welfare statist/national corporatist movement in America. If he has the force of personality he could be another Franklin Roosevelt, the president who did more harm to America than any other leader in our history. Fortunately, he may not have that strength of character.

While we may criticize the Republicans for being much of the same, there is still a difference. We are, as I have noted before, at a tipping point in America where:

Nearly half, 48.5%, of the population lived in a household that received some type of government benefit in the first quarter of 2010, according to Census data. Those numbers have risen since the middle of the recession when 44.4% lived households receiving benefits in the third quarter of 2008.

No wonder the audience at Osawatomie loved him.

This is what has happened to much of Europe where welfare recipients voted themselves increasing benefits and economic stagnation and eventual bankruptcy. This is exactly where we are headed politically.

And this is why this election is critical. We must turn this ship around.


46 comments to The Osawatomie Speech: A Defining Moment In History

  • Watch Corzine Lie:

    I’ve been watching all day for video of this. This is a MUST WATCH for every American. The man is a former US Senator and a former Governor. He is also the former CEO of Goldman Sachs.

    The United States government has become an overt enemy of the people. Just wait until you hear a Senator call him… God. Well, why not. He can steal $1.2 billion and get away with it… In broad daylight. — Michael C. Ruppert

  • Hans

    An extremely well thought out essay, Mr Harding!

    My only quibble is, that BOCO is at the forehead of Marxist ideology, operating under the guise of a Socialist democracy…

    If his governance could be executed with the whims of executive orders, he would do so without the slightest hesitation or conscious…

    He is a denier of the Constitution and the principals of the Founding Fathers…He wishes only to shape this great nation, to represent his own political and personal views whether by hook or crook…

    The end justifies The means..

    May the Lord have mercy on this nation!

  • William Patterson

    Great essay Jeff Harding. You really point out the reason we are losing our Freedoms in America, and it’s been going on since the 30′s and it’s propagated by both the Republicans and the Democrats. Maybe the Libertarians will provide an alternative in 2012. They seem to believe more in a Free Market approach to society.

  • Pat

    Jeff, well said. What is interesting is that Libertarians will almost be elected, as most teachers have been educated using socialist and marxist dogma, without recognizing the propaganda. These same teachers then infect the students they teach without exposing them to real truths and faults with socialism, marxism, and totalitarian regimes, as they have not been trained in thinking. The second issue is that socialists and marxists ideologues rely on a “master” vs. “subordinate”, where equality in “outcome” is what is “sold”, but impossible to achieve without punishing those gifted with special talents at the expense of those not motivated to develop those strengths. The true marxists understand that they need to create dependencies of the weak to control the strong, and it is a game of numbers and ignorance of human nature. Once the “strong” realize that they have lost their property, and freedom the incentives to create will cease. It will inevitably lead to a rapid deterioration to a far less vibrant society where innovation and wealth among the populace is rare. I wonder if we will truely see a “John Galt” moment in our history, anytime soon, or will we have to wait until society collapses? John Galt, where are you?

  • Jim

    “Hayek understood that humility in the face of the imponderable is a very great virtue. Intellectuals of all stripes are terribly prone to hubris. The lesson of the ancient Greeks – which seems to be entirely lost on our current generation of “experts” – is that where Hubris rules, Nemesis always lurks nearby. People who forget that (or ignore it) nearly always come to grief, and take others with them.”

    This quote is from Monty at AoSHQ. Yesterday’s post. A good example of what he speaks would be Barney Frank. Of course, this would also apply to the majority of our American politicians. If this is fact, it says little of our ability to right the ship. Even with our fate staring at us across the Atlantic ocean, we still entrust these same people to help us avoid the catastrophe.

    Look at our current crop of GOP contenders for the office of President. Are there any besides Ron Paul who exhibit the trait of humility?

  • Do yourself a favor and instead of listening to the blather, turn Obama speech’s into a game with Barack’s Bullshit Bingo.

    It turns useless, repetitive, deceitful and meaningless rhetoric into a competition with your family and friends.

    You can find the game board here:



  • Excuse me, but I thought the Obama administration was made up predominantly of Wall Street figures, especially the vicious and parasitic ones. True, he has brought in a lot of unproductive left people who hate business, but we know who runs things in the end.

    It is important to note that when a Wall Street front man is talking about fairness, you had better keep your hand on your wallet.

    To me this “fairness” is going to be the watchword of Obama’s covert class warfare campaign and is straight out of Karl Marx.

    How about those of us who are working 80 hours a week to pay for these Washington fun and games, what about us? Obama says that we are only going to have to pay more. And as our money goes from his hands to those who get his gifts, he and his cronies will take a huge cut for sure.

    As Margaret Thatcher said, eventually you run out of other people’s money to spend.

  • Frank R.

    Obama is an arrogant narcissist with way too much power. An arrogant narcissist without power is a nuisance. One with power is dangerous. We need return him to nuisance status.

  • JLewis

    Boy, a lot of viciousness in these emails against Obama. I, for one, don’t believe he believes a word he says in these speeches! To get elected one has to appeal to the voters, and once elected you can go back to doing what you know how to do; that is, appeal to your donors (aka Wall Street, etc). I believe we’re completely immersed in the “socialize the risk, privatize the profits” which leads to more and more corruption and greed. So what’s our choice between Obama and the other crazy far-right candidates? (I’m not talking about Ron Paul). IMHO, nothing. What about the fools on Capitol Hill?!? They remind me of coots!

    • dd

      so he doesn’t believe his own speeches and you’re ok with that? are we that inane and disconnected? we just don’t care?

      this is exactly what they want from you.

      i understand that sometimes we compromise in life, but it would be immoral, especially as president, to shape policy in such manner. lemme know how it’s going in 2014 when his HC bill is implemented.

      finally, this is not email.

      • JLewis

        absolutely I’m not okay with that and I am not disconnected.
        finally, oh, excuse me for using the word “email” instead of “reply.”

        • dd

          the email comment was snippy of me, and stupid. my apologies. i get emotional on this subject and i need to control that better.

  • dd

    my issue with the dissection of barack:

    if he’s so smart, then he would know his progressive policies are neither compassionate nor effective. so if he’s genuine, and truly believes in this philosophy, then he’s NOT intelligent. there’s too much history, data and failure (past and present) for there to be a “gray area.” no. these progressives have a plan and it’s working.

    i do not believe he is dumb, i believe his is super bright. this makes him malicious. his past dealings would suggest as such — why do people ignore his past dealings and close associations as if that’s not relevant? hello, your record matters in everything in life except if your name is obama and you are a gifted orator.

    • DD,

      You have touched on something that is fundamental about human nature I think. And that is you can convince people of almost anything. For whatever reason people can hold inconsistent thoughts in their brains at the same time. This is not exclusive to the slow-witted. That is the problem when we don’t really know how to use the only facility we have that allows us to discern (as best we can) truth from falsity–reason. So, combine that with group sheepish behavior (Groupthink) and that’s how you get people like Obama. History has proven that this is nothing unique to America, as I probably need not point out.

      BTW, didn’t you lock the door behind you when you left?

      Thanks for the comment.


      • dd

        hi Jeff, i began to lock the door but then i was engaged, which got my attention and then it got interesting … and then i guess i was re-energized because i’m enjoying the articles again.

        i don’t like inconsistencies in thoughts or brains, they are very difficult to work with.

      • alanstorm

        dd, your thoughts parallel mine. the post’s author states: “The man is not stupid nor slow on his feet, … He’s bright, articulate, and well educated.”

        The problem is, how smart can he be if what he believes in, or professes to believe in, has been shown repeatedly to be utter and complete bullcrap?

        There would seem to be two options, not mutually exclusive:

        1. either he believes what he says, which would make him a complete idiot given the last hundred years or so of history, or:

        2. he is well aware of where his ideas lead, again given the history, and follows that path anyway, which would make him evil – a philosophical cousin to Mao, Pol Pot, Stalin, and innumerable others.

        As I said, the two are not mutually exclusive; it could easily be some of either. However, there is no third path.

        • Keith Weiner

          I think Jeff’s point is that intellectual dishonesty–willingly holding two contradictory ideas at the same time–is not the same thing as stupidity.

    • Californio


      NatGeo had on the “Dawn of Hitler” last night. Super Bright but Pathological Deviant. I am Pragmatic and think he is only the Frontman for some very vert Sick Minds behind the Curtain.

  • Mike

    Obama has achieved much in his young life… although I am not convinced that you could equivalently say that he has accomplished much. In that sense, Obama is an almost uniquely American quirk. He benefitted from affirmative action, collective white guilt, and an enormously wealthy country with which to play. He believes what he says, to the extent that he believes he and his elite ilk know better than you and I how to organize and conduct our lives. But individual liberty (autonomy to the full extent permissible in ordered society) has always offended those who perceive themselves as smarter than others.

  • Bill Bowen

    Obama’s speech at Osawatomie, Kansas is even waking up my moderate friends who have, up to now, dismissed my warnings about the intentions of this truly EVIL man.

    Some people think that Obama is stupid – I’ve understood from the beginning that he is far from stupid. He is incompetent not because he lacks smarts but because the philosphy he espouses is flawed, and he is a communist/socialist “true beliver”.

    Obama is a VERY dangerous man because he is both smart AND evil – and the people of the US will pay the price for putting him in the White House for DECADES even if we do boot him out in 2012.

  • Matt

    What’s funny is the quote that comes to mind was from Star Wars. Super-geeky, I know. But, nevertheless a good quote: “So this is how liberty dies… with thunderous applause.”

    Hard to believe something interesting came out of George Lucas in recent years.

  • Curt Jopling

    I don’t know a single person who works 80 hours a week and I suspect that most of you who comment here are also the same stupid stooges that Corporate American uses as their so called grassroots campaign. God you are stupid. No wonder you are shitting your pants at the thought of the likes of Elizabeth Warren winning.

    • Keith Weiner

      *raises hand*

      I did when I was building my business.

      As to Elizabeth Warren, I look at her like any other looter, envious of what she did not and could not produce. If you have an urge to use the word “stooge”, look in the mirror!

    • Ernie T

      I know many people that work 80 hours a week. My parents (both deceased now) worked in their own store from 6 AM to midnight, 7 days a week, for decades. My mother woke early and opened; my dad woke late and closed, and the middle of the day they worked together. We never took vacations in my childhood, and they rarely made time for themselves. They were very successful and sent me and my three siblings to private colleges. We are all very successful now, too. Thank God. So Curt, hard work is what makes success. Not luck.

  • Canadien

    Nazis and fascists world wide really hated President Franklin Roosevelt. Decent freedom-loving civic-minded men and women admire him to this day.

    • Actually, it was the other way around. FDR and his Brain Trust admired the Fascists and Stalin, and had been energized by the way they thought those economies and societies were being properly organized. This isn’t propaganda; it’s a fact. Many of his New Deal programs were modeled after the Fascist policies of Mussolini. He actually tried to create a command economy with himself at the top. Those that admire FDR are ignorant of history and wish to believe the myth.

    • Keith Weiner

      FDR was a fan of Mussolini, until it wasn’t politically correct.

      FDR appointed John Maynard Keynes as his economic adviser. Keynes has been trying to work with the fascist governments of Germany and Italy to practice his ideas.

      Of course, one must define fascism properly. It does *not* mean goose-stepping soldiers or racism.

      It means: nominally private ownership of business under public control. FDR, and every president since, has advocated fascism to one degree or another (with Reagan being a partial exception).

  • Hans

    Curt, are you occupieing, Joplin?

  • Anonymous


    Don’t you mean occupying? I rest my case.

    • Matt

      How deft of you, Anonymous. Way to catch that. Curt is an Occu-turd, and Canadien is likening people who don’t applaud socialism as ‘fascists’ (Hitler). These are non-thinkers, you’re in good company.

  • Westie

    Nice site, thanks Jeff harding. I came here from your ZH posting w/ the huge comment responses from the screaming progs! This little BHO…”I’m a real Commie” speech has really energized his base and they have also metastasized over here. Keep up the good work.

  • Curt Jopling


    I hit the return key too soon so it went in as anonymous. Sorry for that. At least I’m not afraid to you my full name. But them if I had to resort to chickenshit name calling I guess I might be chickenshit enough not to use my full name. Clueless.

    • dd

      Curt, what is your point. do you have one or will you just criticize.

      i know lots of people who work 80 hours per week. some to value-less causes but to their own financial gain, others to great producitivity.

  • Canadien


    OK, I’ll read up on that period. I don’t expect to find any “Fascist policies” borrowed from Mussolini, unless you consider any type of State intervention in the economy fascist. (Keith, your definition of fascism seems to be just that, and in that case, you’ve got some reading-up to do too).

    The reason I commented about FDR, Jeff, is your descriptioun of him as “the president who did more harm to America than any other leader in our history”. This is preposterous and discredits your entire essay. FDR was a great president and leader of the free world, and when the crunch came, he adopted policies that led to the destruction of 3 fascist regimes and to the return of democracy to mainland Europe.

    Before the war, he saved capitalism from itself, and we should all be grateful that he did.

    Anyway, I really do enjoy your blog (when you don’t careen off the road into partisan politics). Keep up the good work.

  • A Kansan

    I am in that 48.5% that receives money from the U.S. government. I receive both farm payments and Social Security payments, but I would happily give them all up and be a bit poorer in order to get our country back.

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  • Tim Wilkinson

    I would say any thoughtful evaluation of FDR and his policies (and there outcome over time) cannot do anything except reach the conclusion that he “did more harm to America than any other leader in our history”. Obama is giving him a run for his money. I cannot think of any policy of FDR’s that did not “hurt” the U.S. (except the entry into WW II and the Japanese sort of took care of that one).