A week ago Friday, President Barack Obama uttered some now-notorious words that his political opponents have twisted into a nationwide anti-business anthem.
He said them at the corner of Market Street and Church Avenue, in front of historic Fire Station No. 1, right here in Roanoke. Which means that our once-gritty railroad town is on the lips of just about every political pundit in the land.
Here are his words:
“If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. 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.”
Some cynical Obama haters have plucked a few bits from that middle paragraph and are now using them to weave lies about what the president meant.
But anyone who bothers to peer past their sleazy spin would quickly realize that our historic, charming and thriving city is a perfect metaphor for Obama’s message. So was the place he uttered them.
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