Definitely Not Decaf with Ira Pickett

If you were in Tampa last Friday and didn’t know that President Obama was in town, you must have been asleep or perhaps at the beach, because Air Force One’s landing at Tampa International Airport caused more than a few backups on the normally already congested surrounding highways and city streets.  If you were stuck in traffic, you might be wondering why President Obama chose to fly into a public airport when the highly secure MacDill Air Force Base is only a few blocks downs the street? Simple.  Obama has recognized that his approval ratings are so horrible, and previous supporters are tuning him out in such large numbers that he needs to get their attention in any way possible, including creating a mess of the roads in Tampa.  While the traffic jams were inconvenient, it was Obama’s disturbing comments during his speech at the Port Of Tampa that signals how out of touch he is, and how desperate he has become to get re-elected in November.  If you weren’t listening to his speech, don’t be shocked at what you will find.

Less than one minute into Obama’s speech, he set the stage by implying that Americans have been disenfranchised by [settling] “……for a country where a shrinking number of people do really, really well, while a growing number are struggling to get by, or we can build an economy where everybody gets a fair shot, and everybody is doing their fair share, and everybody is playing by the same set of rules.”  

Translation : “Corporate America is lying, cheating and stealing from you and there is no way for you to provide for your family unless you choose me and big government.”

As a hard-working father, husband and taxpayer I am insulted by President Obama’s condescending and factually untrue comments that the ‘system’ is set up to prevent certain people from getting a ‘fair shot’.  I grew up in a lower middle class working neighborhood outside Detroit, and by no means was given the world on a silver spoon.  I worked 2 jobs at a time to pay for my University education,  I learned from those mentors who shared life skills with me, and I have committed myself to give more and expect less from the world.  In America, while not everyone is born into the same life circumstances, EVERYONE has the same opportunity to be the best that they were created to be.

Unfortunately, however, hard work only goes so far. Luck and timing often play as big of a role in making hard work and creativity pay off, and not everyone can benefit from those two uncontrollable factors.  Just ask Bill Gates, Russell Simmons, Tiger Woods, Mark Zuckerberg, Oprah Winfrey, Michael Jordan, Mark Ingram, Irene Rosenfeld, Warren Buffet or the millions of other highly successful Americans if everyone gets a fair shot.  Most would agree that the opportunity exists for everyone who wants it.  As Americans, we live in the greatest country on earth with unparalleled potential and should seek to emulate those who have lifted themselves up to meet the challenges of life and won, instead of criticizing and condemning others prosperity out of jealousy and divisive politics.  Obama’s implication that the ‘system’ is designed for only the wealthy to succeed is misleading at best and a flat-out lie at worst.

Furthermore, consider the hypocrisy that since he was elected,  Obama has been on more luxury vacations and has played more rounds of golf  on taxpayer dollars than nearly any other President in modern history.  A growing number of informed Americans are finally starting to realize that it is NOT the success of entrepreneurs and business owners that voters should be condemning, but instead the ruling class – the career politicians like Obama that do not play by the same set of rules as the average American.  Additionally, over the past 3 years there has been an embarrassingly long list of Obama’s cabinet that have been accused of tax evasion, corruption or abusing the system that citizens have entrusted them to protect.  This is hypocrisy at it’s finest, for sure.

Simply put, America is a country where an individuals opportunities are relative to each individuals personal contribution.  If you can provide a service that is of value, or create a product or idea that consumers want or need, you will be successful.  Obama has disdain for producers and people who create private businesses and jobs because he has done neither.  This is why he continues pushing for legislation to increase taxes successful citizens, knowing full well that it will not have a significant impact on tax revenues, or on job creation.   He has spent his life as an agitator and an instigator, continuously spewing a message of class warfare in an attempt to deceive voters into believing that capitalism is a broken system and that no-one should enjoy their fruits of their labors except of course,  politicians such as himself.

The private sector isn’t the problem, Mr. President.

While President Obama has worked diligently over the past 3 years attempting to paint corporations and executives as the villain responsible for our nations woes, he ignores the hypocrisy that he represents on a larger scale as a professional politician who has never had a job where he has created anything of value for society.  While the typical American family struggles to figure out how to afford to pay the heat bill or to fill up the gas tank to get to work, President Obama and his family are vacationing in the Hampton’s, jet setting to France, and enjoying opulent dinner parties at the White House.  Obama believes that entrepeneurs do not have a right to keep that what they have earned and created, but that life long politicians such as Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and Obama himself have a fundamental right to use your tax dollars however they see fit, including for their own personal gain.  The major disconnect in Obama’s belief system, however is that American’s overwhelmingly do not agree with him, or his strategy, and his approval ratings and that of congress speak for themselves.

Furthermore, I find it disturbing that Obama thinks that he can distort reality by saying  “I’ve always said that the true engine of job creation in this country is the private sector, not Washington. Our job in government is to help businesses grow and to hire — to create platforms for their success”, while the truth of the matter is that he has worked even harder spending billions of dollars on new government jobs and the result is that Federal employee civilian payrolls are at the highest level since President Clinton was in office in the 1990’s.  Obama’s own words simply do not align with his administrations true intentions or actions.

Stop trying to divide America, Mr. President.

The most shocking part of his speech, however, was when Obama was discussing the Small Business Network of the Americas.  In his comments he was quoted as saying “So this initiative is going to help our small businesses –- Latino-owned businesses, women-owned businesses, African American-owned businesses. We want every business to be able to access these new markets, start exporting to these countries.” 

Why does President Obama continue to stoke the fire of racism and so often seek to divide our nation based on differences such as race and gender?  What about small businesses owned by Asian Americans, white men, Arab Americans, and Native Americans?  Does Obama’s initiatives not benefit those whom he does not mention?  If Obama is truly the President of ALL of the people of the United States Of America, why did he again specifically mention latino’s, women and African-Americans, but left out every other type of small business owner?  I have a friend that once said to me that what a person says is important, but what they don’t say is even more telling.  Obama’s speech in Tampa last week certainly highlights this truth. 

Unfortunately, being divisive is a pattern President Obama has exhibited over his entire career.  Countless speeches, campaign videos, and even his own political website highlight his use of grouping Americans into categories for his own selfish gain.  By doing this, we can assume that he is either pandering to these groups with amateurish political motives,  or that he sincerely has deep-rooted personal prejudices that continue to be exposed in his actions.

Regardless of his intentions, it is clear that President Obama’s leadership style is simply not fit to unite America in an effort to help the nation move forward, encourage economic development among all citizens and cause neighbors to see each other as brothers and sisters, instead of seeing their skin color, gender and wages. 

Follow Ira Pickett on twitter @irapickett and at



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