So while Obama was on the one hand preaching "fidelity to our founding principles," on the other he was saying that preserving our individual freedom ultimately requires collective action.
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Collective action? The Founders were talking about individual liberty and rights. Not the power of a collectivist government.
The "collective" is a socialist idea, not a free-market capitalist thought. And the story of the last quarter of the 20th century was of the absolute breakdown and end of the collectivist model. Collectivism was thrown into the dustbin of history by the weight of its own failure.
To me, Obama's mistaken opinions regarding the Declaration of Independence, and his total lack of understanding of the thinking behind the Declaration, is more troubling than any of the liberal programmatic proposals he set forth. Fundamentally, you have to wonder if the president really understands the American idea, and the American historical experience, beginning with the great wisdom of the Founders.
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Collectivism also means "If you've got a business, you didn't build that." During his second-term inaugural speech, Obama actually said, "We do not believe in this country that freedom is reserved for the lucky, or happiness for the few." Were Steve Jobs and Bill Gates lucky? Was Henry Ford lucky? Was Thomas Edison just lucky?
How about they used their God-given talents of creativity, imagination, and ingenuity, coupled with hard work, to create commercial ventures that financially empowered millions upon millions of people who were then able to live a better and more comfortable life?
That's what the Founders had in mind. Freedom.
It was bad enough that the president had nothing to say about economic growth, or excess federal spending, deficits, and debt. Nor did he show any interest in reforming the large entitlement programs that may bankrupt America. He did discuss the energy market. But rather than let market forces determine the most efficient and clean energy sources to power our economy, he insisted on more doomed green-energy projects subsidized by the taxpayer (like Solyndra).
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell likened Obama's speech to a declaration of the end of the era of small government. "One thing is clear from the president's speech," he said, "The era of liberalism is back." I agree.
But again I say it's Obama's misunderstanding of the Founders' intent that is the most troubling. Equality of opportunity is the American ideal. Equality of results and income-leveling is foreign to the American ideal.
As conservatives and Republicans regroup, and as they seek to achieve a better America, I hope they keep the opportunity principle uppermost in their minds.
—By CNBC's Larry Kudlow; Follow him on Twitter @larry_kudlow