Campaigning at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio last week, President Obama raised quite eloquently — okay, succinctly — the question of where one should turn for help in pursuing one’s happiness. The answer: government, “applause”; family, “booo.”
Making a pitch for greater government control of student loans, Obama cited himself as an example of the value of education, saying, “I got an education and it worked out pretty good. (Laughter and applause.)”
The White House website, which dutifully records alleged audience reaction in its transcripts, does not specify whether the “laughter” here was at the expense of the Harvard lawyer’s primary school drop-out grammar, so we must assume it was not.
At any rate, Obama then went on to contrast his approach to funding post-secondary education with his opponent’s.
I’m only standing before you because of the chance that my education gave me. So I can tell you, with some experience, that making higher education more affordable for our young people — it’s something I’ve got a personal stake in…. That’s part of the reason why November is so important. (Applause.)
And I say this because putting a college education within reach for working families just doesn’t seem to be a big priority for my opponent. A few months ago, just up the road, in Westerville, Governor Romney said, if you want to be successful, if you want to go to college or start a business, you can just — and I’m quoting here — “borrow money if you have to from your parents.”
AUDIENCE: Booo –
Let’s interrupt here for a moment to take stock of Obama’s rhetorical bait, and the audience’s (intended) response. The choice Obama is setting up is clear: more government entitlements, requiring more taxation and more federal regulation of outcomes, versus private citizens relying on their own available means, and parents who see their children’s future as their own responsibility, rather than yet another moral obligation they can pass off to “society.”
Obama’s audience greeted the latter option — people taking responsibility for their own lives, and parents taking care of their own children — with boos.
Sensing he was on a roll, Obama continued his inspiring plea for making every young person a ward of the state.