“You Didn’t Build That”

If you haven’t seen or heard this quote yet from our president, you should know that both sides of the aisle are responding to it inappropriately. It occurred in a speech in VA. Here is the entire text. Many, many people have jumped on the line, ripped out of context that says, “If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that.” There’s even a website.

So, three questions for those who like to repeat, repost, and defame our president with this line:

1. Did you read the entire speech?

2. Do you understand why context matters?

3. Why didn’t you quote this line from the president in the same speech: “when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative”

By the way, that line is also taken out of context, too, but that doesn’t mean that the other side should start quoting that either. Truth is always to be fought for and preserved regardless of how badly we want to win.

But the other side of the political aisle has also made a folly. On Obama’s Truth Team website, they claim that the that in his quote, clearly refers to roads and bridges, not business. They are wrong. After listening to the speech, I would agree that is what Obama meant, but the grammar certainly does not refer to roads and bridges. Grammatically, that refers to business.  A mistake? A poorly written speech? Maybe, but let’s put the-need-to-defend-or-defame-at-all-costs aside and speak the truth.

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