Letter: Rhetoric subject to interpretation

Published:

 

Trying to understand today's political rhetoric is an exercise in futility. Words and phrases are becoming meaningless, because they can be interpreted in any way. President Barack Obama's comments on Americans not achieving success on their own can be interpreted in many ways.

True, we owe a debt to those who came before us. False, because no one else stayed up all night learning organic chemistry, but me. False, because no one else spent 10 years of education after high school, but me. True, because my parents, wife, children and friends assisted as they could. True, the government assisted by having roads, traffic lights, and a Department of Defense to protect the shores of my country.

My experiences allow me to interpret Obama's words in this way: Living in America has allowed me to pursue my dreams. Through my hard work, I earned what I achieved. How do I show my thankfulness? I pay taxes, vote, obey the laws and actively participate in improving my community.

I'm offended that the president says I didn't earn my success. I'm offended when I am asked to pay taxes so that government can do the work of compassion for me. Charity can only be charitable by the giving of one's self. That is true compassion.

Bill Pritchard, Brush Prairie