Why Presidential Candidates Want You to Think They Grew Up Poor

Is the American dream a reward for hard work or an unfulfilled promise?

Darcy Reeder
Jun 29 · 6 min read
Statue of Liberty Photo by tom coe on Unsplash

“If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen. The Internet didn’t get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet. The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative but also because we do things together. There are some things, just like fighting fires, we don’t do on our own.”

Immediately, Republicans lashed out at the suggestion that they weren’t all self-made. In response, they themed the first day of their 2012 Republican National Convention We Built That.


Darcy Reeder

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Empathy for the win! Top Writer in 10 tags — Essays on Feminism, Culture, Relationships, Sexuality, Veganism, and Parenting. ko-fi.com/darcyreeder She/her.