He Did Too Build It!

Agira, SicilyIn 1895, Antonino Bisicchia left his native town of Agira in Sicily, never to return. He traveled to Palermo where he boarded a steam ship for America. He left behind a wife, Sarah, and five young children. His destination was New York where he hoped to practice his trade of bootmaking. In New York, Antonino (soon to be Anthony) set out to build a life for himself and his family.

Two years later, Antonino had saved enough money to have his wife and children join. By the 1910 census, Antonino had become Anthony and his family had grown to ten children: five boys and five girls. Just as important, Antonio (that how he reported his name on the census) was now the proud owner of a shoemaking business. Fifteen years or less after arriving from Sicily, he now was the proud owner of a piece of the American Dream.

Barack Obama is a true believer of statism, government top-down control of all aspects of American life. It’s the eternal argument of the chicken and the egg. What came first? Is government responsible for all that we are? Or is government our creation, paid for by hard-working Americans who built their lives themselves?

Obama and his supporters forget some important facts about America. In 1775, American patriots overthrow the established order of the British government and its system of taxation because it was oppressive. ‘Taxation without representation’ was their rallying cry.

They then set about to create a more ‘perfect union’ as the Preamble to the United States Constitution promises its citizens. We are still working on that goal 237 years later. The beauty of America is that we are constantly striving to recreate our country everyday.

For all but the last third of our existence, we have been able to grow our country without the help of government. Somewhere during the Great Depression, the Progressives decided that they had a better idea and they began to interfere in our national life.

When I was a child growing up in the 1950s, President Eisenhower was a remote figure in Washington who very rarely was on the front pages of the newspapers. He spent his time working for America, not for himself. Today, Barack Obama is in the media every day, dominating the national life and taking credit for every aspect of it.

And it’s not just Obama. Every politician feels that if we don’t see them everyday, we’ll forget who they are. If they don’t remind us everyday about the largesse that they are bestowing on us, we’ll forget who gave it to us. Well, the fact is that we’re only getting are own tax money back from the governmental middlemen and women.

You see that’s the root of the issue. When Barack Obama said, “You didn’t build that” he forgot that the money comes from the people, not from his or the government’s stash. For those who thinks that it’s out of context, here’s the entire clip. He keeps referring to ‘somebody else’ who built this or that. I guess that he doesn’t realize that the ‘somebody else’ he’s talking about are us, the American people.

Antonino Bisicchia came to America to build a better life for his family. He labored long and hard at his shoemaking and repair business until he died in 1948. His oldest son, Andrea, became Andrew Billies in 1913 when he married Anna Murphy. They were my grandparents. My father was their youngest child. His descendants live all across this great land and revel in the opportunity that the little Sicilian shoemaker gave to them.

 

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