One Man’s Quest to Preserve the American Dream
Thomas Peterffy came in to the world in precarious circumstances, and has fought his way to success ever since. He was born in 1944 in Budapest, Hungary. This was not your average birth – he was born in the basement of the hospital, and in the midst of a Russian air raid. The Russians worked their way through the suburbs to the city in November and December of 1944. Hungary would have a communist and socialist era, until the third Hungarian Republic was put in place in 1989.
Peterffy grew up under socialism, and has seen first hand what it does to a nation and to its people: “There is no hope, no freedom, no pride in achievement,” he says in his commercial. “The nation became poorer and poorer.” In 1965, he emigrated in to the United States without the ability to speak any English. At the age of 21, he lived in New York City with the American Dream before him. For 10 years, he worked as a computer programmer, and became a member of the American Stock Exchange in 1977, buying his own seat to trade options. That same year, he founded Interactive Brokers, an online discount brokerage firm now based in Connecticut.
He is still Chairman and CEO of the company he founded, and in 2009 the firm’s revenue was $986.89 million. Today, Peterffy is worth over $5 billion and is the 60th most wealthy person in the United Stated. He is number 77 on the Forbes 400. Peterffy is divorced, has three children, and keeps horses at his estate in Greenwich, CT. According to his Forbes profile, his favorite charity is Teach for America.
The ad (above) that Peterffy is self-funding to run in several swing states is not about his wealth or keeping the 1% rich, as the left would have you believe. This is about a man who left an oppressive nation – one that has tried what President Obama is attempting to force this nation to experience. In the United States, he found that he could achieve the American Dream because of his ideas and hard work. That’s what the American Dream is all about, isn’t it? It is still possible here, but is becoming more and more difficult with Obama’s class warfare and attempts to create hatred toward those who have been financially successful.
Some believe that President Obama is merely a socialist. Many of us believe his socialist policies are actually a means to end due to his anti-colonialist positions and his attempts to equalize America with the rest of the world (see my columns explaining anti-colonialism for more information). Regardless of the reasons for his implementing socialist policies, this is the path down which President Obama is traveling.
In our schools, many of our students do not learn about World War II and the policies that followed through the 20th century. Perhaps this is why Peterffy supports Teach for America – he may realize that if our students are not educated about the failed policies of Europe and the former USSR, they will not recognize it when someone tries to repeat history. Unfortunately, that is exactly what is happening today with President Obama, and so many people do not even recognize it as a regurgitation of failed policies. When Obama claims he does not want to return to the “failed policies of the Bush administration,” why doesn’t someone respond that we also do not want to go back to the failed policies of the second half of the 20th century?
The commercial linked above is a touching, heart-felt plea to the American people to wake up and recognize what we have here. The American Dream is at risk.
The full text of the commercial is as follows:
I grew up in a socialist country. And I have seen what that does to people. There is no hope, no freedom, no pride in achievement. The nation became poorer and poorer. And that’s what I see happening here. As a young boy, I was fantasizing about one day going to America. Making a success of myself – the American Dream. America’s wealth comes from the efforts of people striving for success. Take away their incentive with badmouthing success and you take away the wealth that helps us take care of the needy. Yes, in socialism the rich will be poorer. But, the poor will also be poorer. People will lose interest in really working hard and creating jobs. I think this is a very slippery slope. It seems like people don’t learn from the past. That’s why I’m voting Republican and putting this ad on television.
The self-made Thomas Peterffy is asking us all to “Support the Freedom to Succeed” on November 6. This isn’t about contraception or Big Bird – it’s about the American Dream and whether we protect it or lose it. What are you doing to join Mr. Peterffy and protect the American Dream? Voting is not enough this time. Share this video, share this article, share your story – make sure those in your neighborhood, church, clubs and social circles are aware. You may not approve of everything Mitt Romney plans to do, but certainly, can you not say that you support keeping the American Dream alive? President Obama may claim he wants the American Dream to still be possible, and that he makes decisions accordingly. However, this Ivy League educated professor was apparently absent on the days they explained that his policies are what cause a depressed economy without opportunity. Obama’s intent aside, history has proven what Obama’s policies produce.
“Doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results” is the definition of insanity. A nation cannot repeat socialist policies and expect different results. It seems that the people who best recognize this are those who have left socialist states, or have parents who have. Another example of a person who is passionate about the American Dream is Marco Rubio – his family left Cuba, which is another nation that has tried socialism expecting different results only to find that history does repeat itself.
Do your part to protect the American Dream – not just on November 6, but every day until then. You cannot be afraid or ashamed to share this with liberal friends and relatives, or hesitate to share this emotional plea with them to protect the blessings available in the United States. Your own livelihood depends on it. The future of your children depends on it. This nation’s existence depends on it.by