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The American Dream?

I’ve watched both party’s national conventions and the difference in tone is striking. For today’s column, I cite only to First Lady Michelle Obama’s speech, which included: ”That is the story of this country, the story that has brought me to this stage tonight, the story of generations of people who felt the lash of bondage, the shame of servitude, the sting of segregation, but who kept on striving and hoping and doing what needed to be done so that today I wake up every morning in a house that was built by slaves.”

American Dream this wayOh my, what a ghastly existence. It is so horrible living in the United States that I’m surprised she’s made it this far. Somehow she endured the lashings, the bondage, the servitude and segregation to attain the right to live in the ultimate public housing, the White House. The view that America is a hodgepodge of misfits, debtors and poor immigrants that somehow have managed to survive the beatings and injustices of a ruling class is prevalent with Mrs. Obama and her supporters. They spoke this week at the Democractic National Convention of overcoming the struggle of being an American, of the horrors of police brutality and how America is failing everyone except the top 1%. It’s an appealing message if one believes that America owes anyone a darned thing.

I’m of a different ilk. I think America is the one place on earth where one can be elected President (premier, chancellor, prime minister, etc) where one doesn’t come from the ruling class. I believe that America is the one place where one can make their dreams come true regardless of where they started from. I believe that the Founding Fathers put in place a system that over time would free everyone, regardless of race or national origin, from the bondage of slavery, from the tyranny of oppression and from the subjugation of servitude to the King. Those same Founding Fathers, instead of creating a ruling class, specifically set up a government “of the people, by the people” so that there would never be a ruling class. Alexander Hamilton, despite how he was portrayed in the Broadway smash hit “Hamilton”, wanted a monarchy, or failing that, a ruling class, but was defeated by the consensus of those farmers, businessmen and frontiersmen who were tired of Kings and all their men.

I think America is not a place where we wallow in misery about how bad things are, instead we are a place where we celebrate how good things are while looking forward to an even better day. Instead of an America that owes anyone anything, I see an America where every capable person gets the chance to live the American Dream and an America that cares for those who can’t care for themselves. That is the America that our Founding Fathers envisioned, an America that embraced the challenge of a New World with optimism.

Just because Michelle Obama wallows in the pit of despair doesn’t mean that the rest of us have to join her there. Be all that you can be, strive for the goals that you want to attain and live, no, celebrate the American Dream!

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