Thoughts and ramblings on tech, media, culture, and food. Plus some other stuff, I'm sure.

When Reality Becomes a Dream

"When you choose to serve -- whether it's your nation, your community or simply your neighborhood -- you are connected to that fundamental American ideal that we want life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness not just for ourselves, but for all Americans. That's why it's called the American dream." source

Barack Obama's new (and fantastically designed, I might add) change.gov is messing with us. That, or his team is pretty confused about dreams vs. reality. Apparently, according to them, the guarantee to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" that was written into the Declaration of Independence is a dream. The American Dream.

But that isn't the American Dream and never has been. Looking past the fact that they are turning a reality into their version of compulsory volunteerism, we have problems with history. "The American Dream" has always been about upward mobility.

"The American Dream is that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement. It is a difficult dream for the European upper classes to interpret adequately, and too many of us ourselves have grown weary and mistrustful of it. It is not a dream of motor cars and high wages merely, but a dream of social order in which each man and each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable, and be recognized by others for what they are, regardless of the fortuitous circumstances of birth or position." -James Truslow Adams, (Epic of America, 1931)

Adams happened to have coined that term, "The American Dream." Now, instead of perpetuating the ability for any American to make whatever they want of themselves "regardless of the fortuitous circumstances of birth or position," we will be brought to one level - or at least be brought closer to that one level.

Through taxation and redistribution of wealth to welfare programs and doing to college what we've done to the public school system, all men will not just be created equal, they will all be on the same level.

That's not my real point though. My main point is that Obama's team has a misunderstanding of these phrases they are throwing around. That, or they are hoping to continue rewriting the expectations and understanding of the American people, many of whom voted based on an image, a race, or the chance to "be a part of history."