What is “The American Dream” anyway? Today people do nothing but complain about its loss. I wonder when it got lost. Was it during the great depression of the thirties? Was it during World War 11? Was it in Vietnam or Korea? Was it during the student riots in the sixties? Or was it during the ill-conceived War in Iraq?
In 1938 one third of this nation lived on less than subsistence diets. They lived in abysmal poverty. At the turn of the 20th Century immigrants from all over the world came pouring into the United States…….. They worked on the docks, heavy work, loading and unloading ships. They worked in sweatshop factories. They worked, as maids, house cleaners, painters and plasterers and anything else that they could find that would pay enough to put bread on the table.
These people dedicated themselves to becoming Americans. They learned to speak English even though often with a heavy accent. They felt it was their language and they had to learn it.They worked without benefit of Unions, pensions, Medicare, Medicaid or Social Security. Their Dream was to become American, to get ahead, to build a better future for their children, not just for themselves. This was their American Dream. These were the people who built and became America’s vast Middle Class. Even then it was not easy. It was not cheap.
When did this dream become the dream of instant satisfaction or nothing? What is the American Dream? When did it get lost?Maybe it was when Americans failed to go to the polls to vote. That’s when the country was sold to the highest bidder. That’s when the rich got richer and the poor got poorer.