Even though the United States has always been a favorite destination for people around the world, to say ‘American Dream’ seems like an oxymoron nowadays. With the downfall of the economy and the fear of recession plaguing nearly every country in the world, people seem to be waking up from their dreams. The United States has surely felt the economic crisis; fear (of everything) is ever present amongst their citizens and hope seems to be fading for the poorest. But that’s not a terrible thing, after all.
Kentuckians rally for better energy policies in their state capital. Is this the picture of the new American dream? Photo credit: Renew KY on Flickr.
With problems like poverty and unemployment rising in the U.S., communities are now aware of their active role in these issues. The whole demystification of the ‘American Dream’ is visible to anybody who visits the U.S. or chooses to work and/or study here. There is no ‘Dream’ place, not even in super developed countries like Sweden, Switzerland, and Norway. Problems are meant to be solved, and people in their own communities can solve them. Politicians on the other hand, haven’t realized the need to encourage and engage grassroots community activism. Neither the Republican National Convention or the Democratic one will bring back the ‘American Dream’, nor will their candidates. Surely they can bring back the idea of the ‘Dream’, but only as a utopian ideal which will probably never exist.
As a visitor from to the U.S. from Colombia, a country with far more problems than the U.S., I think that citizens can actually learn from the demystification of the perfect and successful “Main Street USA”. Nobody, not even Romney or Obama, is going to ensure that the vague and dreamy idea of success will return. Hard work, trust building, and a strong community sense will definitely redefine the new ‘Dream’, which should be a far more realistic one that its predecessor.
Post by Juan Constain. CoLab is publishing personal reflections on the American Dream narrative, as well as other election-related posts, during the Republican and Democratic National Conventions.