Is Barack Obama still too ‘green’

to comprehend the American Dream?

In the concluding portion of his regular Saturday address to the ‘YouTubers’, President-elect Obama referred to the “survival of the American Dream”. Here is what he said:

“The survival of the American Dream for over two centuries is not only a testament to its enduring power, but to the great effort, sacrifice, and courage of the American people.”

He’s absolutely right if you interpret the last word: “people” to mean individual Americans. Based on his own words during the past year, I don’t believe he meant it that way.

To begin with, the American dream is not anything that a president, a president-elect or a congress (or a blogger) can define for us because it is defined BY each of us, as measured by our own ambitions. A low-wage laborer who has a home and a loving family and a comfortable existence MAY HAVE attained his American Dream — he may be as happy as (or happier than) the CEO of a large corporation — or his dream may be larger, it may depend on an idea he has yet to bring to fruition or a job he is trying to get. More then likely, however, his American Dream has little to do with anything outside of his personal sphere of existence.

The president-elect then went on, still speaking of his version of the American Dream:

“It has thrived because in our darkest hours, we have risen above the smallness of our divisions to forge a path towards a new and brighter day. We have acted boldly, bravely, and above all, together.”

Its obvious now that the president-elect is not speaking of the American Dream, he’s speaking of the American spirit. That survival instinct that kicks in in time of trouble and unifies us in our common identity: loyal American citizens.

It is this American Spirit that binds us together to overcome a common obstacle, to beat back a threat or reach a new milestone. It’s necessary to note, however, that, even here, it is individual incentive based on self-preservation and on our voluntary willingness to band together for a common cause that carries the day.

So President-elect Obama gave a speech about the American Dream and assigned it the characteristics of the American Spirit: one being a personal set of goals and ambitions and the other a national spirit that kicks in when our country is in peril. Was this just a poor choice of words; a simple confusion of terminology? I sincerely doubt it.

What I take away from what the president-elect is saying is that he wants us on the road to a collective American Dream in which we give up our personal dreams and ambitions for “the greater good.” That has been the president-elect’s theme since he started running for the presidency: the greater good! Every American should have heard him say it and, since they elected him, we must assume that the majority of Americans are OK with that!

The purpose of this post is to say loudly and clearly that THIS American is NOT OK with that! The president-elect wants us to adopt this “for the greater good” attitude, he wants us to “sacrifice” (another favorite word in Obama’s dictionary) our aspirations so that those with no aspirations (or ambition) can have a richer life.

Are you ready for that America? Are you really going to go along quietly into Obama’s dark night?

Lets remember that the American people did not create the economic morass that the country finds itself in; it was created by individuals — most of whom are elected officials, others who have seats on the boards of directors of large corporations and still others who are appointees to high positions in government agencies. Should we, the American public, have to adjust our lives or give up even a single dream to compensate for their greed and misdirection; or should we insist that the government gets its house in order with a reduced and balanced budget before it asks the American public for even a single sacrifice?

President-elect Obama then completed his Saturday address with this:

That is the chance our new beginning now offers us, and that is the challenge we must rise to in the days to come. It is time to act. As the next president of the United States, I will.

You know; I’m very afraid that he will!

News Links

Monthly Review: Obama: The American Dream

WiredPRNews: Obama and McCain to Work Together for the Greater Good

Blog Links:

Blatt’s Blog . . .: Hello everyone, goodbye World as we know it. Obama Service, aka Involuntary Servitude

Whymrhymer’s P.O.V. can also be found at the My View from the Center

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