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The Evolution of The American Dream

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The American Dream is an idea that America gives the opportunity for anyone to succeed, however, success itself is defined by the individual. The accessibility of this idea that was once the pinnacle of living in America is being challenged, but should it be? The American Dream is still accessible because those who strive for their own idea of happiness can achieve it and those who take advantage of the wealth of opportunities available can reach their dream, but because it has changed to be focused on money, for those who wealth alone is the dream, it may not be accessible to all. In the article “The Evolution of the American Dream,” published by The Christian Science Publishing Society in 2008, the author Richard O’Mara conveys the American dream endures but fluctuates. However, in the article, “Whose American Dream?,” published by International Herald Tribune, in 2016, the author Bryce Covert argues the elite have an overwhelming influence over the American dream.

The societal inquiry as to the future of the American dream is exceedingly skeptical and varies. Quite frequently, regular people consider the American dream, “as a phrase with little concrete meaning, or an ideal betrayed”. The widespread negative perception of the American dream plausibly originates from the proletariat in society. Moreover, those who continue to thrive or are born into wealth regard the American dream is alive; furthermore, fully relish in its opportunities. Richard O’Mara consults his barber’s opinion on the American dream who honestly believes the American dream has, “come and gone.” The baffling views on the powerful ethos prompts those to ponder the current state of the American ideal. Jeremy Rifkin a popular economist observes, “…Americans are really not embracing the American dream but rather the American daydream…”. Instead of struggling to capture the American dream, many people develop a careless attitude as they avert the personal responsibility. The lack of enthusiasm to chase the American dream is a common reoccurrence, often rooted in an absence of gumption. If asked on a street corner today, the typical response of the American dream is, “a dream of motor cars and high wages”. In order to achieve those high wages, it is beneficial to attend and complete higher education to demonstrate skills; however, with rising costs and no wage increases, it is extremely difficult to do so. In the face of economic uncertainty society freezes, too afraid to take any action. Materialism is now the face of the American dream and its economic challenges have made it easier for people to forget about it.

The elite possess robust leverage over the American dream. Over the course of the 2016 presidential campaign, Donald Trump’s, “promises to make America great again, and that combined with the symbolism of his own financial standing make for a promise of individual economic prosperity for all his supporters”. Donald Trump symbolizes the American dream for he created a multibillion-dollar real estate empire. Donald Trump, through his campaign promises, communicates optimism to the lower class; furthermore, promises a chance to elevate into a superior economic standing. Marco Rubio, born from Cuban immigrants, “…is not exactly a rags to riches story… Marco Rubio has a long history of financial difficulties… Mr. Rubio campaigns on the idea that Americans are struggling”. Marco Rubio symbolizes middle-class Americans and maintains a pessimistic tone on economic security. Marco Rubio’s strikingly distinct views and political influence back big donors but not the American people. According to voters, “Mr. Trump’s story is clearly far more compelling to Republican voters”. Donald Trump believes the American dream is alive and many Americans are buying his optimism; furthermore, identify with him and yearn for his success.

Donald Trump, with zero political experience, continuously funds his own campaign; therefore, attracts the working class. The multibillionaire manages to persuade those who view him as themselves, and what their potential holds.

The definition of the American dream has and will continue to change over time. In its grandest representation, the American dream advocates for a person’s individuality regardless of religion, race, political beliefs, sexual orientation, or economic status. The freedom to make life better for oneself, to execute one’s goals will always be part of the American dream. However, it’s apparent many have given up and forgotten the American dream altogether. Florence King’s logical take on the current state of the powerful ethos affirms its evolution. Society today views the American dream functions for the upper class; therefore, avoids chasing all of its beneficial offerings. The American dream is by no means dead, its true meaning may be.

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