Is That All That Is Left Of The American Dream?

More Than Failed Policy, It’s Failed Vision

By now you must be aware of Mitt Romney's choice for Vice Prresident, Paul Ryan. Certainly you've seen the endless coverage and know all there is to know about the Romney-Ryan combo. I don't want to talk about the ticket, I want to talk about the lack of national imagination that this ticket embodies.

Immediately after the pick we received an email from our Congressman Michael Grimm about Romney selecting Paul Ryan as his running mate. True to form, Mr. Grimm failed to produce an original thought, instead relying on the same tired GOP talking points everyone else was using. But it isn't Congressman Grimm's lack of imagination I'd like to discuss, but rather the lack of imagination of the Republican party and perhaps our entire nation. Here is an excerpt from Mr. Grimm's message:

"With an economy that is choking under the weight of President Obama’s excessive regulations and dreading the upcoming tax increases, Governor Romney has made very clear that bold, new ideas are a must if we are to recover from this Obama Economy."

Of course the substance is entirely wrong. The facts don't support Mr. Grimm's claim, but it's not the facts I wish to discuss, rather the spirit. If you take a step back from the ticket, from the election, from the politics and the rhetoric you begin to ask is this really a vision for the future of our country?

When you look into the faces of your children and grandchildren do you dream of a future of tax cuts and deregulation? Is this really the cause behind which all Americans are to align themselves as we march towards the next great chapter of American history?

America is the nation that helped establish democracy for the world by throwing off the yoke of imperial rule. America is the nation that put human footprints on the moon. America is the nation that dreamt of a league of united nations. We are the nation that took a depression and turned it into an opportunity and a safety net for all of our citizens. America is the land of Ford, The Wright Brothers, Edison, Amelia Earhart, Martin Luther King, Jr., Charles Lindbergh, Steve Jobs and Neil Armstrong. We are the nation that built railroads across a continent. We invented the skyscraper. We created the largest middle class in the history of the world.

In a previous article I wrote:

"The American legacy is one of turning the impossible into the doable, into the accomplished. Sadly, our modern legacy is to turn the doable into the impossible. Throughout history, we would have arguments about how best to do great things, now we have great arguments about how to do everything, with so many arguing that we should be doing nothing. Our goal is to tear down government. Our goal is to dismantle the safety net. Our goal is to undo while so much of what we have done slowly crumbles."

As we watch the GOP convention, and later the Democrats, let's reflect on the question is this all that is left of the American Dream? Our destiny has been and always will be in dreaming big, in doing the impossible. By so doing we will build the economy we want by building the society we need. But if our vision for America's future is tax cuts and deregulation, tinkering on the bureaucratic margins then perhaps we should change our name from the United States of America to Brazil (the movie, not the place).

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