Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Dream

Chris Good checks the stock ticker of our national soul, and finds that unexamined faith in meaningless abstractions is down 2.8%.

The "American Dream" means different things to different people, but according to a new poll from Xavier University Americans think it is increasingly harder to attain, even as they say hard work makes the dream possible.
According to this poll, the American Dream is one or more of the following: opportunity, freedom, family, financial security, happiness, a good job, home ownership, wealth, or something else entirely. E pluribus unum, just like it says on our worthless fiat currency.

What does "opportunity" mean? Hard to say. What does "freedom" mean? Beats me. "Happiness"? God only knows. What's the difference between "financial security" and "wealth"? It's anybody's guess.

It's times like these I wish we had a more unanimous and concrete national dream, like the Iranian Dream of beheading infidels, or the Québécois Dream of annexing Maine and Vermont in the name of Lebensraum.

Putting these quibbles aside, the lesson here is that no matter which vague concepts you reflexively invoke when asked to define the fuzzy outlines of the alleged Dream that makes America a theoretical Promised Land for prospective non-failures, all is not well.
Think of it as a much more detailed version of Right Direction/Wrong Track polling, and a possible explanation for the strong anti-incumbent, anti-Washington sentiments shown in generic election polling--a facet, or a motivating factor, in voter dissatisfaction.
Now we're getting somewhere: Most people who feel dissatisfied with the brightness and trajectory of their personal ignis fatuus blame those fuckers for ruining things in some unspecified way, or failing to do something or other about it, posthaste.

Who can deny that it's time for a change of some sort?

(Image via Morons With Signs.)

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