Are we killing the American Dream?
Those who chronicle their life in these United States in multiples of decades rather than the post-internet era well remember being taught that the American Dream was a spouse, a good job, a house with a white picket fence and 2.33 children. Certainly an idyllic vision for many and the basis of variation for others.
As the years pass however the truth slowly reveals itself until one day, with the stark clarity of a blue autumn sky that the American Dream isn't what we accumulate, what we earn, what we do or what we are able to give away. We learn that the real American Dream is [I]opportunity.[/I]
It is what sets us apart from most other nations on earth and until fairly recently to unabashedly claim the title of exceptionalism. Not to be mistakenly used in the context of superiority but rather to delineate the ideology of individualism, liberty, freedom and the opportunity for all citizens to achieve their desired goals. The United State was, very simplistically, formed to afford opportunity to all who wished to avail themselves of it.
Although an abundance of personal opportunity remains to this day it is arguably being eroded both by legislative dictate and those, who for what ever reason believe opportunity should be confined to their restrictive definition.
In a pro-firearms environment it is not difficult to use as an exemplar the recent SCOTUS decisions that the Second Amendment does indeed protect the rights of the individual to own and bear arms and that unreasonable laws restricting such rights fly in the face of the Constitution. The ink had not yet dried on the judicial edict when those who think they can run the lives of citizens better than the citizens themselves set about drafting new laws not only contrary to judicial intent but with they express design of continuing to deprive the masses of the greatest and most important opportunity of all... to protect their very lives and the lives of those near to them.
Although not having as a potentially immediate consequence of the Second Amendment question opportunities just as basic are being stripped away... the opportunity to succeed or fail.
In a capitalistic based society building a 'better mouse trap' and reaping the rewards of thought, perseverance and risk ensures the continuation of the entrepreneurial sprit which in turn leads to better and less expensive services and products. For generation after generation this has been a simple economic tenet passed on from teacher to student, parent to child and employer to employee.
One might assume that when a young man ensconced himself in his parent's garage and used talent and ingenuity to greatly improve the way computers operated the world would beat a path do his door. The world did, but contrary to the motto of the Army, 'Be All You Can Be', our changing society decided that being too much better than the rest was no longer fair. Talent, risk and perseverance was suddenly the enemy of equality in a society where mediocrity was quickly becoming the standard.
One must wonder how it can be rationally argued that an opportunity seized upon by one and available to all others is suddenly deemed to be unfair. Success, it seems, had met it's arbitrary limit. Reward of accomplishment had been scorned and sidetracked for the new goal of Social Justice... no matter how unjust that might be.
It appears that consumer preference is no longer the dictate of success but rather the standard by which failure is measured, and artificially remedied. There is a high likelihood that you are reading these thoughts on one of the most successful firearms forums on the net. Monetary risk, emotional capital and years of uncertainty are required to build a business with no guarantee of ultimate reward. A happy medium of providing what the consumer will repeatedly return for must be combined with demonstrating to advertisers that their money will be wisely invested. Is that about to change? Will one man's American Dream be replaced by the inability to fail for others?
It is only necessary to look at the proposed reintroduction of 'The Fairness Doctrine' to imagine what may be coming. It doesn't take a giant leap of cynicism to envision the government's mandate of 1949 for license holders to broadcast 'honest, equitable and opposing views' to be extended to the internet. Will a pro-Second Amendment forum that resulted from one man's American Dream be diluted by a mandated tax-payer funded, seldom visited or read opposing forum? If there is a market for such media Air America would be listed on Fortune 500 rather than in bankruptcy. They had their American Dream, their opportunity, and it failed, as many dreams do... but it had the opportunity to succeed. Will opportunities destined to fail now be mandated to succeed out of a misplaced sense of Social Justice?
Our recent history is rife with American Dreams that were not allowed to be pursued for reasons that our Founding Fathers could never fathom. Spotted Owls, Darter Snails and the Preble Mouse now hold more importance than the opportunities to provide employment and security for thousands of American families. Our national security and economy continues to be dependent on sources of foreign energy whilst elk, caribou and the occasional polar bear relieve themselves on the frozen tundra covering that which we sell our souls for.
Are We Killing The America Dream? Those who chronicle their life in these United States in multiples of decades have little time left to answer that question. Those who are of the post-internet era must make the final decision... while they still have the opportunity.
Posted 12-10-2010 at 21:18 by IndyGunFreak
Posted 12-12-2010 at 14:39 by jhoagland
Posted 12-12-2010 at 14:54 by GioaJack
Posted 06-04-2011 at 10:15 by norton
Posted 10-05-2011 at 15:49 by labdwakin