Shortly after I graduated in May of 2010, I had the time to start watching television again. It may not be in quite the same volume as the days of my adolescence, but it was quite a bit more than when I was but a tired, bitter, over-worked engineering student at Ye Olde Military Institute of Virginia. My viewing habits trend towards cop shows, medical dramas, spy dramas, and just about anything on the History, Military, or Discovery channels. That said, I had been watching the mini-series America: The Story of Us on the History Channel. I’m also became a huge fan of the show When We Left Earth on Discovery. Both of these shows are illustrative of the American Dream. The dream that no matter your creed or color, you could achieve anything you wanted in America as long as you had the drive, the dedication, and the heart to accomplish it.
America’s history overflows with examples of men and women who have left their mark on history based upon sheer determination alone. Men like Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller built empires from dust while presidents like Theodore Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy bridged oceans and landed men upon the moon. Even men born into slavery achieved lives of success winning freedom for all men and women.
This is what has always set the United States apart from any other country on earth; the fact that what unites us is not some shared ethnicity or allegiance to some common monarch, but one mutual idea that all men are imbued by God with an equal opportunity to turn their dreams into reality.
I fear that we’ve lost that. Not only that, but that we’ve lost the capacity for it. That somehow all of the doom and gloom and “Me First!” consumerism has killed our ability to dream of new tomorrows and soar upwards to a brighter future. With the talk of fiscal cliff this and debt ceiling that, we’ve lost our footing and forgotten who we are as Americans.
We’re dreamers, workers, fighters. We take the bull by the horns and work diligently until even the wildest vestiges of our imaginations are turned into reality. We did it in 1776 by taking on the world’s preeminent super power and birthing a new nation based upon the ideals of equality for all men before the law and liberty. We did it again in 1865 when we emerged from our bloodiest war united after struggling for the soul of our Nation. We did it again in 1914 when we bridged the world’s largest oceans in Panama. We did it once more in 1945 when we rescued the world from fascism and pure evil. And our crowning achievement was when we turned lunatic science fiction into concrete scientific history in 1969 when we landed men on the moon.
We can do it again, but we the people MUST gather together and make it happen. We cannot continue down this road of selfishness and animosity.