I have spent my life judging the distance between American reality and the American dream.” – Bruce Springsteen
Many children grow up believing the common denominator in realizing the American dream is education. Education begets success, success begets money and that cute 4-bedroom home. From there, living a facade is what usually ends up happening. Wonder why your bank account, Bachelor’s degree and BMW all became part of the great American dream? Ask every politician begging for your vote.
Rushing to judgment too quickly? Not hardly. Think about your own ‘private Idaho’; one’s paradise includes happiness to some degree which, of course, includes financial security and having your morals protected from perdition, bankruptcy and making irrational decisions. Now put today’s demand for social media and the government’s thirst for knowledge into play, and what’s the result? Unrestricted access to your life every time you post grandma’s homemade cookie recipe online – seems that Facebook and your elected officials aren’t strange bedfellows after all. And Snowden’s the bad guy?
What was once an American citizen’s mantra has now turned into some bureaucrat’s callous attempt to control humanity through every click, Like, Tweet and Share humans purport. The technology so many look forward to embracing is nothing more than another means to track movements, add panache to facial recognition programs and slowly undo Constitutional rights four individuals – and millions of Americans throughout time – have fought to preserve. Life is what you make it, of course; one caveat we’re often left blinded from is the choices we make are made for us whether we vote, or not. ObamaCare, of course, being the chief example backing that statement.
The not-so-secretive Secret Service consistently monitors web activity (not just Facebook, of course), jotting down IP addresses of people that seem overanxious to end specific government programs, decisions and individuals behind them. FBI cronies investigate cyber crimes against humanity – but seem to work much harder when the individuals are of exceptionally high affluence. My point? Facebook isn’t exactly an entity with its user base’s best interests at heart; just look how Obama was able to amend the VPPA to help Facebook allow Netflix rental histories to go into your timeline. You, me, Uncle Carl and Aunt Sue will share pictures tomorrow and will soon become an easier way for Secret Service, FBI and anyone else to invade your once protected privacy – an element of the American dream, of course.
Today we’re living an incredibly surreal nightmare. You think you’re choosing to eat healthy, you assume Facebook is relatively harmless for children and you’ve always been told Social Security helps workers make it through their retirement years. More importantly, you believe tomorrow’s freedom was promised centuries ago when an independent declaration was made. 238 years later, guess you’re learning something differently, right?
Anyone that allows millions of people to suffer because of political power struggles is responsible for creating war – war at the pump, war at the dinner table, journalism wars and moral wars which force once free people decide whether they’ll post a family photo for everyone to share, or just frame it. Conservatives constantly pay the ultimate price for living in America as well; just read two cover stories on Huffington Post, and watch how liberals consistently smear the values and beliefs of conservatives by shoving their agenda in your face like you wanted to kiss their prom date. Or bed their wives.
I bring all these components to the American dream conversation because they’re threatened. They’re unclean. And they’ll be the very reason why you’ll be working 40 hours a week until you either die of boredom, natural causes, mesothelioma or some other man-made disorder drummed up to control the American populace.
Today, in other words, living the American dream means realizing the dream is American mythology.