America Dreaming


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  1. Howard Dean reignited the fires of my American Dream, making me believe it was again a possibility. That flame has been tested severely of late, but it still flickers. I do not want to lose this dream. I hope you all can help me to keep its fires burning.

    • pfiore8 on September 9, 2007 at 5:32 pm

    a big welcome, cosmic debris…

    and i agree… a more equitable world… and it starts with us as you point out so wisely when we cross the line from innocence to experience (love that)

    warm regards… pf8

    • Robyn on September 9, 2007 at 5:33 pm

    If I could change one thing it would be to eliminate greed.  It is the root cause of so much mischief.

  2. I really enjoyed your post and perspective, CD! 

    I wonder if you have read much of Franklin, Thom. Paine and Jefferson.  Thom Paine most of all sings to my soul as his common man, common sense milieu is based on a culture which rewards ideas on their merit.  Logic, reason and evidence are the keys to the kingdom.  Al Gore’s book, The Assault on Reason, also speaks to this as the basis for real and sustainable equal opportunity.

    You keep writing, and I’ll keep reading.

  3. My problem with the founders dream was that it was based on slavery, genocide, sexism and oppression. Whether or not we can base our future dreams on their foundation is a question for me because of that.

    It seems to me we’ve tried for a couple of centuries to build on that dream and expand it. But now we find ourselves here, in the 21st century, and its failing us terribly again.

    So I wonder if it isn’t time to start over with a newly defined dream. In this area, I love the work of Riane Eisler who is best known for her book The Chalice and the Blade where she talks about the difference between “partnership”  and “dominator” societies.

  4. And it’s so good to see you here.

    There are many answers to your question, I think.  And my answer is just one.  It’s something I have been thinking about for a long time, but still have little coherence in putting it into words.

    Laws … oh just the notion itself of “equal protection under the law.”  Fact is, we have never had that – I wonder if that’s ever been the case in the history of the world.

    To me, a “good” law has to reflect the basic primal needs of humanity, needs that do not change even as everything else does.  Food, clothing, shelter – we always need that.

    But there are intangibles that we need as well if we are to flourish as human beings.  Love, fellowship, work, self expression.  And justice — a difficult concept to define, as one’s own role and actions in life can blur the reality of justice.

    I am beginning to write about diversity, and I think there is a key in that which will help us break out of our ponderous and one-sided thinking on our dreams of what America can be.

    An immigrant travels, say, from Guatemala to the US, in search of survival, through great hardships we can hardly imagine.  A mother who has lived on public assistance in New Orleans, lived in public housing, is not allowed to come back home.  A Muslim is treated like a criminal when he tries to board an airplane.  An African American can’t get a cab in New York city.

    A group of intelligent, well educated people of color talk about issues that affect their communities.  They are not the same issues you will read at Daily Kos, Atrios, etc.

    We are not connected.  We need to be connected.  And I think this is a difficult task — but there are views out there we are not in touch with, and perhaps those very views hold the answer to your question.

    Sorry for running on.  I’m still thinking this out.  And that’s why I like DocuDharma as well — there’s space to do that.

    • pico on September 9, 2007 at 11:53 pm

    I have one small nitpick which is just a choice of wording.  You mention that the European settlers came to America

    to escape the oppression of church and monarchy

    Strictly speaking, they came to escape the oppression of others’ churches and monarchies, but they had no problem with the notion of church or monarchical oppression per se.  In fact, they pretty gleefully established their own when they landed here (which you acknowledge in the next line). 

    But I think it’s one of the often repeated myths of our national history that people came here seeking religious freedom.  Religious oppression was perfectly fine; they just didn’t like the denominations in power.

    Otherwise, great stuff, and a great American dream to be had.

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