Does the “American Dream” Still Exist?


Janan Shouman, Editor

The American Dream: white picket fence, 2 children, nice neighborhood, everyone knows everyone, and prosperity. My grandparents and possibly yours all came to U.S. because of the prominent, “American Dream.” However, although it definitely did previously exist, one of the biggest questions today in our society is does the “American Dream” still exist?
I’ve seen this question pop up in several political debates and it even popped up last year in English when we were talking about The Great Gatsby. But the number one reason why I think this question arose is because of Donald Trump’s presidential rallies and his motto, “Make America Great Again.” Trump’s whole campaign was based around the fact that America is broken and needs to be fixed back to its original self and to make the “American Dream” a thing again. And because of this, no matter how much people and you might dislike Donald Trump, it caused many people to actually question if this so called dream I as still real and valid. And for me personally, I have a lot of mixed feelings on this subject but I do believe for American citizens this dream is dead.
Now, you might be asking why I think it’s dead for Americans but not foreigners, the answer is one simple word, privilege. And I’m not talking about racial or economic privilege, I’m talking about the American privilege. Whether or not you believe America is the greatest country in the world, America is still considered one of the greatest countries in the world and we have so many privileges over other countries that we don’t even question or think about. First of all we can vote, we have freedom of speech, the right to protest, women’s rights, legalization of gay marriage, and we have one of the strongest and long-lasting constitutions in the world. We basically have the most freedom out of any other country and we literally have the easiest lives here in the U.S. unlike in other countries. We don’t have to deal with war, famine, religious persecution, disease, dictators, oppression, and we don’t ever have to think of every day as possibly our last. Us Americans are the most privileged people on earth, we will never feel and go through the pain our ancestors once felt and other people around the world feel on a daily basis. And that’s why the “American Dream” is dead for Americans because it’s not a dream that we have to try to achieve like our ancestors, it’s our reality that our ancestors made and accomplished for us so we never had to deal with what they dealt with. However, for foreigners the “American Dream” is still very alive and valid, and if people say it isn’t then why are so many people trying to come into our country? Why are there thousands of migrants and asylum seekers at our borders? If the “American Dream” was truly dead, then we would not have such a high illegal immigration rate here. If it was truly dead then there wouldn’t be kids in China, Nigeria, India studying so hard just to get accepted into an American College. If it was truly dead then America would’ve died a long time ago with it.