Not far from here, some three hundred million Americans believe in something that has come to be known as “The American Dream”. Millions more from around the world believe that they too can somehow be a part of the American Dream. So just what is the American Dream? How does it effect Canadians and how long will this dream last?
The original concept of the American Dream has little if any resemblance to what people think it is today. Today, the American Dream means acquiring property and money. Living the good life now and paying for it later. To some, the American Dream is fame while to others it is power. It is a materialistic and self centred idea with a strong sense of entitlement. Today’s version is a far cry from it’s original concept and meaning.
The American Dream started with fundamental rights and beliefs in freedom. It meant that everyone has the right to live where and how they wanted. It meant that everyone has a right to seek fulfillment of their ambitions and to reap the rewards of their own work and success. This idea led to great new ways to produce goods. Inventions made some people mega-rich, while making life easier for the general population. America thrived. And when America thrived so did it’s friends and allies. We were all invited to enjoy the American Dream no matter where we lived.
The American Dream was not the only thing that made America great. America had a sense of fairness, a respect for all people and a determination to bring freedom and human rights to all peoples of the earth. Had it not been for America finally entering both World Wars the outcome may well have been quite different. And since the end of the second World War America has been given the job of Global Policeman.
One thing is common to all dreams: They all come to an end. Some seem to last forever while others are like fleeting moments in time, but we always have to wake up and when we do they all come to an end.
Great empires through out history have seen themselves as invincible, as living on for eternity. The Romans, the Greek, the British even the Egyptians who lasted for millennium, all eventually came to an end. And when the power and dreams of these empires came to an end they were replaced by yet another power, with a new ideology or a new way of doing things. Who will be the successor to the United States when their time has run the distance? What ideology will take it’s place?
China has made giant steps onto the world stage. How is it that trade was forbidden with China (a communist country) until so recently? It is only in the past 18 or 20 years that we have had access to the wealth of cheap Chinese products in our “Dollar” stores. I can still remember the first time I stumbled across one. Tool, toys everything at a fraction of the price of Canadian or American made goods. It was like a candy store. Soon more stores were carrying the Chinese goods. Zellers, Canadian Tire, Wal-Mart they all carried the cheap goods from China. Soon it was hard to find any goods that weren’t made in China (or India). We kept buying and sending our money to China.
Trade has been good with China except for one thing. It is a one way transaction. We have been importing plenty from China but they take a fraction of our goods in return. Hence the deficit in trade.Will China be the next world “Super Power”? Will they export more that cheap products? Will all business be transacted in Chinese and will we all be spending Renminbi (the official currency on Mainland China)? Canadian and American jobs have also been exported to China and India leaving us with high unemployment and lower wages for the working class.
Islam has spread it’s word in an ever growing sea of followers. What many people mistake as a people (Arab) is actually a religion. Islam encompasses much more than people from the middle east. Islam is the chosen religion of more than 2.2 billion people from around the world. While it originated in the middle east (as did Judaism and Christianity). It too has spread to the rest of the world. Much of Europe is now Muslim as is Africa, Asia and growing strongly in North America. While terrorists from the middle east have hijacked Islam as a way of recruiting new followers of their terrorist organization, Islam itself still carries a message of peace and is being accepted by more and more people around the world.
Will Islam be the next world power? Will we all be required to pray to Mecca 5 times a day? Will the United States become “The Islamic Republic of the United States”? Will Canadian women dawn the burqa and hide all skin? Will North America adopt “Sharia” law as it’s norm?
When the American dream ends and the hopes of millions are shattered, will there be Chinese or Islamic troops in our streets? What of our Constitutions, our Bill of rights? Will they be honored Will the sanctity of our places of worship be respected? Will our dream now be our nightmare?
It is not too late, but getting very close to being too late to pull back from the brink. What is needed is to return to a balanced trade with all trading partners, renew and maintain the dreams of the pioneers in the way they meant them to be. Quit trying to rule and control the world. Instead allow countries and the people in them to seek out and follow their own dreams. Let them fight for their dreams. Don’t fight them to give them their dreams. If they want freedom let them find their way of achieving it. Then it truly is theirs.
Personally, I hope the American dream lives on for many many more years. So that our children and grandchildren can also enjoy the life we do. Too quick do we criticize instead of trying to help.