“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.” - Declaration of Independence, 1776. There’s always been a preconceived notion in American culture that the country is inclusive and sort of a melting pot for people from different backgrounds. But the truth is that we ostracize many people within and out of this country. The American Creed we choose to believe is that we try to give everyone in this country the fairest chance they can, so that there’s an even playing field for everyone. But we choose to overlook the bad things we’ve done throughout history, and only focus on the things that make us look good. Now more than ever, people are realizing the truth, but there are still plenty parts of the American Story that we leave out. What other things do we disregard as a country?
To understand what makes the American Story, we have to understand the American dream. It differs from person to person, but basically it is the ideology that anyone has the opportunity for prosperity, success, and upward social mobility for their family, achieved through hard work with few obstacles. After understanding these facts, it’s safe to assume that America is not all inclusive or accepting, nor is it safe and equally prosperous for everyone. We celebrate facts that push the “#1 country in the world” trope, (how far ahead we are with technology innovation, our strong military, etc.) and glaze over the questionable and destructive things this country projects on its citizens and even people outside of this nation. If we are going to claim America is exceptional, we have to accept and acknowledge the flaws.
One reason the American Dream is now viewed as increasingly unattainable and achievable the state of our economy. It may seem like we are a financially stable country, especially since getting out of the 2008 recession, but the state of our economy could be better. We are currently in a $20 trillion debt, a debt that hasn’t been paid off in almost 200 years, and that number is still climbing today. And with the upcoming tax cuts , it is becoming increasingly harder and harder for citizens in this country to live comfortably in this country. Trump’s latest tax cut will eventually cause a tax hike for two-thirds of middle class Americans in coming years.
If we want change and want our American Creed to truly become something to be proud of, we have to take more action in our society. This means paying attention to current events, knowing our facts and politics well, and taking action in our community to make it a better place.