Well, not sure we have had one in recent times. When I was growing up, the American Dream was to have a house in the suburbs and a two car garage; a one car garage if you were blue collar; a house if at the bottom of blue collar; a meal if you were really poor. You were supposed to love your job, your family and you had to save to send your kids to college so they could one day get their house and two car garage. That was really about it. Oh, of course you went to church.
Hmmm, not really a great dream, is it? Americans have lost their vision and have no dream. We do not even seem to ask what we, as a people and a nation, want for our future. Instead, we are caught up in the mechanics of life and have lost the dream of life. The debate on gun control is not a vision, but rather a diversion from saying we want a society where we are safe from harm from one another. The debate over Social Security and Medicare/caid cuts does not say we want all to be able to have freedom to live a long healthy life. Those wanting to revise the tax code say nothing about what a tax system should be. The arguments over CO2 emissions does not say we want a pollution free environment. Our economic fiascoes say nothing about having sustainable economies in which all have free access to prosperity. The list goes on.
This problem is symptomatic of the loss of individual dreams and visions which, taken together, create the national vision. Most just want to make it to the next day. Most pray they don't get sick or fired. Most would, indeed, sacrifice the environment for a job. Most hope their kids will hurry up and grow and move out.
Without a vision, a dream, a road map, there is no clear direction we, as individuals or the collective, wants to go. If you don't where you want to go, chances are you'll never get there. Battles in congress will continue to plague us because we are hung up on the mechanics of life. Wall Street will continue to rule our lives because we are afraid to reach for something different. Truly, there may be more than one road to reach a destination, but you have to know where you want to go. Until a destination is chosen, many will have us detour to places that simply make no sense, and that simply may be our downfall.