Midterm Essay: The American Dream The American Dream is so many different things to so many different people, especially American’s. While other countries around the World would like to argue that Americans’ only aspiration is to become infinitely wealthy, Dinesh D’Souza claims that it is not wealth that Americans want. He believes that it is simply a better life. Michael Moore too acknowledges Americans’ ambition, especially his own, to create a better life for themselves. These two views of the American Dream come from very opposite Americans, but it is their differences that make their ideals so beautifully unique. To begin the comparison between these two authors, I will first examine Moore’s ideology.
As it is obviously stated in the title of his book, Moore is not exactly subtle person. He voices his contempt of what has become the American Dream through his own story of an underpaid and underappreciated pilot. Moore disgust for the pilot’s situation when he crudely utters, “Never, ever let someone fly you up in the air who’s making less than the kid at Taco Bell.” (Moore, 48) Moore, of self-admitted wealth, sympathizes with men that collect food stamps. These pilots, as well as the rest of Americans, are being robbed of our American Dreams by corporate minions that have been stockpiling income for the last, “two decades.” (Moore, 50) These same CEO’s and other suits are the greed at the tops of huge corporations that, with the absence of Clinton, have had a field day with ripping off Americans by and large through tax shelters, off-shore subsidies, and other means of defrauding the American Public.
... he feels towards the causes of the American dream. Cal believes that the American dream still exists but it will be hard ... given potential. That is the American dream and the American value.” The first article is called “Is the American Dream Over?” by Cal Thomas. ... which was imposed on America, the eclipse of liberalism’s American dream has been largely cause by expanding, encroaching, over-taxing, ...
Moore drives this point home when he attacks Mercedes Benz tax dodging of emissions fines as a blatant tactic, “so that rich people could drive around big, fancy cars and ruin people lungs.” (Moore, 53) Although he admits to living among the rich people, Moore points out that the government too is among those that are flushing away the American Dream, because tax audits have increased among the less paid in American society. Moore reveals that his true vision of the American Dream is the success of people who have, “played by the rules, gave their heart and sole and first marriage to their company.” (Moore, 55) Certainly success is anything but guaranteed in any competitive Capitalistic society. This competition is what makes America thrive. However, Moore feels that it is not Capitalism fault, as much as it is those in areas of corporate power that have stolen from their workers and left without remorse. Moore’s harsh criticism of the United States is anchored by his acceptance that there are no better options anywhere else.
D’Souza, on the other hand, is an avid supporter of his image of the American Dream and its presence in America. Dinesh explains the popularity of the American Dream worldwide is because people wish for, “the American way of life.” (D’Souza, 73) As if it was coming from a foreigner, he continues to exemplify the American Dream as an outsider looking in and seeing all of the splendor and appeal of Americans’ lives. It is this enchantment that causes people from all ends of the Earth to migrate to the United States and even leave their families and traditions. The most emphasized element and essentially the core of the American Dream is the ability to, “write the script of your own life.” (D’Souza, 83) The writer gives his own real-life example of the American Dream, through his emergence as a writer and later a White House Staff member simply because he pursued his own dream. Through the constant comparisons with the inequalities present in countries throughout the World, D’Souza is fascinated with the diversity of America and the, “tolerant society”, that this diversity has spawned. (D’Souza, 94) Immediately it is obvious that these two interpretations of the current status of the American Dream are nearly political polar opposites.
... course all these problems came from the idea of an American dream and people, being only human, are selfish and want to have ... came to America to alleviate themselves from negative aspects of life. This was an important part of the American dream as it ... arcades came mail order catalogues and travelling salesmen, meaning people all over America could enjoy the wonders of consumerism. Prosperity could ...
Michael Moore mercilessly attacks the government’s refusal to help the average working man. Moore faults corporations’ greed and crooked politics for forcing the American Dream further and further away from most Americans. D’Souza’s take on this subject is almost the exact opposite. He credits the founding fathers of our nation for laying the framework for our present day America, in which anybody has, “the chance to make his own life.” (D’Souza, 95) Further differences become apparent in the two men’s feeling toward their own successes in America. Moore basically indicts all of upper-class America for slowly driving corporations and politics into opposition of the average American, he says of his numerous wealthy neighbors, “they are fit, coifed, and hungry to make a killing.” (Moore, 51) While Moore would refuse to admit that some of these types of people may have pushed his book onto the bestseller list, D’Souza is grateful to them because his, “ideology counted more than nationality.” (D’Souza, 82) Although it did not become clear to me until after reading through both authors it is very obvious that Michael Moore grew up in America and its politics. Conversely, D’Souza at first glance seems like your average conservative because of his stark defense of what he sees as America’s strengths.
I first thought D’Souza’s respect and gratitude as a humble and very respectable point of view and even though I still respect his appreciation for the United States, I’ve decided that I consider these feelings are somewhat na ” ive, honestly he gives Americans too much credit. He said that if Bill Gates offered a homeless man $100 to kiss his feet, “Most likely the homeless guy would tell Gates to go to hell.” (D’Souza, 78) As sad as it is to admit, but even I would consider kissing Bill Gates’ feet for $100. So in this respect Moore did have American’s (or at least me) pinned correctly. Moore’s cynicism is easily mistakable for negativity or anti-patriotism.
... threatened by some of the actions taken by the American government to secure our way of life. Some of our freedoms ... violation of our civil liberties as Americans? There are tens of thousands of surveillance cameras around America watching our daily life without ... America The nations new conciseness of terrorism, a product of both ...
I see his aggressive style as his way of embracing our democracy and forcing it to make our country better in any way it can. What he is saying is to refuse mediocrity in our own government. I too believe we should always be striving to make our country better. It is this reason that I call D’Souza na ” ive.
Our government did not become what it is over night. It has been hundreds of years of fight and struggle from people like Moore that pushed America through her weaknesses, like segregation, racism, injustice, etc… D’Souza touches on this idea somewhat when he quotes V. S.
Naipaul’s notion that Americans believe in an individual’s potential for, “perfectibility.” (D’Souza, 85) Because of our government, more directly its rule by the people, this perfectibility should also be extended to our every political ideal. Even though I admire D’Souza and his blind love for America, I agree that Moore’s head is in the right direction. Works Cited ” Souza, Dinesh. , What’s So Great About America (Washington, Regnery Publishing, 2002).
Moore, Michael. , Stupid White Men (New York.