Too often I have failed to dream about what I would like to see happen in this country. I have become increasingly discouraged about so many things that I have seen happen around me in the last two decades that I have traded my optimism for resentment, blame and distrust. I tried to tell myself that my youthful hope simply evolved from a naiveté, unsophistication and lack of general knowledge about the true evils of this world. Now I believe I understand the degradation that has occurred before my own eyes. I think we all have a sense of blaming a willing coalition of politicians and conglomerates for the deregulation of the media, the diversion of valuable tax dollars to selfish schemes and the loss of so many protections for the common, hard-working people that have been the backbone of this country. Perhaps most disheartening of all is the deep divisions that seem to turn us blindly against each other. After the nightmare presidency of Bush, turning our precious notions of decency and responsibility upside-down, I was left with very little in the way of dreams.
But if I still could, I would dream of an America where our minds could truly be free, fed by the lofty aspirations and honest reporting of a society united by a common goal of caring for every citizen and keeping our commitments around the world. An America where the cold-hearted and insane ramblings of agitators like Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck were simply relegated to the trash can of ignorance and prejudice as they once surely were in my childhood. I would dream of an America where knowledge and achievement were valued above ideology and narrow-mindedness. I would dream of an America where school employment centers did not rest until every graduate had been placed in a position of gainful employment. I would dream of an America where even the great robber barons and captains of industry remembered the value of charity and philanthropy. I would dream of an America where conservatives and liberals alike could work together in a spirit of enlightened self-interest seeing our nation as a whole, not a tapestry of haves and have-nots. I would dream of building more libraries in more small towns and promoting life-long learning for anyone who would seek it. I would dream of an America where the accumulation of wealth would be balanced by care and protection of American families, singles and senior citizens, with pensions and health care and rewards for honest toil.