The American Dream

The presidential campaign that began the day after the previous one ended nearly four years ago seems increasingly like a dream.  I suppose it is part of the American Dream—this belief that, of all the allures and temptations the world has to offer, the greatest is the presidency of the United States; the highest calling, to run for president, and win.  This element of the American Dream crystallized nearly two centuries ago in the national boast that anyone can grow up to be president of the United States, a proposition Lew Rockwell once likened to the saying that anybody can go to Hell.  Yet the Dream is more comprehensive than the prospect of equal access to the high office of George Washington and Bill Clinton, making it impossible to define with any precision this generalized concept, or sentiment.

With increasing frequency these past ten months, I’ve caught myself staring at one or another of my fellow Americans, wondering whether he, she, or it is really caught up in rapt contemplation of the American Dream, or if those vacant spaces behind the eyes are simply the result of watching too many primary-night marathons on television.  (Our masters entertain to tyrannize.)  Truth be told, I have never caught myself daydreaming about such a thing, and neither, to my knowledge, has any of my friends or acquaintances.  No one has ever heard of the English Dream, or the French Dream, or of the...

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