Ever since Marco Rubio’s (R-FL) ill-considered foray into immigration reform he has been a bit of a pariah with the conservative wing of the Republican Party. Since the failure of the Gang of Eight’s immigration reform attempts, Rubio has been working hard to get back into the good graces of conservative voters. He’s worked hard on pro-life issues, he’s pushed back against President Obama’s many scandals, and he’s even apologized for his part in the Gang of Eight (with Republicans John McCain (R-AZ), Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Jeff Flake (R-AZ). For many conservatives however, he still can’t be trusted.
But a recent speech he gave at Hillsdale College has many conservatives paying attention to the young Florida Senator again. He recently delivered the kind of speech that folks on the right have been waiting for; some called it “excellent” and others might even say it was a “game-changer.”
So it should be no surprise that disapproval of our government and pessimism about the direction of our country have reached an all-time high. Because the inability of our leaders to respond to the challenges and the opportunities of the 21st century is denying a growing number of people access to the American Dream…
To restore the American Dream, we need a new policy agenda designed specifically for the 21st century. A limited government and free enterprise movement that applies the principles of our founding to the challenges and opportunities facing Americans in their daily lives.
Both of my parents were born into difficult circumstances. My father lost his mother as a young boy and had to quit school so he could go to work. My mother was raised by a disabled father who struggled to provide for his seven daughters.
When they were young, they had dreams for their future. My father wanted to be a successful businessman. My mother wanted to be a famous movie star. But like most people who have ever lived, they were born into societies where the dreams of people like them didn’t stand a chance.
They felt trapped in their circumstances, frustrated by the inability to improve their lives. And so they came to the one place on earth where how you start out in life does not determine how you end up: the United States of America.
They never became wealthy here either; they worked service jobs at hourly wages. They never had a maid at their house; my mother was one for a living. And they didn’t have fancy cars; my father drove the same ‘73 Chevy Impala for 20 straight years. Yet I consider my background to be one of great privilege.
I was privileged to be raised in a stable family. Privileged that my parents had jobs that allowed them to provide for their children. And I was privileged to be born in a land of equal opportunity, the one place on earth where the son of a bartender and maid could achieve the same things as a son of a president or a millionaire.
I come from privilege because – while the hope of a better life is a universal one – it is also one few people ever get the chance to achieve. We are blessed to live in a country on whose cornerstone is etched the principle that all people have a God given right to go as far as their talent and effort will take them. And because here, so many people have been able to achieve the universal dream of a better life, this dream has come to bear our name: The American Dream.
For most, this Dream has never been about becoming rich or famous. It is about having a good job that pays enough to own a home, feed your family, and save for retirement; the flexibility to work and spend time with your family; the freedom to worship as you please and live without fear for your family’s safety; and ultimately, it’s about giving your children the opportunity to have a life better than your own.
The American Dream holds us together as one people. It defines us as a special nation. We can overcome bad presidents, tough economies and divisive issues. But if we lose the American Dream, we will lose our identity. There cannot be an America without the American Dream. That is why the greatest crisis before us today is that millions of our people feel that this Dream is slipping away.
The American Dream is still attainable. But it has gotten increasingly difficult to achieve for far too many. Wages have stagnated; everyday costs have risen; industries that once flourished have dried up, their jobs shipped overseas or lost to automation; and millions go to sleep each night overcome with the sense that they are one bad break from financial ruin.
Over the last six years, this insecurity has coiled itself around people from all walks of life.
The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by EagleRising.com