I guess it started with Martin Luther King, but you can’t really say it was his fault. How was he to know that the peroration of his most inspiring oration would provide the watchword that would drive the namby-pambying of the nation in the following generations?
Look at these guys in the picture, these West Pointers. What are they going to be fighting for, what are they ready to sacrifice themselves for? “So that others may dream.” (!!!)
Dream? Dreaming is one rung lower on the ladder to accomplishment than hoping. Even the hopeless can dream.
It used to be that wars were fought for – what? Oh, liberty, the union, freedom from oppression. And politicians, at least ostensibly, promoted equal opportunity, personal liberty, a chicken in every pot, etc. etc. But now? The right to dream and to hope that that those dreams will come true.
A dream comes true when you win the lottery, not if you’ve worked your ass off and achieved your goal. That’s something else. I guess it’s called success.
Here’s a hierarchy of states of mind, beginning with hopelessness. It’s off the cuff, so no carping, please. Naturally, it moves from the passive to the active.
(Since this is 2013, I’d better explain that an ultimate achievement can be plenty of other things than becoming a billionaire celebrity. It can be anything from getting out of the Gulag through getting into the pants of the girl or boy next door right up to writing the Great American Sestina.)
Unfortunately, since that great speech of 1963, the inspiration of Martin Luther King has gotten mixed up with the inspiration of the Walt Disney Studios, and dreams alone (supported of course by the media and increasingly mind-blowing gadgetry) are enough to bring contentment to Americans. Meanwhile the non-dreamers run roughshod over our country.