american dream

3

I love this thread because Trump is obviously a shining example of white male privilege and mediocrity, but his Presidency also flies in the face of the American Dream that’s shoveled down our throats from the time we start school.

Study.  Work Hard.  Be Great.  And You Will Succeed.

The fact that Trump is wholly unqualified for the job he got, the fact that he’s completely unsuited for it, contradicts that.  It’s an uncomfortable looking glass for a lot of mediocre white people who’ve been given things they don’t deserve.  It’s hard for them to admit that Trump is a lying fraud who has no business being President and only got there because he’s white and put on a good show because that means privilege is real.  It’s right there in his orange face.

Plus, the myth of moving up the economic ladder becomes harder to believe if you admit that someone who is not qualified and does not deserve the position they hold is sitting in the chair through no efforts of their own.  That would then mean the inverse is true, that you can in fact work hard and want it just as badly as the next guy and still fail.  

Americans have a problem admitting that a huge component of success is luck and circumstance because we’ve been taught to believe that anyone can succeed if they work hard enough.  Admitting that someone in the highest position in the land most certainly did not work for it and is clearly unqualified for it shoots a big hole through the bootstraps mentality.  They can’t accept that.  Accepting that would mean recognizing the necessity of welfare and free education and a higher minimum wage, so they just go along with the farce and continue to pretend that Trump is strategically disruptive as opposed to a walking disaster crashing his way through global stability.

I’m really wary of imagery like this

because I’m positive that liberals are in the process of leveraging the implied sentiment to oppose anti-establishment leftists too. In other words, Trump is an anti-establishment monster who is tearing down the beautiful values that this nation stands for, and leftists are likewise getting scarier when they declare things like “America was never great”. Liberal nationalism is one of our primary hurdles to overcome, this idea that America is (and always has been) a bastion of equality and progressive values. It’s powerful ideology, stuff that will keep millions locked in ineffective centrism over the next few decades. 

I know an image like this

will absolutely haunt the liberal imagination in the decades to come, the horseshoe ghost hanging over their shoulders – fascists ready to turn ever-progressive America into an unprecedented tyranny for the few, leftists ready to turn lawful America into chaotic mob rule that only works in theory. After all, if you want legitimacy in the capitalist electoral system (as liberals do), you will absolutely condemn grassroots organizers, socialists, and the like in terms that this second image implies, especially in the decades to come.

I saw a lot of this at the recent pro-immigration rally a week ago – people all over the place carrying signs with stuff like the Statue of Liberty weeping, implying that this isn’t what America stands for. One of the core goals of the leftist project ought to be to help people realize that, yes, immigration bans and racism are what America has historically stood for – at least in the sense of the American capitalist/imperialist state, because I do realize there has been beautiful resistance and solidarity among the masses over the centuries. The history is clear: America is built on centuries of genocide and enslavement, inequality and domination coursing through its veins. 

The American exceptionalism is unhelpful at best and super reactionary at worst. Abandon the Lady Liberty imagery and realize that we are already that tyrannical empire to most of the world, not this plucky melting-pot nation of progressive values.

10

The End of Innocence

Dustin Gorton spent the morning of April 19th filming the The Breakfast Run video (entitled by the two “American Dream) with his 3rd period Video production class partner, Dylan Klebold.  The video was to start off with Dylan hastily dashing away from a house (presumably Eric Jackson’s) and into Dustin’s classic car. They rrush off down to Burger King for a quick bite on the way to school as Eric Jackson films Dustin driving and Dylan as the passenger from the backseat vantage point as Americana by The Offspring plays on the radio. (I wouldn’t doubt that they planned to use the song for their final product). 

The very next morning, on 4/20, Dustin’s *video production partner never shows up for class to present their video. Dustin mentions in his recent reflection (see below) that he was complaining about his missing partner during A lunch as the Columbine massacre begins to interrupt like a shock wave rippling over the cafeteria.  Dustin finds himself in survival mode as he yanks his friends down under a cafeteria table and instinctively assumes the role of “leader” trying to find a way to help his friends to safety and some scattered into the kitchen area.  He and his friend Brett manage to hide in a bathroom and the two get separated which also panics Dustin greatly until they reunite in a massive bear hug and tears of relief just outside. 

Dustin wrote about the powerful impact Columbine had on him, how it changed and effected his life greatly. He reflects on the ‘before’, on how 18 years ago just hours before the massacre, he realizes what an innocent, naive “fool” of a kid he was. And in the blink of an eye in one hour of great devastation, his life and way of thinking about himself in relation to others - and what is truly important and matters the most in life above the minutia - had been irreparably altered forever.