How does a country become great again?
Because of differing opinion on what constitutes greatness, the prescription necessitates a wide-ranging freedom of expression. A great country therefore, is one that maximizes individual ability to pursue happiness.
From their own words we read that George Washington, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson believed slavery to detract from the greatness of their country. In other words, oppression does not instill greatness.
If someone wants to work in a particular field, then such specific work must be available. If someone wants to relocate, he must be able to do so. If someone requests a doctor, one must be provided. If two consenting adults choose to be married, that option must exist.
The only caveat to freedom is when it directly interferes with the lives of others. Murder and theft are such examples. But the hindering of lifestyles deemed “impractical” or “inappropriate” falls within the category of oppression. We cannot impose our mere preferences upon others.
The American Dream is about hope. It is the idea that an individual can begin at the bottom yet still reach the top (according to his own definition). Delays exist, but the path to greatness can be traversed by the persistent.
Those that believe America lacks greatness lack hope. They feel confined, unable to pursue their preferred path. But in actuality, no such physical paths exist nor ever did. America is a land of dreams. Those from entrenched cultures came not because of pre-existing infrastructure but because of its absence.
A dream is not a practical plan, it is a fantasy that is believed despite practicality. The dreamer’s job is to imagine his outcome, not concern himself with the details of how or why. “No’s” are just noise to be ignored.
The American Dream is available to those that resist fear and dismantle self-imposed limitations. The pursuit may last a lifetime but greatness comes from an unyielding hope and the determination to follow one’s dreams till the end.