We must take an honest look at our society. We have entered a dark era in which our government officials are kidnapping and caging immigrant children, marching in unison with neo-Nazis and white supremacists, appointing anti-abortion activists to the Supreme Court, and changing tax laws to benefit the wealthy few and their friends in government at the expense of hardworking families. Wealth inequality has reached historic proportions, and an entire presidency is now devoted to further entrenching that inequality.
We are defined by the resilience of our communities. Even after slavery, the Indian Removal Act, segregation, the Chinese Exclusion Act, Japanese internment camps, the Patriot Act, Guantanamo Bay, and the Charlottesville white supremacist march, we are still here. America cannot be defined only by its failings. Our reach may exceed our grasp, and our many imperfections may live side by side with our aspirations, but our greatest strength is that our dreams define who we are as a people. Our dreams make us uniquely American and give our communities strength. We are the American Dream.
Fairness must be our North Star. We can protect the American Dream and pass this great inheritance to our children if our public policies are guided by fairness. Unfortunately, our sense of fairness is under attack from the wealthy few and their friends in government whose short-termism and greed are destroying the American Dream. At a time when the rest of the world has all but caught up to us economically, militarily, and technologically, giving up on the American Dream will turn us into a small country with small ambitions defined only by our failings. We can compete in the world if we believe in the American Dream.
The American Dream will propel us forward if we give hardworking Americans economic security and independence. Unfortunately, economic security and independence are privileges enjoyed only by the wealthy few, namely billionaires and ultra-millionaires. Everyone else is one serious illness or job loss away from financial ruin. We must have faith in the values enshrined by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in his State of the Union Address of 1944. We must ensure that all Americans have the tools to pursue happiness and realize their full potential. We must show the world that we are still a country defined by our competitive spirit and successes.
Every individual and every community in America deserves a chance at the American Dream. Americans who are afraid of their government are not free. Americans who are chained to their employers to provide healthcare for their families, quality education for their children, and retirement benefits for themselves are not free. Americans who are afraid of starting their own businesses are not free. We must ensure that all Americans are free to pursue the American Dream. We are not just a country of immigrants, but a country with an immigrant spirit.