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08/01/2014

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Austin Olinger

Smith explains the American Dream as fading and needing policy solutions and political characters. I disagree slightly with Smith because Americans live in America to be free. We do not want rules or laws preventing us from doing what we want. However, if we did not have laws I feel that we would erupt into chaos. I view the American dream as living a free life with the average citizen calling the laws, with majority vote of course.

Brandon

In his piece, Cameron Smith tells us about the American Dream and how it's slowly dwindling and becoming less of a goal that can be reached. Smith believes we should add more politics into the mix and add new policies to follow and abide by. I don't think this is the correct route to go, it defeats the purpose of the name itself, The American Dream. When you see that, you think free, wealth, opportunity, and so forth. America was meant to be the nation to allow religious and political freedom. The general population should be polling and voting on issues that arise.

Kevin

Cameron Smith explains the American dream as something that is growing more and more intangible and and that it needs to be changed. Smith also pushes the idea that new policies, politics and constraints. I disagree with Smith's point of view, in that there are already enough laws and policies in effect to control the population. Also, the American dream is open to interpretation and may not be the same for each person so no one point of view can say what is best for everyone.

Madison

Cameron Smith talks about how everyone has this idea of an American Dream. Smith talks about how the idea of an American Dream is something that is fading and becoming harder to make reality than it was before. Smith states that, “we will wake up from the American Dream and realize it was nothing more than wishful thinking based on the past success of others.” He’s pretty much saying that the majority of people will never accomplish what they truly want out of life. I don’t think this is true. I think everybody has a different dream and a lot of them are very realistic whether it is to own their own house, apartment, car or to just simply have a family. I think a lot of people accomplish their American Dream and that is what draws so many people to want to come to the United States.

Alyssa

In his article Cameron Smith talks about the American Dream and that some people think that it's starting to fade away. I care to disagree. The American Dream can and does mean different things depending on who you talk to. To some, depending on their view may agree with Smith but others like me may think otherwise. Most people would agree on the fact that the American Dream is freedom. Smith states, "...that without the right policy solutions or political characters we will lose what has made us great." Smith are you saying we need to change or make new policies? Say that we do, there could be a chance of our freedoms being taken away or limited. That there would take away the American Dream for many people. Freedom is what draws people to want to come to America. Another is that people accomplish their dreams everyday. Smith, not all dreams are impossible or out of reach, we just have to fight for them.

Jade

Austin, I agree with what you are saying. Americans are here to live in a free world and they do not want to feel like they have to follow all of these rules and guidelines to live in America. Also, with what Alyssa is saying, dreams are something that can be reached in accomplished if the person is willing to fight for them and get to these goals. The American dream is not something that needs rules and structures that each individual has to follow but, people need individual rules and such so that they can achieve their own goals.

Brittany S

Alyssa, I agree with you that everyone interprets the American Dream their own way. The American Dream is constantly evolving year to year and even then it is different based on who you ask. Like you said most people would say the American Dream is freedom but the discrepancies on what freedom is changes. For an immigrant freedom is much different that someone who has lived in America their entire life. Alyssa I agree with you that by adding more laws or policies into society then there is the possibility of taking freedoms away from people. Like Alyssa says not all dreams are unattainable nowadays.

Conner Russell

In "Keeping the American Dream alive", Cameron Smith says its up to us to keep the American Dream alive. By quoting a speech from then-senator Barack Obama on how Americans are becoming separated in every way imaginable, Smith sees the America of today as a house divided against itself. What gets lost in all of this is Smith's vision of American Dream, the idea that "truly free people with different interests and lives" can come together and create a government that is "strong enough to protect liberty without controlling society."

I think this view is commendable, and it's certainly easy to rally behind. Freedom and liberty are both highly important elements to this country and should be protected at all costs. But I don't think this is the American Dream politicians and pundits and the people of America are currently so worried about.

Smith may have inadvertently tipped us off to what the real American Dream is. In discussing the debate between which policy solution is. "Lately, many of our leaders have suggested that the American Dream is fading, that without the right policy solutions or political characters we will lose what has made us great." It's the last five words that strike me as most important. Following Keli Goff's article "The American Dream is Dead, and Good Riddance", the American Dream is a gnawing feeling of inadequacy. It's midlife crises and keeping up with the Joneses. Consequently, it's spending money on things like cars and houses and college educations. It's no surprise then, that many of the articles discussing the death of the American Dream came after 2008, when the housing market crashed and the economy entered a brutal recession.

Smith's American Dream isn't likely to go anywhere anytime soon. But cars, houses, babies, and white picket fences are falling out of favor with Millennials. It will be interesting to watch how the American Dream evolves.

Nicholas Riley

Cameron Smith points out in his article that the American Dream is the backbone of society in America and what has been principle to the essence of freedom all along. Smith points out that we all disagree but nonetheless have the same dream, which is to do what we want to do and for our children to have a better life than ours, so the government must be careful to “protect liberty but not [control] society.”

Nothing could be more fundamental in American society but somehow the dream has become distracted amongst owning homes and having that fairy tale picket fence that I have grown to detest either because I am upset that I don’t have it or that I am tired of all the talk of what the American Dream is and what people should want. The dream that is commonly generalized is not the same as a person’s life goals or drive for success and should be more specific to achieving brotherhood among the nation as we all strive for the personal ability to become whatever we so choose and acquire whatever is important to us that we derive meaning or purpose.

The larger dream has come under fire as Cameron points out because politics and media has been driving a wedge into equality and what people consider boundaries or separations from others being different. This all takes away from the fact that we all want is our slice of the pie, and in so many ways more than that are the same; therefore, we should be more conscious of the basic notion of freedom and how the dream of America can never die as long as we remain whole and strive for that which is bestowed by God but taken by society, our need to be happy and fulfilled.

Makala Cole

What’s your idea of the American Dream? The article, “Keeping the American Dream Alive is Your Responsibility and Mine,” Cameron Smith describes what some may consider as this ambiguous “American Dream”. Smith claims that this idea is fading and slowly becoming an intangible goal. “…[W]ithout the right policy solutions or political characters we will lose what has made us great. Without their significant changes, they contend that we will wake up from the American Dream and realize it was nothing more than wishful thinking based on the past success of others (Smith 1).”
Smith incorporates a speech from then-senator, Barack Obama. This ties together with his argument of adding more policies or laws. Although reaching out to readers, I do not agree with his call to action. I feel that part of the American Dream goes hand in hand to a popular saying, “Land of the free and home to the brave.” With more laws and policies to abide by, it takes away part of our freedom. Not to even mention that this whole topic is not a priority to the government at all.
In my opinion, I believe that the American Dream has endless possibilities. Yes there are downfalls in certain aspects, such as economy, but I believe that the American Dream… your dream… my dream… is whatever we wish it to be. One could have an external or internal locus control on this situation, but it is all open to interpretation. Although one generation may look at this whole concept as “images of opportunity, bettering ourselves, building community, and maybe even a white picket fence[s],” another may look at it as having what is referred to today as swag. It is ever changing.

Lydia Sanders

Brandon, I partially agree with your idea that America does not need more politics and policies to keep "the American dream" alive. However, I disagree with your opinion on Smith's argument. I do not think that Smith is promoting a stricter government. Instead, I think he is promoting our ability as a nation to seek to incorporate everyone's ideas and goals. Madison, I also agree with you in that everyone has their own dreams that they pursue. I think collectively, that is what truly adds up to form "the American dream".

Naz Jack

In this article, Cameron Smith explains that the "American Dream" is fading away. I would have to disagree with his claim. Though everyone's dreams may not come true or they may have to reroute, that does not mean all will not happen. These are goals that people have set before themselves. The opportunities to obtain the dream is slim because everyone is going for theirs as well. Not all are impossible, some may not come as quick as you want, so it may take a few extra years to get. If it is the person's dream, they will continue to chase it.

Carl Dela Cruz

Cameron Smith describes the American Dream as a dream that requires a collective group of people. I agree with Smith and his position. Smith explains the duty that everyone living in America has. American citizens should strive to create a better future for themselves and others. Working together to make the American dream come true is essential for success. Cooperation between the people will result in a better future for them and future generations. It is up to everyone living in America to make the American dream come true.

Gabriel Factora

I disagree with Smith's article. In the article "Keeping the American Dream is your responsibility and mine", Smith states that there is only one American Dream and that it is our responsibility to make it a reality for future generations. Unlike smith's view, I believe that in this country each and everyone has a different "American Dream". This dream may be something as simple as having a stable life or maybe even something ambitious such as living a lavish lifestyle. Although, no matter what American Dream a person has, I believe that in this country that we live in, cooperation is not essential to achieve this dream. Having this perspective towards the American Dream might make me sound selfish but I think that in today's competitive society, the majority of people who make it far always put themselves first before anyone else. A person who is selfless might give away everything to people who are in need thus making person have nothing for himself. Such a person is good for society since it helps the people who unfortunate but this is not the right thing to do if you want to achieve your American Dream. I am not saying that sharing and caring for others is a bad thing but instead I am stating that focusing on yourself first will make you more successful. Once a person has achieved his/her American Dream then he/she can finally help others and give back whatever he/she can to society.

Claire M

Dreams have an immense value in our lives and should not be undermined. They represent the very core of a person and express their deepest beliefs and wishes. A dream is something powerful, an innermost desire that often shapes a person's life if they have the courage to pursue it. A dream holds the key to achieve happiness, to reach that feeling of accomplishment that can be matched by no other. A dream should always be encouraged and pursued because it is dreams which keep us going, aiming higher and reaching further than others tell us is humanly possible. It is the American Dream in particular that so many of us aim for and fight to achieve, and we are "all heirs to the same dream", a point in Smith's article which I agree upon. Smith states that the American dream is identical to each wisher, and I believe this to be true. The American Dream, at its core, is the hope to be able to fulfill your wishes in life. While everyone may have varying views as to what success entails and what achievement would make them personally happy, the American Dream is a larger, overarching dream to be presented with the opportunities to reach those goals. The American Dream in one word means opportunity. So while every human being naturally has their own desires, the American Dream remains the same for everyone: a hope for the opportunity to achieve their personal dreams.

Nanilei Parenteau

Cameron Smith acknowledges that the American dream is not only different to each individual but also that it is a person’s sole responsibility to achieve their own American dream. Smith recognizes that over the years it is becoming more and more difficult to achieve, concluding a discouraging opinion that most people won’t actually achieve their definition of the American dream. Now this may be true to those who have unrealistic goals in life such as a fast food worker who dreams of a Lamborghini or mansion. However it is not unrealistic for a middle class worker who dreams of a small house in the suburbs with a family. People for years have discreetly accomplished their American dreams, especially those who dream of freedom and the liberty to live freely without strict policies, violence or inequalities.

Nanilei Parenteau

Cameron Smith acknowledges that the American dream is not only different to each individual but also that it is a person’s sole responsibility to achieve their own American dream. Smith recognizes that over the years it is becoming more and more difficult to achieve, “Lately, many of our leaders have suggested that the American dream is fading, that without the right policy solutions or political characters we will lose what has made us great” (Smith). He concludes a discouraging opinion that most people won’t actually achieve their definition of the American dream “and realize it was nothing more than wishful thinking based on past success of others” (Smith). Now this may be true to those who have unrealistic goals in life such as a fast food worker who dreams of a Lamborghini or mansion. However it is not unrealistic for a middle class worker who dreams of a small house in the suburbs with a family. People for years have discreetly accomplished their American dreams, especially those who dream of freedom and the liberty to live freely without strict policies, violence or inequalities.

Kelsea Straub

In the article, “Keeping the American Dream Alive is Your Responsibility and Mine: Opinion" Cameron Smith shares his opinion that the American Dream is alive and can continue to be alive if we generalize the definition of it. In 1931, historian James Truslow Adams, in his book The Epic of America, described the American Dream as "that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement” (qtd. in C. Smith). Today, Smith says that Americans focus more on the beginning of this definition than the end. They put more emphasis on being better and richer and and fuller by having certain possessions, when in reality that isn’t the American Dream at all. The American Dream is an idea that has been passed down for generations of Americans and Smith believes it can be seem as political. He thinks the American Dream is the ability to come together as people of America and decide on what is best for our country. Smith says that what binds the American people together is this American Dream.

I would have to agree that the American Dream binds the American people together. It gives people a couple issue to fight for together. It gives people hope as a nation. Even if people disagree on certain issues the American Dream is something they can agree on. Do I think that the American Dream is alive today? Yes, I do believe it is still alive and working. I believe people have a different idea of what it is, but I think it is still within us and that most Americans strive for the Dream.

Sandra Walter

Cameron Smith insists that the American Dream is still alive, but it is gasping for air. The title of his article, “Keeping the American Dream alive is your responsibility and mine,” pretty much explains his view on the matter. He knows that the dream is not at its peak, but he knows that it can be revived if we work together.
Smith wrote, “The American Dream embodies the radical idea that truly free people with different interests and lives could agree upon, and responsibly operate, a form of government strong enough to protect liberty without controlling society.” The gist of what he is saying is that we need a government strong enough to create opportunity for all, without compromising their freedom. I feel like he may have included that last part to not make the impression that he is suggesting anything resembling a dictatorship.
I admire his optimistic spirit. He truly wants everyone to have an equal opportunity to make it, and that anyone who puts in the work should succeed. Unfortunately, that is not an option for 99% of the population. Right now the American Dream is, as the name suggests, just a dream.

achilles schmelzer

Cameron Smith believes that the American Dream is bilateral. According to Smith, the first component of the American Dream is that we live in a meritocratic society-- each member's autonomy is determined by his/her hard work and ability. The second component of the American Dream is that, in order to achieve such a meritocratic society, we must work together in building it. Smith cites a Barack Obama quote that nicely captures this idea:

"America is the sum of our dreams. And what binds us together, what makes us one American family, is that we stand up and fight for each other's dreams, that we reaffirm that fundamental belief - I am my brother's keeper, I am my sister's keeper - through our politics, our policies, and in our daily lives. It's time to do that once more.

Smith believes that, in order to sustain the American Dream, we must not only believe in the idea that "I am my brother's keeper, I am my sister's keeper" but act on it as well.

Caitlin Sauget

In "Keeping the American Dream Alive", Cameron Smith tells us about the American Dream and how it's slowly dwindling and becoming less of a goal that can be reached. Smith states: “we will wake up from the American Dream and realize it was nothing more than wishful thinking based on the past success of others.” This I feel, is in the hands of the people. Smith is just assuming people will not bust out of the class they are born in and thrive to meet their American Dream. Cameron stated: "Lately, many of our leaders have suggested that the American Dream is fading, that without the right policy solutions or political characters we will lose what has made us great." The American dream does not need rules put on it. People need to have their own types of rules on themselves, as to how they want to reach their Dream. Freedom should not be taken away in order to reach a level in life. The American Dream is the backbone of society in America and regardless of which route we take; we can all obtain this goal and make it a reality. Mr. Obama stated something amazing in this article: “America is the sum of our dreams. And what binds us together, what makes us one American family, is that we stand up and fight for each other's dreams, that we reaffirm that fundamental belief”. This quote is the quote to prove how strong the American dream is to the United States and everyone who lives and wants to live here!

Desiree

I strongly agree with the idea that "keeping the dream alive" is a shared responsibility and that this American experience is a shared dream. Our experience is shaped by our inclination to share our abilities and passions collectively. Life is exactly what each of us makes of it individually and it is shared by our achievements and abilities. However, to bring about the social changes needed to have a more free America to share our Dream in, citizens must unite their cause, elevate themselves and share their skills for the common goal of freedom before it is too late.

Kelsey Reno

A very different approach on the American Dream is given by Cameron Smith in his article “Keeping the American Dream alive is your responsibility and mine: opinion”. While Smith admits that the American Dream is a general term thrown around by parents, teachers, and friends since childhood the difference is that he believes it is not specific toward any idea or concept. Smith discusses the dream as something that Americans do not, and will not, agree upon as we have so many different thoughts and ideas as a collective free people. Bigger than that he expresses that whatever the idea of the American Dream may be, that is not the issue. The dream can be whatever anyone wants it to be in their life, the importance of the subject is that we, as an American people, ban together to achieve it not only for ourselves but for our fellow Americans. Smith uses inspirational quotes from President Barack Obama about the unity of our nation and that instead of tearing each other down for our differences Americans should be working together to build each other up.
I very much enjoyed Smith’s take on the American Dream mostly because it was such a different perspective but also because his article was simply inspirational. I do not consider myself a particularly patriotic American but his article motivated me. It displayed the power this country has because of it’s great people and the fact that we are willing to fight to defend our freedom and defend one another. The idea of achieving the American Dream does not seem as appealing if I were the only one able to do it. I truly wish for everyone to achieve their version of the dream. I know that I will not be able to attain my dream alone, I will need help, therefore I am willing to help others attain theirs too.

J. Gomez

In his article, Cameron Smith is trying to reassure Americans that the American dream is still fully alive, but it is up to them to make their dream a reality. He also assures that it is not one specific idea of the dream, but it is whatever goal in life you want to reach. Although we all have our own dreams that we are reaching for, big or small, Smith states that we need to come together as a country to make our visions come to life. These days, I don't really think that people believe that the American dream is alive, but maybe that's because they think of it as a singular concept of being married, living in the suburbs with a white picket fence, and 2.5 children. But Smith's article gives his readers hope that anybody can achieve their own American dream.

Melissa R

In his article, "Keeping the American Dream alive is your responsibility and mine: opinion," Cameron Smith states: "The dream is not a comprehensive societal plan handed down by government; neither is it a Hobbesian state of nature with every man against every man. The American Dream embodies the radical idea that truly free people with different interests and lives could agree upon, and responsibly operate, a form of government strong enough to protect liberty without controlling society."
I believe that Smith is pointing out the American Dream is different for everyone, and we are lucky to live in a country where we have the liberties to have different interests and ideas. And at the heart of the American Dream is that freedom and we must be united as a country to keep these freedoms and liberties. I believe that we need to hold each other up and encourage each other to find their American Dream even if it's different than our own. That is what makes our nation so great.

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