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The Millennial Devalue Of The American Dream

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

The American Dream has historically been sought-after, and has been a benchmark for success, particularly young people. Immigrants line up, waiting years, to have a chance at a better life, and at the alleged American Dream. As America has entered into the era of political correctness and government handouts, however, young people no longer desire the American dream.

The American Dream is founded in initiative and hard work, which fuel success. The Dream is furthered by the fundamental values of conservatism: individual liberty, working for what you earn, personal responsibility and small government. These beliefs allow Americans to succeed on their own merit, regardless of age, race, gender, socioeconomic class or sexual orientation, which is the peak of the American Dream.

Instead of valuing individual freedom, responsibility and a limited government, as intended by the Founding Fathers, young people are increasingly focused on receiving government assistance and writing rules stemmed in political correctness, in order to avoid offending someone else. Obviously, government-funded assistance has always been a prevalent part of the American economic system, but there has been a fundamental shift in the attitude toward it; particularly from young people. Government assistance programs, whether it be welfare, Medicare, Medicaid or otherwise, used to be used with a short-term attitude. Americans who needed this help would take advantage of the access, rightfully so, and simultaneously pull themselves back up. Now, those who are in dire need of government assistance see more barriers to entry because many able-bodied, people above the poverty line use government funds. Long-term reliance on government programs is a relatively new concept. Young people are the biggest proponent of this attitude. This age bracket, who also created “free speech zones” and “safe spaces” on college campuses, preach health care as a “human right” and essentially advocate for  unlimited welfare, funded by taxpayers. The incentive to find a job is disappearing, and the satisfying feeling of working for your own earnings is essentially non-existent anymore among young people. Relying on government funds started out as a last resort for Americans, but now is viewed as a “Plan A” to many.

In addition to losing the desire to work hard and be self-sufficient, my generation has also lost the love of country that previous generations possessed. To many, America is not the greatest country in the world. Our freedoms are taken for granted. What is puzzling is that young people and college students call for “safe spaces” and restriction of freedom of speech on campuses, but claim their First Amendment right to desecrate the American flag. Of course, per the 1990 Supreme Court ruling, desecration of the American flag is protected by the First Amendment under free speech. The difference between then and now is that currently, by a majority of young people, burning or desecrating the flag is not frowned upon. The flag is not viewed as a symbol of freedom, as fought for by brave military members, but rather a partisan hate symbol.

With the anniversary of America’s independence on the horizon, it is disappointing that America’s youth do not treasure this country's ideals, the American Dream and the freedoms that come with being an American. People from all over the world, who are deprived of basic rights, desire to be a part of the American resolve, and enjoy our liberties. The American Dream is nonpartisan and is accessible to every American, and freedom should be celebrated everyday.

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