The real American dream — the one millions of Americans died striving for, perished protecting, and still work for today — is far from perfect. Still, it is a world in which some corporations are socially responsible, in which some of the wealthy recognize their private fortunes are built on the skills of the many, in which some of the privileged exercise what used to be called noblesse oblige but today goes by the name of public responsibility.
The real America is a nation in which every person has an equal chance to better his or her life, and by so doing also betters the lives of everyone around them. It is a nation in which we help our neighbors in need — knowing that when our day of need comes they will help us.
Today, as I prepare to pay my taxes to a government that does not represent my interests, I'm angry — and not just at the politicians and corporations. I'm angry at those who voted for Bush, for McCain — even, it seems, for Obama. We are complicit in our own ruin at the hands of the robber barons.
Now is a crucial moment for us to change course. The privileged, who have already achieved their fortunes by hook or by crook, seek to bar the door to us, to deny us our dreams forever.
It is time for us to stand up and tell the wealthy what, in fact, is trickling down on us from up there, where they sit, comfortable on their thrones. It is not prosperity, nor even opportunity. It's something very rudely different. And this trickle-down stinks.
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