Everyone has their own concept of what the “American dream” is. For many, it’s success in the form of massive wealth, while for others, it’s simply being able to get by comfortably while supporting a family, and pursuing one’s own interests.
A young Barry Obama had his own take: to be like a particular billionaire celebrity.
At age 29, Obama authored a paper his last year at Harvard Law with Robert Fischer titled “Race and Rights Rhetoric,” an excerpt of which was published by Vice on Friday. The relevant part, courtesy of the Washington Free Beacon, is in regards to Obama’s opinion on the average American mindset: “I may not be Donald Trump now, but just you wait; if I don’t make it, my children will.”
He criticized such an idea, however, as the “unfounded optimism of the average American,” arguing that this “continuing normative commitment to the ideals of individual freedom and mobility … may be summarily dismissed” as such optimism.
There’s a famous quite often erroneously attributed to John Steinbeck echoing the same point, that “socialism will never take root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited class but as temporarily embarrassed future millionaires.”
In 1991, Obama and Fischer argued that African Americans should shift towards the language of opportunity. “Precisely because America is a racist society… we cannot realistically expect white America to make special concessions towards blacks over the long haul,” Obama and Fischer wrote.
For others the American dream is to be president – and it looks like Trump followed in Obama footsteps in achieving that dream.
Given the $400,000 a speech Obama is charging Wall Street however, perhaps he will be the next Donald Trump soon.