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Dream to Desperation 


Thank you, Ms. Cahill and Mr. Greenson for your reminder ("#ThisIsAbsolutelyUs," Aug., 17). Unfortunately, you are speaking to the choir. Those who need its illumination reside in a darkness never reached by the Enlightenment. There is hope, obviously as exemplified in the letters by George Clark, Ellen Taylor and Will Bell (Mailbox, Aug. 17). And of course, exemplars of freedom and justice have historically rung this bell: Witness Thomas Paine and the oft-maligned Thomas Jefferson. But equality for all is much muted in our schools and misunderstood in our society. Too many of our citizens seem to feel that equality for all means giving up something precious to others who don't deserve it.

The question becomes: How do we offset the pernicious resentment that makes some people so hateful? It is primarily because of fear that so many people feel threatened by the contrived menace of a truly equal social structure. The finger-pointing and scapegoating that characterizes a great deal of our social discourse is the product of fear and frustration. What we have is a society of scarcity that makes it increasingly harder for anyone to achieve any part of what was the American Dream. This dissolution has been insidious. In The Project for a New American Century, the neo-conservatives spelled out just how they would attack the American Dream: Destroy education, neuter unions and control voting, among other approaches.

The attack on the American Dream has led to the proliferation of poverty and desperation. These in turn led to the election of a man totally unsuited for office in Donald Trump, and the ascendance of the anti-people policies of the Republicans. It may be that only a truly educated populace will provide our salvation.

Larry Hourany, McKinleyville

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