Why the American Dream Is Bigger than Palin or McCain
Below is a guest blog entry by economist and MoJo author Nomi Prins:
At some point today, (around the time I noticed Lindsay Lohan weighing in), I got hit with Sarah Palin overload.
Then, I realized that Palin's omnipresence isn't about John McCain or Barack Obama, or even this week's RNC. It's not about her experience or stance on issues. It's about the "Pop" American Dream.
The old American Dream is dying. Rampant economic inequality makes the cost of working hard to achieve prohibitive. In a culture where more people vote for the next American Idol than for the next president, no wonder Sarah Palin is the top story: She defines the new American Dream, where leaping to the top against all odds is the end goal in itself. Of course there are voters appalled that someone 'like her' can be a 'heartbeat away from the presidency.' But there are also plenty of voters delighted that someone 'like her' has a shot at the ultimate American Dream—a spot in the White House.
I wrote about Palin as a 'reality show" winner yesterday and I think this captures it even better.
Prins goes on to point out that in reality the mortgage meltdown and health care crisis are far more relevant to the American dream for the vast majority of citizens.
But we live in an American Idol culture where the American dream is defined simply as "winning the contest." Project White House. Top Politician. Survivor.