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What does the American dream mean to you?

Asked at Hy-Vee, 3504 Clinton Parkway on June 29, 2009

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Photo of Brett Watson

“To me, that phrase really doesn’t have much meaning. It’s just too subjective.”

Photo of Mary Donnally

“Opportunity to reach any goal you want.”

Photo of Irene Garcia

“Security, happiness and a job.”


igby 8 years ago

In 200 AD, the same was ask of Rome's citizens and the same BS was belched out.

Rome, fell by the way!

America is only 200 plus years old and may not make it to the middle of this century.

Chris Ogle 8 years ago

To have all lakes, rivers, ponds, and streams be full of hungry fish.... and fish clean themselves.

jaywalker 8 years ago

Freedom from government tyranny. And the opportunity to own a '65 Mustang ragtop, chromed up with a a 289 purrin'.

labmonkey 8 years ago

The American Dream died January 21, 2009.

Dateable_Shelter_Dude 8 years ago

Each kid has his own room. And his own tv. Phone. Nintendo. Computer.Guitar hero.Encyclopedia Britannicas.Two guitar heros so a friend can play. Another computer so you can do two things at once. Dad by me a car when I'm 16. And another one when I wreck that one. And the next one too. My bad, Dad, sorry.A laptop and Ipod for college. And he pays to send me to college so I can major in philosophy or performance art and live in downtown Lawrence. Maybe in an upstairs apartment where I can live vegan and shop at the Farmer's Market but only if they will take Dad's credit card, otherwise I have to go to the Merc. As you can tell that didn't happen as I didn't have a Dad, Mom just let some dude get too close with a bottle rocket.

storm 8 years ago

Depending on which country on the American continent, I'd say safe drinking water.

Leslie Swearingen 8 years ago

Individuality within a muti-cultural community. The right to vote. Open communication between officials and the citizens.

Flap Doodle 8 years ago

To be able to buy liquor, ammo and tobacco at the same drive-thru window and use them all before I get home.

brotherskeeper 8 years ago

You guys must be a blast to have a beer with and talk about your futures. Dreams of any sort seem to have walked right out on a majority of people posting here. (Yes, I know I am just not ready to face the super secret truth that everything is terrible.)

BMI 8 years ago

brotherskeeper must be fresh meat. Let drive around with him on the hood of the truck for a while until he too gets old and tainted. :)

Ceallach 8 years ago

We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Wish they had added cleaning up our factually dangerous streets before trying to clean up the world's allegedly dangerous air.

ohjayhawk 8 years ago

A chicken in every pot, a car in every garage, and a Klondike bar in every freezer.

flux 8 years ago

Live off welfare and not work

bankboy119 8 years ago

"Security, happiness and a job.”

Unfortunately that is the American Dream. Thomas Jefferson penned it as "life, liberty, and the PURSUIT of happiness." Also, I believe Ben Franklin would agree with me in taking liberty over security any day.

jayhawklawrence 8 years ago

I never thought the main point was money.

I have always thought of the American Dream as a composition of our ideals as a nation and our respect for the divine nature and value of each individual.

Working hard and striving for excellence are rewarded in the land of the free and the home of the brave.

BigPrune 8 years ago

To pay cash for anything I want.

imahickerbilly 8 years ago

I always dreamed of growing OLD AND FAT!! I am truly LIVING MY DREAM!!

RManFlint 8 years ago

Say, Brett, the words "to you" implies subjectivity.


RManFlint 8 years ago

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gogoplata 8 years ago


Freedom from big government.

Leslie Swearingen 8 years ago

The question is, what is the American Dream? Obviously there is no such thing, each poster is giving their own version of what they want. Or cracking wise.

jaywalker 8 years ago

The question is 'what does the American Dream mean to you?', Irish. Obviously it's subjective.

Richard Heckler 8 years ago

*Replacing 95% of incumbents in Washington D.C, next election

*a new system and vote in Fair Vote America : Demand a change on the next ballot.

*public financing of campaigns. Citizens cannot afford special interest money campaigns for it is the citizens that get left out. Let citizens vote on this issue.

*New cleaner energy sources that cost less money with more jobs for all that which cannot be outsourced

*Healthcare for All minus the fraudulent corporations along with their bought and paid for politicians

  • All college loans are forgiven by the federal government instead of throwing more tax dollars to the white collar crooks

*When the city of Lawrence repairs curbs it creates an 18" concrete path for cyclists

  • Knowing most all who stay in Lawrence will enjoy themselves this July 3,4 and 5 as the cyclist race,food,music and dancing get on with it accompanied by fireworks on the river.

bad_dog 8 years ago

"Klondike bars now have a thicker chocolate shell. God bless America!"-blue73harley

Hey blue, please note that it is now advertised as a "chocolatey shell" rather than merely chocolate. I'm not sure what that means, but it can't be as good as just plain old chocolate.

Guess I'll have to go do some research...

uncleandyt 8 years ago

Life's an illusion, Love is the dream

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 8 years ago

The American dream is that state which precludes American consciousness.

jayhawklawrence 8 years ago

For Christians, the American Dream will always be considered a product of Christian ideals.

But those ideals do not just originate in Christianity. They are shared by all the major religions and therefore, we still have the power to inspire the world toward peace and common purpose.

When we stop believing that America is something beautiful and special and capable of making the world a better place for all, then I think America will not be America anymore.

If you have lost that vision, you need to find it.

Leslie Swearingen 8 years ago

jaywalker you are right, I am wrong. New American Dream, think before I type. No offense meant jayhawklawrence, but isn't believing that America is capable of making the world a better place for ALL, the thinking that got us into Iraq, why some want us in Iran, Afghanistan, etc. I say the American Dream is for Americans. The French dream for France. English dream for England. Etc.etc.etc.

denak 8 years ago

A self cleaning oven.....

oh and Rights that the majority of the world only dream about

Dateable_Shelter_Dude 8 years ago

Irish (Irish Swearingen) says…jaywalker you are right, I am wrong. New American Dream, think before I type.

Doesn't get any better than that.

woodenfleaeater (Anonymous) says…Two chicks at the same time

If a woman wrote that, or wanted two guys some people couldn't handle it. But if she did write that on here she knows how to contact me. I could find a beach towel. I still have my dreams.

SandCoAlmanac 8 years ago

Excess in everything and everything in excess.

jayhawklawrence 8 years ago

Irish, I don't think the Iraq adventure represented what America is all about.

The global effort to take better care of the planet is a better example.

RManFlint 8 years ago

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