Did you know that your belief about the attainability of the American Dream is, apparently, closely tied to your partisan leanings? That’s a pitiful and depressing realty. But it reveals that what one believes constructs what you’re able to achieve.
Last week, Gallup published its findings in a phone survey of 1,018 adults conducted in June. Just over 70% of those surveyed acknowledged their stance on the following statement: “If you work hard and play by the rules, you will be able to achieve the American dream in your lifetime.” Looking at the demographics of those surveyed, the very clear defining identifier that’s notable is partisan label.
Those claiming Center-Right or Republican partisan status answered to the affirmative 88% of the time that they could pursue opportunity to accomplish the aspirations they hold and envision in our nation that gives equal opportunity based on Liberty and authentic freedom. Men and women of the “independent” voter category dropped precipitously with 66% of respondents standing by that position, while only 60% of self-identified Democrats believe that the American Dream is attainable.
Within those partisan divisions, 84% of conservatives, held the more hopeful view of their futures than liberals, who dropped to just 54% expressing a positive prognosis for the days ahead.
But even further dissection reveals that women, particularly younger females — 18-49-year-olds — expect dimmer, less hopeful futures versus their senior sisters of the 50+ age range.
Is this a sudden trend? Why is this happening? Why are younger women of the most pessimistic view of their own destinies?
Interestingly, back in 2015, according to The Washington Post citing a survey by the Public Religion Research Institute, Republicans were less optimistic than Democrats and said our best days were behind us. But, looking at the Gallup historical snapshot that accompanies their recent review, optimism of Americans was greatest from 1999-2003 with the belief that up to 72% of respondents would have a better life than their parents versus just 60% today.
Clearly, the fluctuation in sentiment aligns with the leadership of our nation. That seems to be a factor. But why are we seeing a decline in hope in our younger generation?
It’s no longer a hypothesis but instead a correlating factor that those on the political Left have a different worldview that removes or at least diminishes faith from its foundations. The removal of God from the Democrat platform back in 2012 or the more inflammatory rhetoric that mocks those who dare to believe in God are certainly contributing factors. This also serves as part of the growing dependency upon government for state-awarded rights versus those “endowed by our Creator.” Doubt that?
What are the key conflicts in our world of politics right now? Abortion is the absolute litmus test of the militant “progressive” Left. Abortion viewed as a right completely dismisses the value of life and its purpose. Rather, abortion is about control awarded by a government to women, not an empowering appreciation of life rooted in faith.
A second conflict is about citizenship. Individuals of the Christian faith believe that our final citizenship is granted into Heaven. Those who reject the tenets of that faith are denied entry. Those of the Christian faith read from God’s Word that individuals are not granted access to Heaven via a familial tie to a religion or the faith of another.
The uncomfortable nature of faith is that we’re individually confronted with our own behavior, thoughts, choices, and destiny with personal accountability. Too many opt for groupthink and the embrace of rights given by man via an agency like government versus those from God. If you embrace the latter, your accounting is not just to yourself or man.
So, while we point to politics and the differences among Democrats, Republicans, and Independents, the root grows deeper into that which influences our culture and our politics.
Currently, so many of the institutions of our society are controlled by those who subscribe to the worldview of the Left absent of optimism, focused on failure, and fueled by anger. Faith is less a factor and influence with the sliding scale of values that are secular to ensure acceptance, approval, and even the glorification of victimhood. Our universities, our media, and much of the entertainment that control what we see, consume into our minds, and impact our reasoning are driven by a worldview from the secular Left.
It’s easiest to fixate on Donald Trump and the flood of images pouring into our life of screens — handheld, desktop, and wall-mounted — that scream of the political decay and divide, but the reality is that our optimism or lack thereof is rooted in something other than the personalities and power of politics. The hatred of President Donald J. Trump is unquestionably a factor, but appreciate that the principles on which he’s governing, as a very imperfect man, are more aligned with the beliefs that each is, indeed, endowed by our Creator and that government, framed on the respect of individual rights coupled with responsibilities serves as the best path and offers the greatest opportunities.
Republicans are running to lead America from a position of hope. Democrats, sadly, are running it down.