The American Dream in politics


The American Dream has been often used by politicians in their campaigns, speeches, and policies, helping us track its evolution throughout time. For example, Abraham Lincoln made the Dream more accessible to African Americans by abolishing slavery. President Woodrow Wilson extended this to women by granting them voting rights. By adopting the Civil Rights Act of 1964, President Johnson ended segregation, continuing what Lincoln started, giving further access to the American Dream for African Americans.

In political campaigns, candidates often try to describe themselves as embodiments of the American Dream, describing how they have fought hard to get to where they are - even though this often seems a bit unconvincing, as most presidential candidates have historically come from wealthy and privileged backgrounds. 

More recently, the last two American presidents, Barack Obama and Donald Trump, also explored and used their own interpretation of the American Dream to appeal to voters.

Barack Obama

While he was a Senator, Barack Obama wrote a memoir titled The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream. The book was a reinterpretation of the American Dream meant to appeal to young African Americans. Obama also presented his life as the embodiment of the American Dream. He came from a single-parent family ...

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