Monday, August 12, 2013

Is The American Dream Dead? Dems-"Yes"; Republicans-"No"

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There is a substantial difference in the way people view the future in America.

Interestingly, it tends to fall along political lines rather than those one might expect.

A new poll just published finds a significant difference between Democrats and Republicans in regard to an individual's view of the future.

Friday, I wrote about whether the sun is "rising" or "setting" on America as a significant world power.

Today I'm looking at the specifics of two very different worldviews and how it affects our personal outlook: both for the future and the way we live in the present.

Why do those who believe the American dream is dead, believe as they do? Is it merely a matter of looking at certain trends or is there more to it?

And why do those who believe the American dream is not dead, believe as they do? Are they in denial, or do they see something the others don't see?

If an individual has a sense of hopelessness and believes that the future is not going to be better, how does that affect their life and the lives of those close to them?

Suicide was the 10th leading cause of death in America in 2012. Is that related to a lack of hope?

What is the solution?

A new poll out Friday has found that "More Democrats Than Republicans, 53%-27%, say the American Dream Is Dead."

Ironically, about the same number of Democrats who believe the American dream is dead, is equivalent to the number of Republicans who believe it is not dead.

Why such a vast difference? Why is one group very hopeful, while the other seemingly hopeless?

Suicide was the 10th leading cause of death in the United states in 2012. It takes more lives than any other form of personal injury.

In 2009, suicides surpassed car crashes in number of deaths.

This is a link to the CDC profile of who is committing suicide.

The New York Post has reported that 1 in 12 teens have attempted suicide, and statistics show that while 1 in 100 deaths occur from suicide, the majority of those are men.

Of those men, the highest rates are among young men in their 20's and older men between 65 and 75.

The reasons why the number of men taking their own lives has risen in recent years are far from clear. However, there is a thread that weaves through the statistics. These are suggestions from the link above as to why more men are taking their own life. All of the proposed explanations share a common feature – the changing role of men in society.

  • Adolescence has been prolonged, with adulthood and independence reached at a much later age than previously. Two generations ago, work began at the age of 14; one generation ago at 16 years for most; now many men only achieve financial independence in their mid 20s.
  • Men have a more stressful time in achieving educational goals than in the past and are now less successful in this regard than women.
  • Work is much less secure now and periods of unemployment are the norm for many (psychologically the threat of unemployment is at least as harmful as unemployment itself).
  • Alcohol use, and abuse, has increase markedly since the Second World War. Such use is often an attempt to cope with stress and to self-medicate symptoms.
  • Illegal drug abuse has become much more common (a correlation between the youth suicide rate and the rate of convictions for drug offenses has been demonstrated in some countries).
  • Changes that are assumed to be symptoms of the 'breakdown of society' are associated with a rising suicide rate (examples include the rising divorce rate and falling church attendances).

The significant take away from this is: "The changing role of men in society" and the "breakdown of society," which includes rising divorce rates and falling church attendance.

But why is there such a difference between political affiliation?

There are exceptions to this.

But generally, Democrats embrace the secular progressive worldview, while generally those affiliated with the Republican Party embrace a conservative, or even biblical worldview, which includes absolute Truth rather than evolving "truths".

A biblical world view creates stability. A secular progressive worldview creates uncertainty and personal and cultural instability.

A biblical worldview nurtures hope. A secular worldview undermines and erodes hope.

A biblical worldview provides both a long term view of life and eternity. A secular progressive worldview provides only a momentary view.

If this is true, why then do some Christians take their own lives or live in discouragement and hopelessness?

Because we are all human. However, those who have accepted Christ into their lives have a real solution for discouragement and hopelessness, based in the love, restoration and power of God.

Here's an example of how believers can become discouraged and how they can respond:

While David and his fellow warriors were away, the Amalekites raided their town, burned everything and captured their wives and children. The men were so devastated when they learned the news they wanted to stone David, their leader, to death.

So in the middle of grieving for his own family, David had to deal with the pain of his own men turning on him in betrayal and possible violence.

We have all been there in some form. Life can be tough.

How did David respond?

He "strengthened his hand in the Lord" ( I Sam. 30:6).

On the radio, live this morning at 9 AM, PDT and rebroadcast this evening at 7:30 PM PDT, I'm talking about various causes of discouragement in our lives, the consequences, and the cure---how to strengthen your hand in the Lord.

Be Informed. Be Encouraged. Be Prayerful. Be Vigilant. Be Blessed.


  1. In summary:

    People are happier living in a fairy tale than when they face reality.

    1. Not sure why you would say a fairy tale is providing a home for your family and helping your kids achieve a better life then you had . To me that is a big part of the American Dream . Still is , we own our own homes at much higher ratio then say Europeans do . I believe it reached its best percentage in about 2004 , The Recession put those numbers lower but still quite high compared to other countries

      Owning your own home , being able to spend your retirement savings on life and helping others , plus our kids inheriting a better America then the one we inherited I believe are worth while pursuits .

      Seems to support those goals we need a better education system , environmental common sense goals , and perhaps building homes that better insulated and energy efficient. And a country where more of us are working and producing then with their hands out and learning to be forever dependent . Very hard to be a democrat I would think and support the American Dream because the major thrust of your ability to gain votes is for the public to need government to exist . Just the opposite of the American Dream ,

      In summary people are better off living the American Dream and more likely to feel happier when that reality exists in their lives, Mick

    2. I was talking about 'biblical worldview' vs 'secular worldview'. That was Gary's big point.

    3. I bad , I was speaking to the Traditional American Dream . Owning a Home. Working to have America better then the way we found it .


    4. I wonder why it's called the American Dream when 17 countries have higher home ownership rates than we do. Some 20% or more higher. American exceptionalism, I guess.

    5. Ha , no not exceptionalism , it is called President Obama . Our current home ownership rate has taken a beating as of late . But you want to compare the housing standards here in the united States and a few of those countries on the list . Ever wonder why when their is an Earthquake in some areas thousands die , you think other countries have worse earthquakes ? Perhaps also consider that because of our exceptionalism we tend to value human life where we demand building codes .


    6. Sure, I'll compare our housing standards to 'a few of those countries'. England, Canada, Norway, Australia, Italy, Spain, etc. And, by the way, I thought building codes were just job killing regulations. Are you no longer free market?

    7. Many regulations are important , like regulations for our food . Excessive regulations do cause problems if excessive . I am free market , you need to understand economics without the political hype . Your interest appears to be politics , you think corporate welfare is good for the economy ? I don't , republican and democrat politicians support it for political power . Capitalism without government oversight is definitely problem prone . Heck capitalism itself has problems , I still consider capitalism the best there is . The alternative is terrible , historically and presently proved .

      So you like the housing industry in Spain , LOL , try buying a house in Spain with their economy right now . 26 percent unemployment , 8 percent of the mortgage holders are unemployed . The bailouts Spain is getting are not enough for their economy , yeah government spending has helped them too . ;0)

      England In the UK, is often leasehold means the land is not owned, and the owner buys the right to use the land and property for a period of time. So you need to actually study issues and understand the freedoms this country do offer besides your Howard Zinn manual and responses and your "Newsroom" clip understanding explaining How bad America is compared to the rest of the world . ,

      So your perspective working hard , getting an education is not worth it .
      Hope you have no kids . Too bad because that kind of mentality is what hurts people in the long run . If people honestly believe working hard , doing good in school or learning a trade has little effect in the quality of their life , well they will tend to be satisfied or more like feel all they have is no chance to get ahead and live off the government subsidies they qualify for . . Seems like your the reason people believe they can just get by and get bailed out by the bad USA . , I would assume more people will just want to be , well democrats . They will just take from those who have , and be content in the position in life they believe have no control of . Those who have will continue to have more ,, they almost always do somehow . That's why the article is important , it shows that Americans are giving up in parts of this culture . You appear to be rooting for the folks to give up .


      Move to Spain , Better bring more then Euros . You'll need them . Europe is just getting to the point of realization that promises by government that offer unsustainable resources for ever will not happen just because they were taught capitalism is evil . Capitalism offers hope and rewards success.

  2. sheila s. Gig Harbor7:31 AM, August 13, 2013

    Hope is not a fairy tale. Believing in Jesus Christ is far more a reality than the sun rising every day. Today I sit here, in no pain after Jesus Christ healing my back when the MD said "Surgery fixed nothing and other surgeries would be needed." Jesus is a personal God who cares about my individual pain.
    I am no one special, He cares about everyone of those who love him. Sometime the ultimate healing is that He takes people to be with Him. Yahoo! Who wouldn't want to live in paradise?
    So as Republican, I have hope regardless of circumstances because Jesus cares about me individually and will see me through all circumstances. I personally think we have some tough times ahead of us because of our choices as a nation, but this is my appointed time to live, my destiny, so bring it on. With Jesus at my side, I can do all the things I need to. To fight for the American dream for my family, accept the things and events I can't change, trusting Jesus to handle all the corners of my life that I can not see. I am not looking through rose colored glasses. I am looking forward with confidence because I know the truth. I sit here pain free.


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