Ten Steps to Rebuild the American Dream And Potentially Save Humanity

Rebuild the Dream defines itself as “a 21st Century “think tank” that champions innovative solutions to fix the U.S. economy and uplift the next generation.” Van Jones, the progressive celebrity activist, founded the organization in 2011.

I learned about the organization at its inception because of a personal eureka moment. I envisioned a progressive movement almost similar to the Tea Party — authentic outrage, diversity, a radical call for change in politics, effective organizing against entrenched politicians, simple demands, a mixture of big money and grassroots organizing — that seeks to redefine the constitution’s “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” to mean that American citizens have a right to the necessities of development; a right to sufficient nutrition, hydration, education, shelter, electricity, internet access, and healthcare. We should have a right to the things we need, in modern times, to develop to our full capacities and contribute to society. This, in opposition to the Tea Party’s negative liberty (freedom from restraint), pushes for positive liberty (freedom to fulfill one’s own potential).

The day after my eureka moment in 2011 I received an email about Rebuild the Dream and thought I’d manifested the idea.

The web site prompts you to sign their “Contract for the American Dream”, a ten-part action plan to resuscitate the American economy:

I. Invest in America’s Infrastructure
II. Create 21st Century Energy Jobs
III. Invest in Public Education
IV. Offer Medicare for All
V. Make Work Pay
VI. Secure Social Security
VII. Return to Fairer Tax Rates
VIII. End the Wars and Invest at Home
IX. Tax Wall Street Speculation
X. Strengthen Democracy

I agree with all of these steps. I think they would create a stronger and fairer American marketplace in which people feel secure, enfranchised in the American Dream, and more confident to make their own investments.

The effects of the Tea Party’s ruckus at the ramparts, in my opinion, damaged the country. They replaced politicians and created a political environment where, somehow, all social spending was on the cutting-board but security spending and tax breaks for the rich were considered sacred.

They damaged the country, but they also affected politics, something the progressive movement hasn’t been able to do in decades. The progressive movement doesn’t have the money and influence of the Koch brothers (et al). The progressive movement has a lot of people with different skills, levels of experience with activism, and political preferences and ideas. We need mass mobilization, duh.

If we want revolutionary change we need a relentless, nonviolent, broad-based movement demanding, in my opinion, a redefinition of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”. We need a multifaceted ‘war’ that includes campaigning to put young people in political office to affect the decision making process and improve American democracy. That includes radical action to stop industry from exploiting resources and labor, and polluting our land, skies, and water. That includes the development of cooperative businesses to provide resources (support, work, education, nutrition, hydration, shelter) to the struggling in contemporary America. That includes new decision-making bodies where people can come together to address grievances and share ideas (i.e. public forums of the people). That includes ideas you haven’t shared yet. And maybe it includes using Rebuild the Dream as a smokescreen for our intellectual capital.

Anyway, Rebuild the Dream is an interesting organization with a lot of useful information and networks to share. If you haven’t signed their Pledge, consider it.

Thanks for reading. Please comment, share, and return.

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