I was raised in an era in which political leaders argued over relative merits of Socialism or Communism, or Fascism or Nazism or Capitalism and men and women who espoused these ideas were heard by millions. Today, President Obama vies with Republicans over which group can cut government expenditures. Seventy years ago John Maynard Keynes offered leaders a theory of how to end recessions by increasing consumption, jobs and government spending. We have yet to be presented any ideological explanation as to why cutting government expenditures during a recession results in “more jobs.”
I lived through rise of women offering new theories for women, the Big Bang theory which presented evidence concerning the origin of the universe, quantum physics arose in my life, JFK offered a dream of going to the moon and FDR offered a program that eventually would lead to employment for those seeking work. We had leaders who envisioned an end to poverty but today the greatest concern of Republicans and Democrats is over avoiding hurting the feeling of millionaires since if they become angry they will not create jobs.
A people without dreams is a people drifting from day to day without any vision of what can be. They are trained to focus on what is today, not how we can create a new America in the future which offers meaningful lives to ALL citizens. Barack Obama never recognized that Big Ideas ARE divisive because they challenge current thinking. He prefers normalcy of no jobs and no hope and no dreams.