Can Bernie Sanders Exemplify the American Dream?Breaking News
tags: Bernie Sanders, American Dream, 2020 Election
Walter G. Moss is a professor emeritus of history at Eastern Michigan University and Contributing Editor of HNN. For a list of all of Moss’s recent books and online publications, click here.
More so than in his 2016 presidential campaign, Bernie Sanders is now attempting to identify his own personal story with the American Dream. It is the dream that sees our country as a land of opportunity, as one that has welcomed immigrants and diversity, and emphasized that you can come from poor beginnings and still be successful. It is the dream expressed on a plaque of the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty.
Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
Sanders began his 2020 campaign in Brooklyn telling his audience:
As we launch this campaign for president, you deserve to know where I come from – because family history heavily influences the values that we adopt as adults.
I was born and raised a few miles away from here, in a three-and-a-half room rent-controlled apartment. My father was a paint salesman who worked hard his entire life, but never made much money. My mother raised my brother and me.
I learned a great deal about immigration as a child because my father came to this country from Poland at the age of 17, without a nickel in his pocket. He came to escape the crushing poverty that existed in his community, and to escape widespread anti-Semitism. And, it was a good thing that he left Poland when he did because virtually his entire family there was wiped out by Nazi barbarism.
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