By Marilinda Garcia
I’ve known a little girl since she was six. For 10 years we spent time together regularly, and I was always proud of her accomplishments, her grades, and her developing style as she grew into a beautiful young lady. We frequently talked about “what she wanted to be when she grew up” and like many other American young girls she had big goals. She wanted to be an astronaut, a doctor, a veterinarian, or a scientist. I encouraged her to aim high and dream big – to tackle any subject, musical instrument, or sport, but to focus on good grades so she would have many higher education options.
Halfway through high school, she made a startling revelation about her career goals. Putting aside aspirations, she was essentially concerned about guaranteed entitlements. She said, “I’m just really worried about getting benefits on my job,” and wanted to now work in the public sector. This totally shocked me. Suddenly, all the blurry concerns that darkly lurked in me were ignited. As a post-2007 America weathered the recession, watched the Euro crisis with alarm and fought bitterly over historic policy changes here was the aftermath, The American Dream Deferred. I was confronting a new reality, where born-and-bred young Americans would pick government service for entirely the wrong reasons and at the expense of other aspirations.
This worries me because it resembles a mindset of professional inevitability and resignation about a lack of opportunity that many of my European cousins and friends have. Regrettably, I feel those sentiments crystallizing in this country. On a recent trip to Taiwan, my delegation lamented about the USA’s worldwide downgrade in educational rankings. While there, a high ranking Taiwanese education official assured us that the best of America’s students couldn’t be surpassed due to inherent possession of a spark of creativity. He said our spirit of entrepreneurship couldn’t be artificially reproduced through tutorial studies. The education official essentially told us, “There’s nothing better than America at its best.”
These past four years have not been our best. While America welcomes new waves of
immigrants we still struggle to integrate the rapidly growing Hispanic demographic. They
celebrate the idea of America, but are distracted from embracing it by cheap, politically
motivated offerings of dependence. President Obama’s vision for our country seems void of the original promise for America and that concerns me gravely. This President doesn’t seem to understand the core of America’s success or how to protect it. Never mind his failed legacy of economic indicators such as 41 straight months of unemployment over 8%, a budget that would require $1.9 trillion in new taxes, and no effort to reform unsustainable entitlements. Moreover, I’m afraid I’ve become bitter in realizing that our current President is antagonistic to the very essence of the American way and insulting to our collective experience.
In his own words, President Obama demeans our American dreamers, our small business owners, like my father, telling them “they didn’t build that.” He condescends to those like my uncle, proud of his military service and protective of 2nd amendment rights, and my mother who supports charity endeavors due to her strong faith because they “cling to guns and religion.” He panders to foreign political foes and insults allies by offhandedly assuring “more flexibility after my re-election.” He negates the economic recovery work of state officials by crushing them with unaffordable new mandates. He lies that with Obamacare “the middle-class won’t see their taxes increase by a single dime.” The American way is no longer recognizable. The unshakable promise of The American Dream, that gives us confidence in our potential achievements through diligence, hard work, creativity and passion, is now deferred.
My family background allows me full appreciation for stopping at nothing to achieve this
American Dream. We lived the American immigrant story, the language and cultural integration story, the “if at first you don’t succeed try, try, again” – story. With no guarantee of success or fear of failure, many in my family fulfilled their dreams maintaining the promise of “the American way” that allows us confidence in our dreams and our potential achievements through diligence, hard work, creativity and passion.
It’s hard to imagine a President whose rhetoric is more antithetical to the fundamental ideals and dreams of its citizenry. We deserve better. Please just leave us alone, President Obama. We know how to fix this without your kind of leadership, and will show you how when we elect Mitt Romney. And, yes, we can.
Marilinda Garcia is a 3rd term NH State Representative, currently serving on the Finance Committee. At 29 years old, Ms. Garcia serves as a National Advisory Board Member for “Young Americans for Mitt Romney” and is a graduate of Tufts University and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.