The Real American Dream: A Meditation on Hope Themes
French historian Alexis de Tocqueville was impressed with American democracy. He was fascinated by it. But he was the first to verbalize a cautionary tone about the perfect and coveted form of government that the Americans had developed. He felt that with the vast opportunity in the land of abundance that America provided its people, that a feeling of "melancholy" might set in that would change the landscape of the country and perhaps even its democracy that the people were so proud of.
It was de Tocqueville's theory that with the freedom and unlimited potential that democracy provided, there was an internal mechanism within each person that would keep him from attaining completeness. It was a natural instinct for man to create stories and symbols that would ward off this morose feeling and the thought that life had no purpose. And de Tocqueville saw the flag, the monuments and the...