Hispanic Dreams, Values Create Storybook Childhood for Gonzales
4 October 2007:
For the record, I admired Alberto Gonzales when he was attorney general of the United States --not because he identified as Hispanic, or Latino, or whatever-- because he and I shared a common dream: Declaration of war on pedophiles.
He was the only White House appointee out of hundreds during the past six years
who signaled at least a touch of humanity.
Gonzales wasn't in office long enough for history to prove whether he passed or failed as an attorney general, but for his war -- he deserved much praise. Now that he left the spotlight and shares his opinions on life as citizen, Gonzales wrote for cnn.com "Hispanic values equal American values" as part of the cnn.com special on "Uncovering America." The series focuses upon the Hispanic experience during Hispanic Heritage Month. There is no such celebration, or essay requests, for the typical life of a white man in the United States...one must be of another "cooler" ethnic background to be taken seriously in October 2007.
Nonetheless, what Gonzales concluded can only be described as the storybook american dream begun in 1955. It is no longer possible to achieve what he described for the reasons explained ahead.
Gonzales grew up in the house his father could afford to build on the salary of a fieldworker. Gonzales does not say whether his mother earned a salary outside of the home, but given that time, in Texas, she was most likely an unpaid housewife and mother. In the late 1950s and well into the 1970s families survived on single incomes in the United States, and that is no longer the case.
...The reason is not due to low wages, as liberals want you to believe, but the direct result of capitalists who believe the dream exists for all -- at a price only they can afford and control.
Gonzales said: The dream is ripe for picking just the same.
"...I can remember when I was a small boy playing in the field as they laid the cinder blocks for the house's foundation. They nailed together the two-by-fours, hung the drywall, and hammered the composition shingles onto the roof. From their sweat, toil and vision arose the small two-bedroom house that became our home..." Gonzales wrote.
Wish we could compare exact figures, but Gonzales did not match costs of the materials and land his father purchased on a fieldworker's salary with those same costs today -- some 40 years later. The price tag grew exponentially into a nightmare.
What local county and city restrictions would his father Pablo face today for building a home on his own that were not part of our government culture decades ago? Gonzales does not compare costs or regulations, but instead he draws the conclusion that his upbringing built character...in theory.
He also draws upon his father's experience --several times in the essay-- as the basis for which son becomes attorney general despite having come from an unremarkable background. Isn't that the case for all? Who truly is remarkable....as only one out of 6 billion people?
"...My father was not an educated man. But he worked every day to help his eight children find the American dream," Gonzales wrote.
Realistically, education is what one makes of lessons learned -- that has not changed since humans learned to walk upright.
There was no shame from working in the fields 40 years ago, nor should there be that association today...except by picking cotton or strawberries in 2007 one cannot afford the dream Gonzales reports is very much alive. The reason is not due to low wages, as liberals want you to believe, but the direct result of capitalists who believe the dream exists for all -- at a price only they can afford and control.
Gonzales did not advise, or propose, how one can afford to own a home, raise eight children, and live on one fieldworker's salary in 2007. But the family-built home is what Gonzales remembers most about his heritage -- and it is what keeps the dream alive today for building a better tomorrow, he said.
"...The story of America is a story of constant renewal and reaffirmation of our founding ideals and our enduring values of faith, family, and freedom. I have drawn on the strength of my heritage and the insights of my background to try to make America a better place for everyone," wrote Gonzales.
Nice theory. So, what has made that dream impossible for fieldworkers and anyone earning less than the median income in the United States? Gonzales does not answer...but he earns far more today than the median household income of about $48,000.
Gonzales admits to holding-out for optimism on the criminal side of our culture though. He admitted to have witness activity that even he "didn't know man was capable of."
"But I will tell you here and now that I am still hopeful. Because every time I see a glimmer of what the evil man can do, I see the defenders of liberty, truth, and justice who stand ready to fight it," he wrote to cnn.com.
He closes his essay by writing the opening line to the United States' Declaration of Independence and again reiterates his point that we live in a country where achieving the dream is everyone's goal. "...If anyone ever tries to tell you the American dream doesn't exist, or that you can't achieve it, I hope you'll prove them wrong," he wrote.
It certainly did exist for his father Pablo. It certainly does exist for Gonzales and at least 50 percent of the population in the Untied States earning more than the median household income.
The real dream Gonzales speaks of though stayed with his father. Would Pablo have survived corporate layoff --even without having savings or the cushy pension reserved for his son today-- and would the man's hands be skilled enough to wrestle back being outsourced? Would Pablo be able to have raised eight children in the 2000s at half the salary he'd made in the 1990s?
Gonzales doesn't address those questions that literally millions of workers in the United States would ask given the chance.
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