The American Dream encapsulates the dreams and ideals of generations of Americans. There is much debate over exactly which dreams and ideals these are, and the term is often used ironically.
- I'm just livin' out the American Dream
And I just realized that nothing is what it seems.
- ...sweet Jesus, there are a hell of a lot of them—still screaming around these desert-city crap tables at four-thirty on a Sunday morning. Still humping the American Dream, that vision of the Big Winner somehow emerging from the last minute pre-dawn chaos of a stale Vegas casino.
- The American dream is, in part, responsible for a great deal of crime and violence because people feel that the country owes them not only a living but a good living.
- psychoanalyst David Abrahansen, San Francisco Examiner and Chronicle, November 18, 1975
- There are those, I know, who will reply that the liberation of humanity, the freedom of man and mind, is nothing but a dream. They are right, It is. It is the American dream.
- Archibald MacLeish, debating "national purpose" in 1960.
- It's called the American dream because you have to be asleep to believe it.
- The American Dream has run out of gas. The car has stopped. It no longer supplies the world with its images, its dreams, its fantasies. No more. It's over. It supplies the world with its nightmares now: the Kennedy assassination, Watergate, Vietnam...
- We believe that what matters most is not narrow appeals masquerading as values, but the shared values that show the true face of America; not narrow values that divide us, but the shared values that unite us: family, faith, hard work, opportunity and responsibility for all, so that every child, every adult, every parent, every worker in America has an equal shot at living up to their God-given potential. That is the American dream and the American value.
- Senator John Kerry
- Success is somebody else's failure. Success is the American Dream we can keep dreaming because most people in most places, including thirty million of ourselves, live wide awake in the terrible reality of poverty.
- We British, we don't have a dream, do we? No, it's because we're wide-awake!
- Al Murray as his character, the Pub Landlord