People Break Down What Would Make Up The 'American Nightmare' Rather Than The 'American Dream'
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People often say they came to America to pursue the American Dream.


But what is the American Dream? The ideal can be described as a life granting everyone freedom to achieve success with few obstacles in order to carve a life out for themselves and start a family.

To some, the American Dream is simply epitomized by its culture of baseball, hot dogs, and backyard BBQs.

But what would be the antithesis to the notion that "all men are created equal?

Strangers online shared their analysis when Redditor amountgood asked:

"If there’s an American dream, what’s the American nightmare?"

The thread began with sarcasm.

Why Cody Rhodes?

"Cody Rhodes is a professional wrestler known as the American Nightmare. He's the son of the late, great Dusty Rhodes, who was the American Dream."

– familyman121712

How Tuneful

"The American nightmare is a song by ice nine kills."

– EarthWillOvercome

And then Redditors mentioned their worst-case scenarios.

No White Picket Fences

"Honestly, for me ending up homeless."

– NoticeWhenUAreHappy

Unforeseen Setbacks

"For me it's getting a serious illness that prevents working, losing everything, being unable to provide for my family, and having to be taken care of by them."

– LividLager

When Dad Got Sick

"This was my Mom and dad's situation. My dad started developing ALS symptoms in his early 60's, by the time he turned 63 he could barely walk/talk let alone work. So he really lost the last high earning years of his life unfortunately."

"Compound that with 24/7 nursing 'heavy' care and my mom would have burnt through most of their savings if not ended bankrupt - had I not quit working and moved home to help her. Luckily she is a licensed RN so medically he was in better hands compared to a lot of other people suffering from it. She just couldn't move a 180 pound 6' 1" man like I could."

– Tler126

Roadblocks To A Healthy Life

"Yep! Can't afford a house, had to get married to get health insurance, if I miscarry, I might have to wait until I'm literally dying of sepsis before I can get medical treatment and if everything goes well, my baby is still full of microplastics :( The future is terrifying."

– listlessthe

Comparisons to the present were inevitable.

Our Current State

"What America is becoming right now."

– favnh2011

A New Reality

"Current America. -An American."

– TTdriver

We Grieve

"Agreed. What we are right now is pretty f'king terrible. Obviously things can get worse, but it feels like that the worst is inevitable. An absolute nightmare for sure."

– BleedingTeal

Dream Vs. Reality

"The American dream occurs when you are asleep. The American nightmare occurs when you are awake."

– cedriks

People analyzed the concept of what makes the American Nightmare.

At Second Glance...

"Ironically, the American nightmare is exactly the same as the American dream, just different perspectives."

– jcbasse

"The American dream is a marketing concept to sell you crap as you attempt to keep up with your peers. I have nicer rental properties than the little apartment I rent for myself. It’s about priorities."

"Where I live, the bike you ride is more impressive than the car you drive."

– Backyouropinion

It Doesn't Apply To Marginalized People

"American dream: prosperous 1950’s style suburbs and social mores."

"American nightmare: exactly the same, but you’re black. (Or a woman, or gay, or trans, or neuro-divergent in any way etc)"

– Charlie_Mouse

The Sitcom Life

"The same thing for someone else. For every person who dreams of a Leave it to Beaver lifestyle that's another person's Purgatory. The true American Dream is simply having the ability to live life as you so choose if that's a Sitcom life then hell live it. If that's in the middle of the city hitting the coffee shop and bakery every morning then do it."

"But too many people mistake their dream for everyone else's."

– jackfaire

Speaking Of Sitcoms

I can't personally say what constitutes the antithesis of the American Dream, but I can say when I realized the so-called "Dream" only applied exclusively to a demographic that was different from mine.

My earliest notion of the American Dream was life depicted on a TV show called The Brady Bunch. (Sadly, we're in an era where people have never even heard of this once-popular American sitcom).

It took me a long time to realize I had been internalizing my resentment of the show for not representing characters that looked like me and having storylines relating to other cultures.

I'm still nostalgic about the show's more inconsequential moments with the family–like settling arguments with a potato sack race or banding together and running through an amusement park to deliver the correct blueprints for the dad's high-stakes business meeting.

But as a youngster, I couldn't help but compare my situation to the perfect White family and realize I would never have that.

To me, that was an American nightmare in a sense. Not being able to attain the unattainable.

But it took me a while to realize I'm so grateful to have had the best of both worlds–of being raised in a country that offered me opportunities leading to a sustainable career in the entertainment industry AND having a background with a rich culture and loving family that shaped me into the proud person I have become.

The Brady's can never take that away from me.

However, I'd still love to be invited over to their house and brush Marsha's hair or have a jam session with Greg up in the attic.

In an ideal world anyway.

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