The infamous Melania Trump speech at the Republican convention shared more than a paragraph or so with Michelle Obama.
It shared Michelle’s aspirational thought that in America, any child with hard work and perseverance can succeed.
“The only limit to your achievements is the strength of your dreams and your willingness to work hard for them.”
For those who are exceptional, driven, and lucky, it’s true.
But what about those with significant, or even average, talents who don’t have luck or all consuming drive? Our self satisfaction over the dramatic rags-to-riches story masks the loss to our communities of the less exceptional.
What about those youngsters whose unaddressed health issues, rotten schools, segregated neighborhoods, and grinding poverty simply smother the talent within? Why is their loss acceptable to us?
The same night as Melania’s convention speech, Hillary Clinton sat down one on one with Charlie Rose.
Asked what she’d do to address income inequality, her answer was quick: early childhood education produces the largest and most lasting boost to our economy.
Not tax cuts, less regulation, or even infrastructure.
It’s our kids.
Invest in kids early on, and it won’t be just the exceptional who fulfill the American dream of unimpeded advancement.
I say we must move beyond platitudes to policies that might actually make it happen. It doesn’t have to be just a dream.