Richard Rorty, the American pragmatist philosopher, begins his book Achieving Our Country with the comment, ‘National pride is to countries what self respect is to individuals: a necessary condition for self improvement’. Barack Obama is a skillful politician and is well known for his oratory. He has consistently made reference to the American Dream in his campaigning for the presidency and after, often focusing on his own remarkable story as emblematic of the possible. Obama is a brilliant politician who knows the currency and power of the concept of the American Dream. The goal of education is not simply about a form of economic instrumentalism that helps the United States ‘win the future,’ to quote from Obama’s education rhetoric. Donald Trump’s narrative of the American Dream is directed against all outsiders – Mexicans, undocumented folk, Blacks, women, Muslims – and functions by casting aspersions and tapping into existing prejudices and disaffection.