How a Storied Phrase Became a Partisan Battleground

Juan Ciscomani, a Republican who washed cars to help his Mexican immigrant father pay the bills and is now running for Congress in Arizona, has been leaning on a simple three-word phrase throughout his campaign — “the American dream.”

To him, the American dream, a nearly 100-year-old idea weighted with meaning and memory, has become something not so much to aspire to but to defend from attack.

President Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi are, he says in one ad, “destroying the American dream” with “a border crisis, soaring inflation and schools that don’t teach the good things about America.”

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