July 19th, 2018  | Featuring: E.J. Dionne & Ross Douthat

The “Restoring the American Dream” lecture featured E.J. Dionne (The Washington Post) and Ross Douthat (The New York Times) and was moderated by Ann Compton (Former ABC News White House Correspondent). This is the fourth lecture, in a five-year series.

Since its first use by James Truslow Adams, on the eve of the New Deal, the idea of the “American Dream” has been referenced often in our political discourse. While it powerfully symbolizes the ideals of American prosperity and opportunity, there is increasing recognition among Republicans and Democrats alike that the American Dream is receding, because many are finding it more difficult to make a living, to purchase real-estate and sustain payments on a mortgage, or to receive a high quality public school education.

We hope a conversation titled “Restoring the American Dream” provides room to reflect on the original “American Dream” as well as present an opportunity to explore the different ways Republicans and Democrats think about it, and imagine the future of the Dream.

Featured Speaker

E.J. Dionne Jr.

The Washington Post

E.J. Dionne Jr. writes about politics in a twice-weekly column and on the PostPartisan blog. He is also a government professor at Georgetown University, a visiting professor at Harvard University, a senior fellow in governance studies at the Brookings Institution and a frequent commentator on politics for National Public Radio and MSNBC. He is the author of seven books. His most recent are “One Nation After Trump: A Guide for the Perplexed, the Disillusioned, the Desperate, and the Not-Yet Deported” (co-authored with Norman J. Ornstein and Thomas E. Mann, 2017) and “Why the Right Went Wrong: Conservatism – From Goldwater to the Tea Party and Beyond” (2016). He grew up in Fall River, Mass., attended Harvard College and was a Rhodes Scholar at Balliol College, Oxford. He lives in Bethesda, Md., with his wife, Mary Boyle. They have three children, James, Julia and Margot.

Featured Speaker

Ross Douthat

The New York Times

Ross Douthat joined The New York Times as an Op-Ed columnist in April 2009. His column appears every Wednesday and Sunday. Previously, he was a senior editor at The Atlantic and a blogger for theatlantic.com. He is the author of “Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics,” published in 2012, and “Privilege: Harvard and the Education of the Ruling Class” (2005), and a co-author, with Reihan Salam, of “Grand New Party: How Republicans Can Win the Working Class and Save the American Dream” (2008). He is the film critic for National Review. He lives with his wife and daughters in Washington. Read his blog, Evaluations, and follow him on Twitter.


Ann Compton

ABC News

Ann Compton joined ABC News in 1973. Only weeks after the Watergate scandal came to an end in 1974, she became the first woman assigned to cover the White House on a full-time basis by a network television news organization, and she was one of the youngest to receive the assignment. From 2007-2008, Compton served as the president of the White House Correspondents’ Association, coordinating coverage and access issues with the White House staff. On September 11, 2001, Compton was the only broadcast reporter allowed to remain aboard Air Force One during the dramatic hours when President Bush was unable to return to Washington. Reporting for all ABC News broadcasts, Compton has traveled around the globe and through all 50 states with presidents, vice presidents and first ladies. Twice during campaigns, she was invited to serve as a panelist for presidential debates (1988 and 1992), and she was assigned as a floor reporter at the 1976 Republican and Democratic National Conventions. In 2000, Compton became Chief Washington correspondent for ABCNews.com, where she wrote and anchored a digital political column, “On Background.”

Engaging Students in Our Lecture Series

Since the very first lecture, student generated questions posed to panelists have been a part of the Daniel K. Inouye Distinguished Lecture Series in an effort to reinforce a key tenant of the Institute to mentor and engage the next generation of leaders.