Thuy Tran Describes Her American Dream

“Don’t mess with mother bears, OK?”

What is the American dream?

Well, I guess it depends on a lot of things, like whether or not you were born in America, certainly what color your skin is, what your parents and their parents did to earn their livings. The American dream is a construct largely based on where you’re doing the dreaming. One person’s American dream might be someone else’s American nightmare.

For instance, owning a means of production? Being someone’s boss? Gross, I could never.

But escaping tyranny and war to begin a new life on American shores, a new life full of possibilities not afforded to you and your children otherwise? That’s some shit I can get behind.

That’s also why I feel so enamored of my guest on the Dive podcast, Dr. Thuy Tran, one of five Vietnamese American candidates who won the Democratic Party’s nomination in this year’s election cycle. Each of them is a child of immigrants.

This week’s cover story profiles the five Vietnamese American candidates for Oregon state representative, including Tran, whose parents fled a communist regime to immigrate to America. Tran is an established ophthalmologist, the chief of optometry for the 142nd Division of the Air National Guard, and an established Lions Club member. She’s also a parent whose children were enrolled at Parkrose High when a lone gunman walked into the school. I mean, does it get any more American than that?

Listen on Spotify.