I think that the American dream is really the same as it has always been, at least in essence. I think that a lot of people have perverted it over time, and made it entirely materialistic. In my opinion, the American dream is that a person can come here and be free to make their own choices and lives their lives as they see best, and if a person works hard enough, they can become successful.
Maybe in past decades people have equivocated the American dream with owning a house, having a nice car, and other material things of that nature. Those things are just products of the freedom we enjoy here in America. It is not possible to own a house in Communist countries, and in tyrannies upward mobility is almost impossible. In America people have the freedom to make their own choices and do what they want with their lives, and that just does not always happen.
So if I had to sum up the American dream in one word, it would be freedom. Maybe this is just me, but I would travel to all ends of the earth trying to find the most freedom I could, and as far as I know America is still the freest country on earth. If you do not have freedom to live your life the way you want, then what is the point of living it at all? It seems to me that if everyone else makes decisions for you, then it is not really your life, but the live someone else is making for you. That is why the American dream is so important. Without freedom, life loses meaning and value, at least for me it does.
I am not sure if there are other people like me that still believe that this is the American dream, but even if I am alone I can still have my own strange opinion regardless of anyone else.