“America,” too, is a state of mind. “Being an American” is a set of attitudes and actions, not a nationality or a posture of reflexive loyalty. This tribe of true “Americans” consists of people who have crossed a personal Rubicon of a specific kind and can no longer be satisfied with anything less than absolute liberty.
Well…Okay…Once a certain threshold of passivity has been crossed, it becomes easier and easier, as Benjamin Franklin warned, to trade liberty for a false security—and deserve neither.
Critics on the left often point out their flaws in relation to the very ideals they put forward. John Adams was never comfortable with true citizen democracy.18 “Jefferson’s writings about race reveal that he saw Africans as innately deficient in humanity and culture.”19 When a male slave escaped from Benjamin Franklin in England, Franklin sold him back into slavery.20
Thomas Jefferson was a free-speech apostle; though he was personally vilified in the press—and the colonial and revolutionary press was, if anything, more nasty and mudslinging than today’s—he often said and wrote that it would be better to have “newspapers without a government” than “a government without newspapers.”3 “I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than those attending too small a degree of it,” he wrote.
Note: Jefferson: I'd rather have newspapers without government than government without newspapers