A popular question in politics has been "What is the American Culture?" or "What are American Values?" There has been an emphasis in America placed on "multi-culturism" which has implied an equivalency between American Culture to "racism," and excluded it from the realm of multi-culturism. The answer of would be rulers is that there is no such thing as "an American Way of Life," as the real answer is at odds with their own greed for power.
The truth is that American values and culture do not exclude cultural aspects of immigrants of other countries, but rather it is a culture of God-given Rights and Liberties. Americanism means that the Citizen, not the ruler, is the Sovereign. It is a largely unspoken and undefined definition of the American Way of Life. It is implicit in the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights, and understood, if unstated, by those that argue for the restoration of principles and policies of the US Constitution.
The American way of life is not democracy. Democratic election of Representatives in a Republican form of government, was simply the means used to achieve personal freedom, and sovereign liberty of the Citizenry.
Competing forms of government: monarchies, socialism, islamism, theocracies, and the like that have come before, during, and after the "American Experiment" were distinctly different because the government ruled the lives of the citizenry, rather than being the servants of it. Whether King, Ceasar, Pharaoh, Emperor, Premier, Caliph, Holy Roman See, or "Dear Leader," the difference was that these rulers dictated the rules to their subjects, rather than bowing to the rules written by the Citizenry.
The subjects of these rulers were forced to beg the Sovereign for the means of survival, and called the Sovereign a tyrant when allowed to keep too little of their labors.
The "American Experiment" was less that it afforded the Citizenry a means to peaceably change the politicians in government, than it was that it placed the Citizen as Sovereign over the government, and those politicians, by binding them with the constraints of the US Constitution. While politicians have clung to the title of "public servant," they have shed the cloak of what it means to be a Representative.
The American way of life required a new name for the senior executive of government, for he was to preside over the government, not rule the lives of the People it served. He was the President, not the Commisar, King, Emperor, or Czar. He was to preside over the daily business of running the government, based on the authorizations of the legislation, budgets, and constraints of the People's Representatives, and the US Constitution, not dictate to the Citizenry what they could or could not do, or own.
Should the "Post American Century" prove to be a reality, it will not be that the resulting economic prosperity has waned, but rather that the concept of the Sovereign Citizen has been removed from reality. The prosperity of the People, and of the Nation, is a measure of the results of Liberty, not the measure of the American way of life. While that prosperity has attracted many that have not grasped the concept that government is subservient to the people, but Liberty prevents their belief that government is a tool to bar others their own Rights, prosperity is the result, not democracy, of Liberty.
There are aspects of some cultures and religions that are not within the American Culture. Among these are those that would ban speech as a "hate crime," or blasphemy, or that would prevent one religion from converting others from it.
And, as the American way of life places the Citizen as Sovereign to the government, the servants running the government of the People, has no authority to remove or forbid property, including firearms, to its Sovereign, even if the Citizens' Right to Free Speech convinces others of the Citizenry that "something must be done" to include the removal of other Sovereign Citizen's Rights.
The American way of life, the American Culture, means that Sovereign Citizens accept responsibility for their actions, in return for their Rights to their Liberties. It means that they must respect the Sovereign Rights of Fellow Citizens, even when they dislike the manner in which those rights are executed. It means that the government is authorized to step in, only when one Citizen (or government) interferes in the Rights of another, not to remove those Sovereign Rights of the Citizen who has not. It means that sending a bullet into another Citizen's land is an infraction, while the sound of that round being fired is not.
The erosion of these principles has occurred only with the tacit approval of the Citizen, and with the greed of greater power by those that desire to be politicians and rulers, rather than Representatives and servants of their district. The erosion has occurred by means of promises of delving out small bounties of "free" things, taken at greater cost than if purchased directly, from those it is given. The erosion has occurred by means of specious slogans by the would be rulers marketed to the beneficiaries of those "free" things, in exchange for a few Rights removed here or there.
For example, public housing is given freely to those that will promise not to own firearms, and are willing to commit to less in income. For those willing to live in a state of "poverty," by American standards, a financial incentive is available in the form of free housing.
When the American Citizenry have accepted their role as subjects of the Ruler, of the Government, then the "Post-American Century" will have begun. It will not have been a "move forward," but a return to the past, with the illusion that elections have afforded the subjects a choice in who rules their lives, and titles that have lost their meanings clung to, in order to maintain that illusion. The "public servant" who decides the fate of "citizens" is not a servant, but a bureacrat of the ruler whose dictates it enforces. The "President" who rules its people, rather than presides over their subservient government can be as great a tyrant as any King or Czar, as the Iranian People can attest. Then again, elections in Iran were emplaced solely to provide that illusion, not to provide the people a voice in their government.