What exactly is "America"? Is it a static concept, based on a constitution alongside centuries old texts written by framers, wholly removed from the usual definitions of country, state, nation, and empire? Or is it more representative of what Americans are like themselves, ever-changing as time goes on?
The answer to this question has serious implications for those who adhere to our civic religion, championing the ideals of liberty and justice, while at the same time attempting to quiet dissent.
If America is an ideal in and of itself, and not a product of the people who live in it today, then how seriously can we take appeals to democracy and freedom?
On the other hand, if we the people are supposed to enjoy some amount of say in what America is, shouldn't criticism be considered an essential task of every new generation, rather than an affront to all that is good and patriotic?
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