“China is a nation in the classic sense. It is blood and soil. It’s a great wall, a fascinating people, an extraordinarily long-lived culture. But America is something different. America is an idea — it is a creed. The American idea is a commitment to the universal dignity of persons everywhere. That’s what America is. The millions of people who’ve braved dangers of every sort to come to our shores: they believed in that idea of universal human dignity. That’s why they’re Americans.”
Ben Sasse, Them: Why We Hate Each Other — and How to Heal. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2018, page 134.