There's nothing pretty about being an American these days. Just look at our politicians. Holier-than-fucking-thous on the right, politically-correcter-than-yous on the left.
Most of us somewhere in the middle and fed up with both extremes.
I heard someone comment on tv the other day that disgruntledness is in our genes. Every one of our ancestors came here because they were pissed off at the way things were wherever they came from. And that streak of cussedness now runs in our blood.
For sure we're never happy. Puritanism is the nagging fear that someone, somewhere, is having a better time than we are. Capitalism is the nagging fear that lazy, good-for-nothing-welfare-queens are bleeding us dry.
Sprinkle liberally, you should pardon the expression, with some American Exceptionalism, our Dominionist Mandate from Heaven to spread the Pax Americana everywhere.
Finally, throw some good old fashioned "I'm the Man and what I say Goes" evangelicalism on top of it, with it's sense of entitlement to dictate fiscal and sexual policy (I own the money. I own the slaves. I own your womb. I *AM* GOD!) and what have you got?