David Brooks summarizes Michael Kazin thusly and captures the true American virtue in print almost by accident:
The idea is that free labor is the essence of Americanism. Hard-working ordinary people, who create wealth in material ways, are the moral backbone of the country. In this free, capitalist nation, people should be held responsible for their own output. Money should not be redistributed to those who do not work, and it should not be sucked off by condescending, manipulative elites.
I couldn’t have said it better myself. And I truly mean that.