We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
He has good ideas about what America is all about. I find it difficult to see anything to object to in what he says, although his data do support the outrageous ideas that the cultural foundations of "the American project" remain keys to building a decent functional life which does not cause trouble or add burdens to others: Industriousness, Honesty, Marriage, and Religion.
Ultimately, though, he is talking about character traits and American civic culture. Worthy character traits support civic culture, and vice versa. Think Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. Interesting quote: "The upper middle class is keeping its effective values to itself." Also, his point about "churn" seems important, because in the US lineages go up and down socioeconomically and socioculturally over time. No fixed classes as in most societies and it's not mainly about wealth either.
"Also, his point about "churn" seems important, because in the US lineages go up and down socioeconomically and socioculturally over time. No fixed classes as in most societies and it's not mainly about wealth either."
Actually, this is one of my major concerns about our country, which is the development of a perpetual elite "political class." There is increasing effort to create dynastic political families such as the Kennedys, Clintons and Bushes. This is partly done by creating "foundations" to keep your political machine employed and intact while you are out of power and trying to figure out how to pass that machine on to the next one of your family, whether it be spouse or child, who will get into political office, especially a political office that effectively can give you lifetime tenure once you get (like Congress). Alternatively, you can get your children employed for relatively large amounts of money doing relatively little, if the employer thinks your family is going to come back into power at some point, and they want to be on your good side when that happens.
As a point in fact, the Obamas already had their machine up and running before he even left office, and now it is cranking into high gear, with both a political purpose disguised as a "charitable foundation," and a continuing standby political army ("Organizing for Action"). You can view the Obama dynastic machine structure here:
I would say self-reliance, self-restraint, industry, thrift. All under heavy attack by the left for decades. Religion, of course helps individuals to sustain these personal qualities and that is why it is so hated by the left.