I was re-reading a few articles from last year and came across this during my research. What are your thoughts?
It's from Walker Connor's "A Nation is a Nation, is a State, is an Ethnic Group, is a . . . " Link here.Whatever the American people are (and they may well be sui generis), they are not a nation in the pristine sense of the word. Indeed, while proud of being a "nation of immigrants" with a "melting pot" tradition, the absence of a common origin may well make it more difficult, and conceivably impossible, for the American to appreciate instinctively the idea of the nation in the same dimension and with the same poignant clarity as do the Japanese, the Bengali, or the Kikuyu. It is difficult for an American to appreciate what it means for a German to be a German or a Frenchman to be French, because he psychological effect of being American is not precisely equatable.
It's pretty long, but a really interesting read. Then again, I like reading about stuff like this, so I'm biased.
Personally, from my own anecdotal experience, I think this is true. It is certainly the case that a sense of one's nation is stronger elsewhere than it is in America. The mythology is different, comes from a different place, and the American narrative emphasizes different aspects of the national culture that are more abstract than ones other nations provide.