You're right. America was a nation where the people defined themselves by what they believed, and among these beliefs were inalienable rights, that is to say that some rights are naturally given and cannot be taken away. The modern translation of this would be "human rights". And yes, Americans believed in the democratic process and in maintaining and caring for democratic institutions, in constitutional law, in liberty in both the benefits and the risks that it brings, in individual responsibility, industriousness, and the free enterprise system. They also believed that anyone could be an American so long as they shared these ideas, that wasn't limited to your family or your place of birth, or your station in life. In the truest and most important sense of the word, the only sense that has ever meant a damn and the one that men and women gave their lives for over hundreds of years, you and I were both Americans. We were brothers. Americanism was the only real utopianism that has ever exited, the only one that worked for a time and created the greatest nation on Earth... the greatest nation of all time. It was a nation of free men, enlightened thinkers, of poets, artists, heroes of science and industry.
And it's dead. America is dead.