Rupert Wilkinson describes four American fears that pervade the US culture.
1. The fear of being owned
Many of the American forefathers were escaping oppression in Europe, and their fears have persisted such that there is now there is a deep distrust of centralized government and large institutions.
This helps to explain why Communism is distrusted and feared by Americans.
2. The fear of falling apart
Having built a vast nation, they fear everything coming undone, as was threatened in the Civil War and is continued in the tensions between the autonomy of states and the federal government.
This is expressed at the personal level with the need to have a perfect life with a perfect face, an ideal family, etc. It is also about striving for identity and control in a turbulent world.
Mitroff (2005) adds the dimension of "blown apart" in the aftermath of 9/11, the fear that underlies abnormal accidents.
3. The fear of falling away
This fear is about losing their way and abandoning of the American dreams of the forefathers, including being the "moral beacon" of the world.
The original idea for America was relatively Utopian, and there is a constant concern that this societal perfection will be eroded by the temptations of the material world.
4. The fear of winding down
This is a fear of losing the boundless energy of the forefathers which still permeates the dynamism of American business today.
The great American Dream of rags to riches (and subsequent social and global position) is widely accepted as being gained through enormous energy and diligence. When this fades through laziness or the higher strength of other countries, such as India or China, then the fear is increased.
So when persuading Americans, either play on these fears or align with them to show how you, too are concerned about these things.
See also: Rupert Wilkinson, R. (1988). The Pursuit of American Character, Harper & Row --- Trust in the Lord with all your heart mind and soul. God bless you!