I thought long and hard about this challenge and I came up with lots of things.
Perhaps a picture of Max spouting a Chicago Bears onesie. It would show how team allegiances for a very American sport can form before one is even of the ability to make up his or her own mind.
I considered going downtown and capturing the homeless guys who beg for change in front of high end stores and restored historic homes. It would highlight the very real unequal distribution of wealth in this country.
I thought about framing shot of the two cars that seem to always wind up next to each other in the parking garage. One with multiple bumper stickers and window decals proclaiming their belief in Christianity. The other with stickers highlighting their dis-belief in any higher power. This would represent both the freedom of expression and the freedom to practice any religion, two tenants the country was founded on and that its citizens still hold close.
In the end, I didn't have to seek out any shot. Instead, my picture this week presented itself when I walked out of my local Kroger (without a real camera) over the weekend. It's of something we can all agree is truly American:
I don't even eat hot dogs and I LOVE the Weinermobile!