Heinlein revealed disgust with the American public, concern over American values and outright contempt for some types of American politics, but his affection for America remained infalliable. His works were meant to criticize America for her own good, either to awaken citizens to the problems of the present through the lens of science fiction, or to urge them to prepare for the problems of the future. Heinlein's voice can be heard in the words of Archibald Fraser, the humble shopkeeper battling demons in Magic, Inc.:
It gave me a warm feeling to climb up the big, wide steps of the statehouse. The old, ugly mass of masonry seemed to represent something tough in the character of the American people, the determination of free men to manage their own affairs. Our own current problem seemed a little smaller…still worth working on, but simply one example in a long history of the general problem of self-government (61).
Even through an apocalypse, Heinlein seemed to believe that something of the American character would survive with whatever Americans remained. The only thing you can do to a free man, after all, is kill him.