The term patriot is used to describe a person having an attachment to their respective country/state, and is determined by the amount of passion that person has toward national loyalty. To be an American patriot, you need to take it further.
An American patriot is not the person you see flying a flag, shooting off fireworks, or singing the Star Spangled Banner. It is not a blind allegience to government, or the love of the land identified by arbitrarily-defined borders. It is the belief and advocacy of the ideas brought forth in Declaration of Independence.
An American patriot sees himself as an enforcer of sorts, guarding those oh-so-precious unalienable rights spelled out in the Constitution against infringement, and guarding them for EVERYONE to be able enjoy and realize. An American patriot will not allow these grand ideas to fade into obscurity, or be twisted by political rhetoric, but will instead revere and protect the freedoms and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution, not only for themselves, but for their countrymen.