We live in a racist, bigoted, violent, misogynistic, homophobic, Islamophobic, oppressive, white supremacist country. I bet you knew that already, though. We’re reminded of it 24-7 by a media that apparently believes that by making America look like a combination of Stalin’s Soviet Union and Hiter’s Germany, they can defeat Donald Trump in November.
It’s a constant source of mirth that, after solemnly reporting that America is the pits day in and day out for years, a poll comes out to show that…wait for it…Americans think America is the pits. It’s a real “Aha!” moment for the media and is either evidence of the media’s total cluelessness or a very poor sense of humor.
Gallup has been measuring pride in America since 2001 and, in honor of July 4, issued its latest results. They shouldn’t surprise anyone who’s been paying attention.
According to Gallup, pride in the U.S. is the lowest it’s been since the analytics company first measured it in 2001. The survey shows 70% of U.S. adults are proud to be Americans in the new poll, but just 45% said they are extremely proud.
While most people still say they are proud to be Americans, this marks the second straight year that the number of extremely proud Americans fell below the majority level. Results held relatively steady for years — between 81% and 92% — before sharply falling in 2017 to 75% during President Trump’s first year in office.
Naturally, the partisan divide is clear and stark.
Democrats’ pride consistently measures far lower than that of Republicans, Gallup reports.
Just 22% of Democrats say they are extremely proud to be an American — a 10-point decrease from 2019 and half of what it was before Mr. Trump was elected. However, 76% of Republicans and 41% of Independents say they are extremely proud.
Men expressed their pride in higher percentages than women, at 48% compared to 43%. The most patriotic Americans are people 65 years and older, at 63%, while only 33% of people ages 18-29 reported feeling moderately proud to be American.
The breakdown by age is also not surprising.
College graduates, people of color, and young people were the least proud to be American, according to the survey. In March 2017, 43 percent of respondents in their twenties said they were extremely proud to be American. Today, that figure stands at just 20 percent.
To me, it’s amazing that anyone who graduates from a public school has any love for America at all. Teaching the “truth” about history is one thing. It’s good that as many facts about famous people and events are taught to kids.
But equally important to teach is perspective. And the critical thinking skills that make a discerning, rational, thinking adult are equally lacking.
The result is simple propaganda, not knowledge.
But media culpability in this orgy of Trump-hate cannot be overlooked.
The media seized on the poll to — you guessed it — blame President Trump. The Washington Post ran an opinion piece with the headline, “Trump Promised National Pride. A New Poll Proves He’s Delivered National Shame.” CNN ran an analysis piece under the headline, “Proud to be an American? Not so much anymore.” The common thread in these and other pieces was that they sounded more triumphal than sad, as though the decline in patriotic sentiment was good because it reflected poorly on Trump. President Trump has undoubtedly caused many Americans to feel less patriotic, but the truth is that patriotism has been waning for years.
The mob is on the warpath to change the culture. Rioters are ridding our living spaces of reminders of past sins and supposedly evil men. They are destroying works of art with the zeal of any fanatic, not caring who gets trashed in the process.
The truth about America has never been hidden. It has always been there, in black and white. You don’t even have to work very hard to find it, thanks to Google.
That it isn’t spoon-fed to students falling asleep in a boring social studies class shouldn’t be reason enough to accuse white America of a cover-up. America stands accused of hypocrisy for believing one thing and acting the opposite. Black Lives Matter is far from the first to point this out. In 1764 during the Stamp Act Riots, the English man of letters, Samuel Johson, opined, “Why is it we hear the loudest yelps for freedom from the drivers of Negro slaves”?
That’s how it’s been in America since our founding. We are a schizophrenic society, holding high the values of freedom, liberty, and equal justice for all while failing to live up to those ideals and values. The big secret that liberals don’t want you to know is that no society could. It’s a human impossibility to achieve perfection like that.
The exceptionalism of America is that for 234 years we have striven to achieve just that — perfection. We have built-in, self-correcting mechanisms that help us in this historic effort. But mostly, it’s in the hearts and minds of the American people. Immigrants adopt it. Millions want to come here to live it. The “Great Experiment” usually refers to democracy itself. In truth, the experiment is in living together — all peoples, all races, all creeds together.
These are concepts worth fighting for. But the fight has gone out of many Americans who are exhausted by three years of being trashed for who they are. The backlash is coming. Everyone knows it. Everyone feels it.
Hopefully, it will be at the ballot box. And not the streets.