In the week marking America’s 242nd birthday, a new Gallup poll revealed record levels of patriotism — both high and low.
“This is symptomatic, though, of a culture that’s taught generations our history is bad; the men and women who made this country are evil; [and] there’s dark shadows that need to be considered. And it [has] cast a pall over their appreciation of what it means to be an American,” said Fox News contributor Raymond Arroyo to host Laura Ingraham on “The Ingraham Angle” on Fox News Tuesday night.
“This is the cultural fallout when you take statues down, when you rip historical figures away without putting them in a proper context, this is what you get,” he added.
“This is what you get [after] generations of public schooling, where we don’t learn about the Founding [Fathers], the greatness of our framers, our Constitution, our Declaration [of Independence]. It’s like every other country, except it’s worse,” said Ingraham.
They agreed that to turn it around, Americans would be wise to consider family activities that reinforce a sense of patriotism, particularly for Independence Day.
Ingraham suggested that the students at New York University in Manhattan could benefit from spending a little time at the Veterans Administration, at Arlington National Cemetery or other national cemeteries, or with veterans or active duty military personnel.
“It’s bratty,” said Ingraham, referring to the results of a video made by College Reform in which several college students expressed their frank lack of patriotism. “It makes my blood boil.”
Just 47 percent of respondents to Gallup’s June poll said they were “extremely proud” to be American. It is the first time in the 18-year history of the group’s polling on the topic that it fell below half.
The figure has been in a slow, steady decline for about a decade. The peak was in 2003, when about 70 percent of those polled described themselves as “extremely proud” to be Americans.
The difference between conservatives and liberals on the matter is striking, to say the least. Just 23 percent of liberals endorsed the “extremely proud” option — whereas 65 percent of conservatives did so. For liberals, that is a 9 percent drop from just a year ago.
Many young, college-age adults not only deny being “extremely proud” to be Americans — they’re flat-out ashamed of it.
The results, predictably, paralleled party lines. Republicans boasted an impressive 74 percent — an all-time high. Democrats weighed in at only 32 percent — an all-time low.
The pride gap between the parties ballooned in five short years. In 2013, the gap was 15 points. Today, it’s 42 points. Notable gaps also appeared along gender, race, age, and education level lines.
- 7 points between women (44 percent) and men (51 percent)
- 13 points between college graduates (39 percent) and non-college graduates (52 percent)
- 21 points between nonwhite (33 percent) and white (54 percent)
- 25 points between adults under 30 (33 percent) and seniors (58 percent)
In a nonscientific but telling follow-up to Gallup’s poll, spontaneous, on-the-street video interviews of college students confirmed one of the most disturbing findings. Many young, college-age adults not only deny being “extremely proud” to be Americans — they’re flat-out ashamed of it, as seen in the Campus Reform video below.
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One young woman quipped that a “nice little socialist country in Europe” would be better than America. A young man likened patriotic attitudes to a propaganda-like mechanism for padding the ranks of the military.
But not all hope for America’s next generation of leaders is lost. Toward the end of the video, the interviewer managed to track down a small contingent of college-educated youth who bravely and defiantly embraced love of country — despite the pedantic, sneering perfidy of their “woke” peers.
“You look at people and take them for good and bad and you learn from their errors. And you take the good and try to perpetuate that. That’s what America is about. And we’re bigger than our sins. And that’s what I hope we remember this July 4,” said Arroyo, referring to the Founding Fathers’ history of slave ownership.
At least some college students appear to be heeding that wise advice.
And that IS exactly the problem. The left has left behind its love of country and patriotism.
— Laurie Sferruzzi (@GArmy7118) July 3, 2018
As a proud American, I can sum up what I love most about America in just one word: “Freedom!” Happy Independence Day to the USA and to all it’s citizens! ??
— Travis Tritt (@Travistritt) July 3, 2018
— Erich Reimer (@ErichReimer) July 3, 2018
The people that did this poll must be the same that did the one that said Hillary was gonna win in a landslide. Am and always will be a proud American, don't like it get out. ????????????
— Chase (@ChaseIngram) July 3, 2018
Michele Blood is a Flemington, New Jersey-based freelance writer and a regular contributor to LifeZette.