The patriotism gap

Gallup conducts an annual poll on American patriotism. Participants are asked how proud, if at all, they are to be Americans.

This year’s poll found a low ebb in patriotism, with 47 percent of Americans checking the “extremely proud” box. That’s down from a high of 70 percent in 2003.

Democrats, liberals, college graduates, and people ages 18 to 29 are the least proud to be American. Only 32 percent of Democrats are extremely proud. That’s down from 42 percent in 2016, when Barack Obama was still president. But note that the 42 percent figure from back then is well below the national average even today, when it’s at a low-point.

Democrats just aren’t that into America.

Self-described liberals are even less so. Only 23 percent of them are extremely proud to be American. At the end of the Obama-era, the number was 36 percent.

Republicans, by contrast, are extremely proud of America regardless of which party is in control. 71 percent of us were extremely proud to be American in 2013, when Obama was president and Democrats controlled the Senate. That figure was basically unchanged in 2017, though it has ticked up to 74 percent this year.

You can make the case that the single most important difference between Republicans and Democrats/conservatives and liberals is that Republicans are extremely proud of America, period, while Democrats are somewhat proud when they’re in power and not very proud when they’re not.

College grads have more pride in their country than Democrats and liberals do, but considerably less than Americans as a whole. 39 percent of them say they are extremely proud to be American.

Given the heavy dose of harsh criticism of our country, and in some cases raw anti-Americanism, students are fed during their undergraduate years, it’s perhaps surprising that the number who are extremely proud of their country is as high as 39 percent.

It’s lower for Americans in the 18-29 age bracket. The figure for this cohort is just 33 percent.

That group consists of recent college graduates, current college students, and non-college grads. The young graduates and current students are, by most accounts, receiving stronger indoctrination than was inflicted even in the 1990s and the first decade of this century. And nowadays, the drumbeat begins before the college years.

One hopes that, as they mature, those currently under age-30 will become more proud of America and that their pride won’t be highly contingent on who occupies the White House. If this doesn’t happen, America’s future probably won’t be bright.

Happy Fourth of July.

NOTE: While I was writing this, John put up an article about the same poll. I went ahead and posted this, though I’m not sure how much it adds.