According to a new Gallup report, pride in being American has reached its lowest point since Gallup started tracking these attitudes in 2001.
Although 70 percent of U.S. adults say they are proud to be Americans, only 45 percent are “extremely” proud. This marks the second consecutive year that this figure is below the majority level.
American adults’ extreme pride in being American has been gradually decreasing in recent years. The recent June 3-16 Gallup poll reveals the lowest point to date. However, the recent two-percentage declines from last year’s 47% was not a statistically significant development.
The highest numbers found in Gallup polls recording American patriotism were 69 and 70 percent, which were measured between 2002 and 2004. This makes sense since these numbers came after the 9/11 terrorist attacks when the American populace became extremely patriotic and came to their government’s defense. But the start of George W. Bush’s second presidential term in 2005 started shifting the public’s opinion on patriotism. Fewer than 60 percent of Americans hold extreme pride in being American.
The Gallup poll also went into more specifics such as eight aspects of U.S. government and society that make Americans proud. According to the Gallup report, “Strong majorities express pride in six of the eight — American scientific achievements (91%), the U.S. military (89%), American culture and arts (85%), economic (75%) and sporting (73%) achievements, and diversity in race, ethnic background, and religion (72%).”
On the other hand, Americans do not view the American political system (32 percent) and the health and welfare systems (37 percent) with pride.
All in all, it seems that Americans are prouder of American institutions—culture and sports— that are separate from the state altogether. It should be noted that the love of one’s country and the ideas it embodies—freedom—is totally different from the love of government.
What these polls show is that Americans do view the government with skepticism. Nevertheless, they still must take concrete steps towards manifesting this distrust into policies that promote limited government.
Despite these opinions, the managerial state does whatever it pleases. With the rise of identity politics in the U.S. and the inevitable growth of the U.S. government, it’s probably time for more radical alternatives.
Concepts like radical decentralization, which promote more local rule, should now be entertained by advocates for liberty. By promoting efforts such as nullification and local rule, America can make a peaceful transition to a more decentralized form of governance that is less divisive and more socially cohesive.
The current political status quo is simply unsustainable.