On Independence Day, Why Does Poll Show Pride in Being an American at a Near Record Low?

AP Photo/Reed Hoffmann

Independence Day is the one day out of the year that you might think that all Americans would put their differences aside, come together, and just celebrate living in the greatest country on earth. America is not perfect, for sure. It is inhabited and run by imperfect human beings. But as Americans, we have the ability to improve on the experiment that is America and try to make it a better place for everyone. You also might think that would be something to be proud of and celebrate. But a new poll shows that that is not necessarily the case. 

A new Gallup poll, taken between June 3-23, shows that just two in five Americans, roughly 41 percent, say they are "extremely proud" of being an American. It is the fifth consecutive year the number of those polled has fallen into the 38-43 percent range. Of those polled, another 26 percent said they were "very proud" to be an American. Among other respondents, 18 percent said they were "moderately proud," 10 percent said they were "a little proud," and thankfully, just five percent they were "not at all proud."

Perhaps the good news is, do the math and you find that comes out to 67 percent of Americans who have significant pride in being an American. That is around two-thirds of Americans, but that number has stayed consistent since 2018 and is just four points higher than the all-time low of 63 percent in 2020. After 9/11, patriotism was at its highest. From 2001-2017, 75 percent of U.S. adults said they were "extremely" or "very" proud to be an American. 

When broken down among party affiliation, it should come as no surprise that Republicans are consistently more proud to be American than Democrats. Currently, 59 percent of Republicans, 34 Democrats, and 36 percent of independents say they are "extremely proud" to be Americans. This latest 25-point gap between Republicans and Democrats is half of what it was in 2019 when it was at 54 points, and only 22 percent of Democrats said they were "extremely proud." What might be most surprising about this poll is the percentage of Republicans who say they are extremely proud is only one point higher than the record low of 58 percent in 2022.

Gallup's "bottom line" for the poll says that overall, both Republicans and Democrats are "significantly less proud than they were 20 years ago." There are several culprits to point to as to why this is happening. Let's start at the beginning. American parents have been complaining for quite a while that the textbooks their children use in public school are left-leaning. One example is McGraw-Hill, one of the largest textbook publishers in the nation. A group called Florida Citizens Alliance found in a review of textbooks that a civics book published by the company features these gems.

“The book tries to elicit empathy for illegal aliens while disregarding accountability to the law, says that it is against the law to question elections and later talks about the Bush v Gore election case in 2000, says that there is voter suppression today due to Trump supporters who claim there were illegally cast votes in 2020 and lawmakers who believed them, has a whole section criticizing the Electoral College, and has an alarmist attitude towards climate change."

If we are going to teach children to hate the country, it is a safe bet they will not be proud to be citizens of it. It gets worse when you get to the university level. The recent pro-Hamas, anti-Israel protests are proof of that. A prime example is Harvard University, where 80 percent of the faculty identifies as "liberal" or "very liberal." 

But nothing says "America sucks," quite like the mainstream American media. Their never-ending quest to portray America as a nation with a horrific founding and history and as an unforgiving racist, sexist, homophobic place where minorities have no chance at success because it is somehow built into its very existence are the greatest purveyors of why Americans are not proud of their nation. They are by far the biggest reason for the lack of American pride, hands down.

On her 248th birthday, America is facing challenges just like she has on many other birthdays in the past. Ronald Reagan once said, "Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction." Pride in being an American works the same way. If American pride is at an all-time low, then we have work to do.


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