The headlines were all screaming that Americans’ pride in being American is at an all-time low. The narrative being, of course, that it was the terrible orange man in the White House that ruined everything.
But goodness, if only someone in the media would read (and report) the poll numbers. Because that is not the story at all.
The truth according to the poll itself is that Democrats’ pride in being an American is at an all-time low of 22 percent. More specifically, 22 percent are “extremely proud.” When combined with “very proud” — a second option in the Gallup Poll — it gets up to a still measly 51 percent.
Republican “extreme pride” remains a robust 76 percent. When combined with “very proud” it is an almost unanimous 95 percent.
Even Independents are about twice as proud of America as Democrats: 41 percent are “extremely proud” while the total when including “very proud” comes to 67 percent.
These numbers are rather astounding, and undergird the critique that an awful lot of Democrats do not like this country — and undergird with Democrats own answers.
Some will disclaim that this is only because a Republican is in the White House and that when a Democrat is president, Republican pride falls. Nope.
Actually, it’s only Democrats who seem to fluctuate based on who is president. When Obama was elected to office in 2008, Democrat “extreme pride” was 45 percent — still rather pathetic, but twice what it is today. But Republican “extreme pride” was 78 percent — essentially exactly what it is today.
Republicans are almost universally proud to be American. Democrats, according to their own answers to the pollsters, are just not. When you look at the rhetoric used and the policies being promoted, you see the truth in this.
Gallup’s headline is clickbait. “American Pride Hits New Low; Few Proud of Political System.” This is what the media ran with. But it was Democrats’ pride that hit a new low. And the “political system” was a separate question from overall pride in the country.
But Gallup’s narrative at the bottom finally tells the actual story:
“The latest overall declines in patriotism are largely driven by Democrats, whose self-reported pride has historically been lower and has fluctuated more than Republicans’. Democrats’ latest 22% extreme pride reading is the group’s lowest in Gallup’s 19 years of measurement, and is half of what it was several months before Donald Trump’s 2016 election victory.
For their part, most Republicans have remained extremely proud of their country, and the latest 76% reading is just 10 points below the high recorded in 2003. Even when Barack Obama was in office, Republicans’ extreme pride never fell below 68%.”
Large numbers of Democrats, close to a majority, simply do not like America by their own admission. Republicans almost unanimously do.
Rod Thomson is an author, past Salem radio host, ABC TV commentator, former journalist and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act.
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