by Brittany Raymer
Digital Writer & Editor
As Americans begin preparations for the July 4th weekend, a newly released Fox News poll reports that national pride is at a record low.
The survey asked registered voters “are you proud of the country today?” Given the exceptionally high gas prices, rising inflation, growing political and cultural divisions and other issues, it’s no surprise that a majority, 56%, said no. That’s up from 45% in 2017, during the first year of Donald Trump’s presidency, and 28% in 2011.
When broken down by different party groups, all report feeling less proud. Only 46% of Democrats feel proud of their country, compared to 48% who do not. This is despite their party controlling both the legislative and executive branches of the federal government.
It’s no surprise that only 36% of self-identified Republicans are proud of their country, 60% are not. The numbers are even worse for Independents, with 29% reporting national pride and 64% national disappointment.
This downward trend continues, with men and women. Black voters are the only group seeing an increase of 11 points.
For Democrats, perhaps the most disappointing news would be the results provided by Hispanic voters, who’s national pride has dropped by a staggering 22-points from 57% to 35% between 2017 and 2022.
Democratic pollster Chris Anderson, who conducted the poll with Republican Daron Shaw, said of the results: “Whereas once being proud of America was treated as a prerequisite for being patriotic, that too has been subsumed by partisanship. It seems for many pride and patriotism are no longer about our democratic freedoms but about the person in the White House.”
Given that national news dominates most of the day’s headlines, the intention of our Founding Fathers of having a federation of states has been increasingly lost. As more power is seemingly concentrated in the federal government, the role of president is more and more powerful and influential. As a result, it has seemingly become tied to the national feeling of satisfaction.
So, if the president is unpopular or perceived as not serving America’s best interests at home or abroad, the people feel that more acutely.
It doesn’t help that the economy is in tatters and gas prices are forcing families to sometimes choose between making a run to the grocery store and filling up the tank. In response to this crisis, President Joe Biden appears to have no plan and is willing to let Americans suffer “as long as it takes” to protect Ukraine from Vladimir Putin’s ambitions, though the United States could probably offset the loss of Russian oil for the rest of the world by unleashing the resources of its own energy industry. At this point, he refuses to do so.
The country may also be more politically and culturally divided than ever before this Independence Day, with some even threatening to boycott the holiday entirely due to recent Supreme Court decision regarding abortion.
However, this remains the greatest country on earth.
From George Washington and Ronald Reagan to Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King Jr., America is filled with political powerhouses, free thinkers and some of the greatest entrepreneurial and industrial minds of the last 250 years, who collectively have changed the world through the innovations of electricity, the telephone, airline travel, the internet, Microsoft Office, Tesla and the ever-popular iPhone, just to name a few.
This country that has sparked so much inspiration began with the words of Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence, who was deeply influenced by English philosopher John Locke, who lived through England’s Glorious Revolution that saw King Charles I lose his head and his son King Charles II retake the throne again.
The Declaration of Independence states: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”
Those eternal truths don’t change. American politics may descend into ever increasing chaos and national pride may currently be low, but these words remain true and are a beacon hope.
Learn more about how John Locke’s legacy inspires the most influential state-based think tanks in the country here.