The Independent . July 4, 2020, 4:16 PM UTC
American patriotism is at its lowest ebb for almost two decades, a new poll has found.
A survey by Gallup found that while 70 per cent of US adults said they are “proud” to be American, less than half said that they are “extremely proud”.
The findings were released ahead of the Fourth of July national holiday amid the country’s struggle to rein in the coronavirus pandemic, and calls for racial justice and an end to policy brutality in Black Lives Matter protests in every state.
Gallup said that US pride is at its lowest point since the company began taking polls on it in 2001. It is the second year that the number of “extremely proud” people dropped below the majority (45 per cent).
Over the decades, the numbers were fairly stable – 81- 92 per cent – but declined to 75 per cent in 2017, during the first year of the Trump administration.
Democrats were less likely to express “extreme pride” than Republicans. At 22 per cent, it is the lowest reading of “extreme pride” for Democrats in 19 years, and half of what it was in the months before Mr Trump’s presidential win.
“Record-low American patriotism is the latest casualty of the sharply polarized political climate in the US today,” Gallup noted.
Neither Republicans or Democrats feel proud of the US political system, according to polling, but Democrats’ overall sense of pride in the country may be affected more than Republicans due to their dim view of Mr Trump.
Gallup figures from earlier this year found that just 31 per cent of Americans (and only 2% of Democrats) think that foreign leaders respect Mr Trump.
However, both Democrats and Republicans alike rally around American achievements as a source of patriotism. There was overwhelming pride in American scientific achievements (91%), the US 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, the US political system (32%) and the health and welfare system (37%) were not viewed as favorably.