What to make of national pride falling to a record low in the latest Gallup poll?
Here's a bit of news that doesn't quite lead to instant analysis.
According to Gallup:
WASHINGTON, D.C. — American pride has continued its downward trajectory reaching the lowest point in the two decades of Gallup measurement. The new low comes at a time when the U.S. faces public health and economic crises brought on by the coronavirus pandemic and civil unrest following the death of George Floyd in police custody.
Although a majority of adults in the U.S. still say they are "extremely proud" (42%) or "very proud" (21%) to be American, both readings are the lowest they have been since Gallup's initial measurement in 2001.
Explaining that might seem like a no-brainer on first swipe — woke leftist professors telling the young 'uns that America is hopelessly racist and wicked and the poor ignorant goobers eating it up. If it were entirely true and you believed that, of course you wouldn't feel too proud of your country.
But the strange element here is that Republicans have seen a fall in pride for their country. We know that Democrats aren't proud of their country for the simple reason that plenty of them hate it. But Republicans are a mystery. According to Gallup:
Republicans have historically been more likely than Democrats and independents to say they are extremely proud to be American throughout the past 20 years. Although Republicans still report more acute pride than Democrats and independents, the latest poll finds a 9-percentage-point decrease in Republicans' national pride. This marks the largest year-over-year decline in the percentage of Republicans who say they are extremely proud. There was not meaningful change in the past year in the percentage of independents (41%) or Democrats (24%) who say they are extremely proud to be Americans.
This is sad, indeed.
What could it be attributed to? Gallup suggests that the problem has something to do with President Trump, and no doubt pundits will parrot this sentiment to say the problem is President Trump. It's crap.
I'm going to make a different argument: that it's Trump's enemies.
One guess, maybe, is the pervasive presence of the left throughout all of America's institutions. The left controls Hollywood, the press, academia, the administrative, or "deep" state, the foundations, and even the leadership of top corporations, as well as nearly all the nation's billionaires. Republicans need not apply; they are effectively shut out of these institutions.
That's a lot of America that half the country is largely shut out from.
Why be proud of a country when so much of it is off limits to you and your advancement?
It is strangely similar to the situation in Chile prior to the 1973 military takeover after a Marxist Castroite government took the helm. Everything in the country was separated into right-wing and left-wing enclaves — even the beaches. James Whelan described it well in his history of Marxist Chile and the free-market renewal that followed in his book called Out of the Ashes.
But more specifically, it may well be President Trump's inability to dislodge the Deep State, which attacks him again and again and is incapable of reform. Could it be that ineffectuality in getting rid of these hangers on that's driving national pride down? The fact that an enemy that needed to be out of there a long time ago is still in there and fighting speaks to a need for an intense hose-out. Maybe that's what needs to be done.
It could be a lot of things, any of which signals a fall in democracy's fortunes. Even the coronavirus lockdowns may be a factor, which on the state level has been unusually arbitrary and undemocratic — with selective implementation, horrendous diktats such as those which seeded nursing homes with COVID-19 patients and killed more than 10,000, the shifting goal posts — from flattening the curve to permanent lockdowns carried on indefinitely, to the politicization of potentially life-saving cures such as hydroxychloroquine to the encouragement of East German-style snitching networks. Hard to be proud of a country whose leaders take China and East Germany as examples.
It could be the problems with the stalwarts of patriotism, the men at the sharp end, whose leaders have become flabby wokesters, bowing down to the left, adapting any fad and socially disintegrative idea they may be presented with, such as transgender troops, and openly criticizing President Trump against all past professionalism and precedent. Hopelessly mired in bureaucracy and left-wing lawyers, they can't win wars, either.
It could also be the devaluation of democracy itself — in elections, ballot-harvesting by non-citizens dictating to voters how to vote in their homes as is seen in California, with the great vote-by-mail scheme of mostly Democratic governors laying the groundwork for national ballot harvesting. Or the devaluation of citizenship itself — with illegals given preferential treatment over citizens, reaping big taxpayer benefits they contributed nothing to and always being defended from deportation by Democratic officials no matter what they do. The assault on democracy has a wearing effect on national pride when the lines are blurred between citizen and non-citizen and elections become exercises in corruption, rigging and fraud.
It's sad stuff, but it's also likely a reason for the strong enthusiasm factor for President Trump, which John Hinderaker at Power Line described so well. Behind the despair of the country lie fervent hopes for making it better — and making America an object of pride instead of shame.
Image credit: Public Domain Pictures / public domain.