When in comes to pride in being an American, I've hit a nadir, represented by the image of a tattered flag in this article.
I've just discovered that I'm a one percenter for a category that most of the readers of OpEdNews would also fit in, unfortunately or proudly.
The Gallup polling organization has released a new poll showing that the percentage of people who feel "extremely proud to be an American" has dropped 23% from a peak of 70% in 2003 to 54% in 2015.
I'd guess that the same people who feel extremely proud are the people who embrace American Exceptionalism-- feeling that American is different, special and better than other nations.
The demographics tell us more. The people who embrace "extremely proud" the most are: Republicans 68%, Southerners 64% and people over sixty-five 61%. In fact, the older you are, the more likely you are to be "extremely proud."
The people who least embrace extremely proud are adults under thirty 43%, westerners 46% and Democrats 47%.
that "in addition to the 54% who are extremely proud to be an American, 27% say they are "very proud," 14% say they are "moderately proud," 4% are "only a little proud" and 1% state that they are "not at all proud."
Over the fifteen years that Gallup has asked the question, they've found that the people who do not feel proud of the US at all ranges between one and three percent-- one percent this year, and who feel only a little proud . They don't ask about who USED to be proud of the US. But perhaps we see a shadow of that in the 23%, representing some 80 million Americans, who no longer feel extremely proud.
What the stats do show, though not mentioned in the article, is that the sum of people who fell proud less, ie., falling into the Gallup categories of "moderately, a little or not at all" is at a record high this year, at 19 percent. up from a previous high in 2007. Could it be that when Republicans control both houses of congress pride in America drops the most.
At it's peak, Americans' pride in the US has risen as high as 92% for people who are "extremely" or "very" proud of America. That was taken in 2003, after we entered the Afghan war.
Actually, I personally fit in that one percent category. I'm not proud of how the US is today. I used to be proud of the USA, but I woke up to see how it now sets the worst examples for other nations-- voter rights, corruption of elections with money, lack of access to healthcare for all, usurious tuition and student loan policies, internet wifi access and costs, infant mortality, educational standards, murder rates, to name a few. It ranks outside the top twenty in so many ways that are important.
I have high aspirations for America. I believe it could return to being a great nation. But currently, on this July 4, as I wrote yesterday, I mourn for an America that has become a travesty of justice instead of a beacon.
Are you proud to be an American? Extremely, Very, Moderately, A Little, or Not At All proud? How has your pride in being an American changed?
What would change your current "Pride" status?
There are those who say "love it or leave it." I've always felt that I see the USA with open eyes, including its flaws. I care about the US, immensely, but that does not require pride.
Another way to think of this is from a biblical perspective. Pride is one of the deadly sins, actually, the first and worst sin. Here's what Wikipedia
has to say about it:
"Pride (Latin, superbia), or hubris (Greek), is considered, on almost every list, the original and most serious of the seven deadly sins: the source of the others. It is identified as believing that one is essentially better than others, failing to acknowledge the accomplishments of others, and excessive admiration of the personal self (especially holding self out of proper position toward God); it also includes vainglory (Latin,vanagloria) which is unjustified boasting. Dante's definition of pride was "love of self perverted to hatred and contempt for one's neighbour". In Jacob Bidermann's medieval miracle play, Cenodoxus, pride is the deadliest of all the sins and leads directly to the damnation of the titulary famed Parisian doctor. In perhaps the best-known example, the story of Lucifer, pride (his desire to compete with God) was what caused his fall from Heaven, and his resultant transformation into Satan. In Dante's Divine Comedy, the penitents are burdened with stone slabs on their necks which force them to keep their heads bowed."
It would be nice to see how different religions relate to pride in America and pride in their religions while we're at it.
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