[Posted by Karl]
Both Gallup and Pew released polls for the Independence Day weekend on the state of patriotism in the United States. Gallup finds one in three Americans now say they are “extremely patriotic,” up from 26% in 2005 and 19% in 1999:
The increase in the overall percentage of Americans calling themselves “extremely patriotic” is driven largely by seniors, Republicans, and conservatives — all of whom are significantly more likely to say so than they were in 2005. Republicans’ relatively higher identification with the “extremely patriotic” label is particularly intriguing when one considers that Democrats are currently far more likely than Republicans to say they are satisfied with the way things are going in the country (41% vs. 7%, respectively). Still, the majority of Americans in each of these subgroups say they are “extremely” or “very” patriotic.
A new national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, conducted June 24-27 among 1,001 adults, finds that more than eight-in-ten (83%) say they are either extremely proud (52%) or very proud (31%) to be an American. Just 14% say they are moderately proud (8%) or have little or no pride (6%) in being an American.
Those who give Barack Obama the lowest job ratings – predominately Republicans and independents who lean Republican – also are more likely to say that they are extremely proud to be an American than are those who give the president more positive ratings.
Gallup found 58% of GOPer’s calling themselves “extremely patriotic,” as opposed to only 20% of Democrats so identifying. The numbers were a bit closer in the Pew poll, where 69% of Republicans called themselves “extremely proud” to be an American, and 43% of Democrats answered the same.
On one level, the general results should not be surprising. After all, the Right more likely to view America in terms of preserving the core principles that make it great, while the Left is more likely to be fixated on its foibles and failures (both real and imagined). But what explains the increase in patriotism on the Right, particularly from 2006 to the present, when Democrats and progressivism has been on the rise? My hypothesis would be that the current version of the Democratic party, and the Obama administration in particular, has transformed big government into a cultural issue. The harder the Left pushes for a Eurosocialist makeover of America, the more the Right will view their opposition and their attempt to preserve what makes America great as a manifestation of patriotism.