Remember when that word meant something? When it gave you a lump in your throat to say it, or how your heart soared to hear “The Star-Spangled Banner”?
That still happens – to some of us. According to a new survey from the Pew Research Center, only 56 percent of Americans say they are proud to be an American.
Happy Fourth of July.
The poll divides its results into seven categories, from “Steadfast Conservative” to “Solid Liberal.” Six of the seven categories were above 50 percent in being proud – not great, but OK. Hardcore conservatives scored 72 percent or higher.
Only one group – “Solid Liberals” – scored below that. Just 40 percent of Solid Liberals “say they often feel pride in being American; 60% say that characterization does not fit them well,” explained Pew.
Maybe 40 percent seems high. What’s terrifying is that that group of Solid Liberals is largely in charge of educating our children, running our government and manipulating the media we consume.
That’s right. The least loyal, least America-loving people are the ones running our nation. Education from kindergarten to college is mostly staffed by liberals. Government is both pro-left and pro-union, except for the military. And the media are mostly a lost cause, too.
No wonder America is in trouble. The Us in USA have a $17.5 trillion national debt, an unchecked parade of illegal immigration and off-the-charts moral decay (including epic out-of-wedlock births). Our younger generation isn’t just poorly educated about our history; it’s poorly educated about everything else, too.
Look who they learn love of country from – the president. Remember, Obama was deservedly criticized for his 2009 statements about America. “I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism,” he said.
He was saying that there is no such thing as American exceptionalism, that we are just like every other nation. It was a statement so poorly handled that he adjusted it this year when he spoke to the unadmiring students at West Point.
“I believe in American exceptionalism with every fiber of my being. But what makes us exceptional is not our ability to flout international norms and the rule of law; it is our willingness to affirm them through our actions,” he proclaimed.
He still didn’t get it right.
How many people declare their undying love and follow it immediately with “but”? Picture telling your wife or husband, “I love you honey, but…” Your butt would be sleeping on the couch for the rest of the month.
Sadly, we’ve allowed that attitude to creep into every aspect of our daily lives. Patriotism and love of country are under attack, just like faith.
The author of the song that says, “I’m proud to be an American,” knows we’re in trouble. Lee Greenwood wrote the book, “Does God Still Bless the U.S.A.?” two years ago, and things have only gotten worse. His introduction correctly points to the problem. “Something is wrong and for the last few decades it seems that our beloved America is in danger of losing its heart; its soul,” he wrote.
Two years later, the flag and those who care for it are under attack across the nation. Two Coney Island teachers were called “insubordinate” because they taught a patriotic song to 5-year-olds. In many states, residents are being told to take down American flags – from California to Texas to Virginia and more.
A homeowners association in Colorado wants a man to remove the famous Betsy Ross flag because it’s not the current U.S. flag. (Hint: Those fighting him probably went to public school.) California students were even told they couldn’t wear American flag T-shirts on Cinco de Mayo because it upset Hispanic students.
It’s way past time to holler, “Stop!”
Let this July 4th stand not just for independence but for reclaiming America. Don’t let liberals talk down the Founders unopposed. Don’t let local tyrants force you to take down the American flag. Don’t let the many triumphs of our nation go unremarked.
We crossed the Delaware with Washington and held off the British at Ft. McHenry. We fought a bloody war to end slavery and another to save the world from fascism. We have grown and built, invented and explored our way to greatness. We remain the greatest nation on earth. Don’t let anyone take that away.
And the next time someone asks you if you are proud to be an American, you can answer: “Damn right I am.”
Dan Gainor is the Media Research Center's Vice President for Business and Culture. He writes frequently about media for Fox News Opinion. He can also be contacted on Facebook and Twitter as dangainor.