Phi Beta Cons

Measuring Patriotism

In his new book Sovereignty or Submission: Will Americans Rule Themselves or be Ruled by Others? John Fonte presents some data that might indicate to some degree the level of patriotism in different groups. Members of different groups (liberals, conservatives, whites, blacks, married, single, and other categories) were asked to choose the option closest to their views: 

1) Overall, the U.S. is better than other nations

2) The U.S. is a country like any other, and is no better or worse than other nations.

3) Overall, the U.S. is worse than other nations.

The results for college students were a pleasant surprise. 62 percent of those with “some college” and 67 percent of “4 yr. or 2 yr. college grads” chose the first option. This supports those who have been saying that left-wing indoctrination has not fully penetrated the college cohorts. On the other hand, 28 percent of those with “some college” and 27 percent of the “4 yr. or 2 yr. college grads” chose the second option. That is a not insignificant percentage and supports those who feel that the politicization of the academy has done damage. Those who chose option two as closest to their beliefs may well add to the widespread cynicism and lack of cultural self-confidence that we see around us as they enter government, the non-profits, the arts, popular culture, etc. 

Another surprising finding was that 65 percent of “native-born citizens” took option one, while only 44 percent of ”naturalized citizens,” who are often portrayed as intensely patriotic, did so. The only group lower in the choice of option one was “liberals” at 43 percent. “Naturalized citizens” also had the highest percentage, 8 percent, of those who took option three, the U.S. is worse than other nations, just above “liberals” with 7 percent.

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