The Patriotism Gap Between The Right And Left

by John Hawkins | July 6, 2006 3:04 pm

According to the The Christian Science Monitor,[1] conservatives are more patriotic than liberals:

“…In Monitor interviews conducted during the July 4 weekend, words such as “love” and “loyalty” toward America flow easily, as do expressions of belief in the ideals of freedom and democracy. Perhaps it should come as no surprise, then, that the latest global survey on “national pride,” a close cousin of patriotism, found that Americans ranked No. 1 among the 34 democracies polled.

“We’ve always been at or near the top,” going back at least 50 years, says Tom Smith, author of the report released last week by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago.

Of the 10 areas the survey gauged, the United States ranked highest in five – pride in its democracy, its political influence, economy, science, and military. (The other five areas were history, sports, arts/literature, fair and equal treatment of groups, and social security system.) Given America’s status as the world’s only superpower, the top overall ranking comes as little surprise, says Mr. Smith. The surveys were conducted in 2003 and 2004.

Now, in the summer of 2006, with the Iraq war, immigration, and the American flag occupying political discourse, a snapshot of US patriotism looks more tempered. A Gallup poll released July 3 finds that American national pride has sunk back to pre-9/11 levels, with 57 percent of Americans saying they are “extremely proud” to be American, compared with 55 percent in January 2001. Among the seven subsequent Gallup surveys asking that question, the high point for “extremely proud” was 70 percent in June 2003.

The numbers have declined among all political subgroups: Conservatives have declined from an average of 79 percent “extremely proud” in the 2002-2004 period to 71 percent today. Moderates are 56 percent “extremely proud” today versus 68 percent in ’02-’04. And liberals are down to 40 percent “extremely proud” today, from 55 percent before.”

Yes, even at the apex of their patriotism, only 55% of liberals were proud to be Americans. Now it’s down to 40%. But, conservatives are still at 71%. That means there are 177.5 patriotic conservatives for every 100 patriotic liberals. To tell you the truth, that still sounds like it’s overrepresenting the number of patriotic liberals, but a lot of liberals probably didn’t feel comfortable admitting that they’re not patriotic, even in an anonymous survey.

In any case, we now know that percentage wise, liberals are less patriotic than conservatives because they’ve finally admitted it. Sure they may be unpatriotic, but let’s at least applaud them for their honesty.

Hat tip to Dani Cutler[2] for the story.

  1. The Christian Science Monitor,:
  2. Dani Cutler:

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