(March 30)  

A major new survey showing a marked decline in U.S . patriotism may overstate the case. But even after considering the caveats, the results show a growing national soul-sickness.

The survey, released March 27 in the Wall Street Journal, showed precipitously declining numbers of people say they highly value such traditional virtues as patriotism, religion, community involvement, and child-rearing. For those of us who consider these old values to be important, all those numbers are worrisome, even though astute number-cruncher Patrick Ruffini notes that a change in poll methodology from previous years means the true size of the decline is probably less than advertised.

On the patriotism question, Ruffini shows that although this particular survey probably overstates the downward trend, the trend itself is real, and the number of patriotic people is indeed well below what we otherwise would expect or hope.

Well, forgive the bluntness, but I believe if you are a U.S. citizen who does not hold patriotism dearly, there is something wrong with you.

To not feel proud of this particular nation is to lack some significant combination of easily-earned knowledge , context, perspective, ethics, principles, and, crucially, gratitude. And even if left-wing academicians have fed you the usual putrid parade of complaints and flat-out lies about supposed American perfidy, then by the time you reach functional adulthood, you should be able to examine the evidence for yourself and see the truth of American magnificence.

And if you see that truth, then to refuse to consider it both a great inheritance and a source of pride is to commit the sin of ingratitude.

The ingratitude is an epidemic. The survey result most particularly disturbing, yet unsurprising to anyone at all observant of and conversant with today’s youngest generation of adults, is that only 23% of adults under age 30 consider patriotism to be “very important.” To oversimplify only slightly, these results mean one of two things about the other 77%. It could mean the other 77% think the United States’s history and character aren’t worthy of pride. Or it means they think that even if that history and character do amount to a worthy heritage, the heritage nonetheless merits no attitudinal, much less active, obligations.

For those who believe the latter, their failing is ethical….. [The full column is at this link.]


Tags: , ,