Two July 4/Our-America-themed pieces. (Links to full columns are embedded in each headline.)

Yes, the USA is history’s most wonderful nation (July 4):  On this Independence Day , a Gallup poll found a record-low 38% of respondents feel “extremely proud” to be American . Forgive me for wanting to grab the other 62% by their lapels and scream, “What is wrong with you people?!” — with, perhaps, a few expletives as well.

It is of course fashionable for educators and the media- entertainment complex these days to harp on all the things allegedly wrong with the United States. But are we so blind that we must accept their benighted bleatings as gospel?

No matter how weak one’s schooling is, it shouldn’t take more than a few years into adulthood to develop a sense of history and a sense of gratitude. Both senses should foster a deep-seated appreciation for the blessed miracle that is the USA.

It should not be difficult to recognize that no other nation today, or ever, could boast of the combination of attributes we take for granted. …..

Too many in Generation Z are outlandishly ignorant (July 5): Americans’ ignorance about their own history and civics has been problematic for decades, but a new survey even more greatly indicts Generation Z and the educators and parents who aided its empty-headedness.

One particular question in the poll stood out, with people as a whole doing poorly on it and Gen Zers doing pathetically. Asked who it was in 1776 that Americans declared independence from, 42% of respondents could not name Great Britain. Worse, a stunning 64% of the young adults in Gen Z got the question wrong . This is roughly the U.S. history equivalent of being unable to say that five plus five equals 10.

Alas, the poll isn’t an anomaly, except insofar as it shows civic ignorance is even worse among those born after 1996 (the start date for Gen Z) than it was for preceding generations of civic illiterates. For more than two decades, comprehensive annual studies by groups such as the American Enterprise Institute and the Intercollegiate Studies Institute have found far too many students at supposedly elite schools, both entering and exiting college, are obtuse about U.S. history and government and that the vast majority of grade school “social studies” teachers don’t think teaching basic historical facts or the “key principles of American government” is important….


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