Patriotism in America

Written by Kristin Keller

This week, many Americans are donning flag apparel and singing “God Bless the USA” as they watch fireworks to celebrate America’s heritage. In earlier times, a Fourth of July Celebration was an act of unity, as our nation’s unique blend of people came together to show respect for our country’s icons and traditions and to celebrate its continued success.

Just this week, a Gallup poll asking U.S. adults how proud they are to be Americans showed that for the first time in the poll’s history, only 47 percent responded that they are “extremely proud.” Even combined with the 25 percent who said they are “very proud,” only 72 percent of our country are self-proclaimed proud Americans, the lowest result in Gallup’s history.

Reasons for this downward trend are numerous. The poll, which originated just before the 9/11 attacks, showed sharply rising American pride in the years that followed. A general feeling of “Americans versus terrorists” bound people together in the early 2000’s regardless of political beliefs. But recent years have shown increasing partisan division in politics, causing the once-unified sense of patriotism to be manifested in more domestic struggle between “us” and “them” on virtually every issue. While 74 percent of Republicans are proud to be American, only 32 percent of Democrats are. Sharpest declines have likely resulted from changes in leadership, first when Barack Obama was president and continuing under President Donald Trump.

The days of deep, abiding love of country and cultural attachment to our nation are being threatened by discord and disrespect. Liberal activists subordinate appreciation for our soldiers’ sacrifices on our behalf so that we may enjoy our unalienable rights to their obsessive interests in disordered sexuality, gun control, environmental concerns, and open borders, thereby undermining national unity. Incivility and hostility toward political leaders and even those who work for them now supersedes the collective respect formally accorded to those who serve in elective office.

Now, more than ever, we ought to demonstrate our love for this great country. This holiday week, as we celebrate with family, food, and fireworks, let us remember the ideals upon which our country was formed and the vigor our country has shown to uphold them. Above all, may we give thanks for our nation’s elected officials as we recognize the greatness of their task.

 Formerly a high school and college English instructor, Kristin Keller now helps fund nonprofits through volunteer work and through grant writing. She has been a part of successfully changing insurance policy in her home state of Alabama, advocating legislation for health research funding, and working directly with beneficiaries of nonprofit work. She has been recognized for her volunteer efforts as a finalist for the national L’Oreal of Paris Woman of Worth campaign in 2006 and in 2007 she received a Presidential Point of Light Award.  She can usually be found spending time at her church or with her family.