On the eve of July Fourth – our annual celebration of American independence (and fireworks!) – pride in being an American has hit a record low in new Gallup polling.
Fewer than 4 in 10 – 38% – of adults said they were “extremely” proud to be Americans, the lowest ever measure by Gallup, which has been asking the question since 2001.
The 38% of proud Americans is well below the average of 55% since the question has been asked. In fact, prior to 2015, Gallup had never found those expressing “extreme” pride lower than 55%.
The decline in extreme American pride is due, in large part, to marked declines among Republicans and independents.
While Republicans are still the group most likely to express extreme pride in the country, that number is now down to 58% – a steep drop from the 75% who said the same in 2019.
Among independents, just 34% said they were extremely proud of America today, compared with 41% who said the same in 2019.
That number among Democrats actually rose marginally over the last three years – from 22% to 26%.
As Gallup notes, the poll was in the field at a uniquely difficult time.
“These data are from a June 1-20 poll that was conducted after mass shootings in Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas, claimed 31 lives including 19 children. … The polling also preceded the U.S. Supreme Court’s highly anticipated and controversial ruling overturning Roe v. Wade,” writes Gallup’s Megan Brenan.
But, while this may be a challenging moment, the longer-term decline in trust in America – and the institutions that compose it – is not new.
We are in an era of declining trust in institutions – all institutions – that were once considered the bedrock of American society.
Take the Supreme Court. In 2001, 62% of Americans had favorable impressions of the nation’s highest court, according to Gallup. Twenty years later that number is at just 40% – and almost certainly will go lower in the wake of the Roe ruling.
The Point: All of these numbers point to a startling reality – the ties that bind us together as a nation are loosening with every passing day.