Love for American Ideals Creates Unification in Midst of Polarization, New Poll Finds

A new pollNearly 3 out of 4 Americans say they are proud to be Americans, despite the divisions in their country, according to a recent survey.  

The poll results come amid nationwide controversy in recent months over issues such as record-high gas prices, mass shootings, the House’s ongoing Jan. 6 investigation, and the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. 

“Although national sentiments are far from uniform, our survey’s results display that most Americans, regardless of political affiliation, share feelings of patriotism and national pride,” a summary of the poll says.  

The poll, conducted in May by FixUS, found that 72% of those surveyed agreed with the statement “I’m proud to be an American.” That number included 91% of Republicans surveyed and 62% of Democrats.  

Also, 73% of those surveyed agreed that they would “prefer to live in the U.S. than in another country.” 

The FixUS poll asked 2000 participants a series questions to assess the current climate for patriotism in America. FixUS is part the non-partisan, nonprofit Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.  

This poll contrasts with other polls released before Independence Day, such as a Gallup poll finding that only 38% of adults surveyed say they are “extremely proud” to be an American—although 65% say they are “extremely” or “very proud.” 

Similar results can be expected for a Fox News poll of registered voters found that only 39% said they are “proud of the country today,” echoing a poll by The Economist and YouGovAmerica finding that 40% considered themselves “very patriotic” and 53% agreed that Americans are becoming less patriotic.  

The majority of respondents to the FixUS poll agreed that America is a land of opportunity and equality, justice, and limited government are fundamental ideals. Participants rated each ideal as “highly important” on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being “extremely important.” 

Americans typically gave each ideal a rating over 8, the poll found, “with no notable differences by party.”  

The poll also found that 85% said they agree that progress has been made to achieve these fundamental ideals and that it’s patriotic to criticize and strive to perfect the country.  

Partisan disputes were resoluted by more specific statements. 

One was “People who do not wholeheartedly support America should live somewhere else,” to which 59% of Republicans surveyed agreed and 63% of Democrats disagreed. 

A total of 65% of Democrats and 23% of Republicans said they agreed with this statement: “For the most part, people who protest and demonstrate against U.S. policy are good, upstanding people and valued members of our society.”  

Similar results were also reported by 94% of Republicans, who agreed that seeing or hearing the American flag being flown makes them feel very or very happy, and only 49% by Democrats. 

 Another large disparity between the two major parties was seen in response to the question of whether American life and culture has changed for better or worse since the 1950s. 

Although 50% of Democrats said the nation’s culture has improved in the past 70 years, fully 75% of Republicans said it has deteriorated. 

Similar questions revealed that 85% of those surveyed agreed they are concerned by national polarization, and 59% agreed they feel ignored by politicians. 

Although some of the findings are troubling and should be discussed, the overall results should be encouraging. saidMichael Murphy, chief staff for the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.  

“While it would be naïve to disregard the country’s deep divisions, it’s encouraging to discover that most Americans share fundamental beliefs about American values, history, and ideals,” Murphy said. 

“A majority of Americans are patriots who value the American experiment and what it represents, and at a time when it has never been more important to put citizenship over partisanship, that’s a hopeful sign,” he said. 

Murphy acknowledged that there were potentially troubling aspects to the results, and stated:  

America is, perhaps more than any other nation, founded on a set politcal ideals. In the face of apparent polarization, we at FixUS wanted to discover whether the foundations of an American ‘nation’ remain. The answer delivered by the survey appears to be ‘yes,’ although a finer analysis also reveals a nation potentially at risk.  

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