A recent Pew Research Poll revealed a disturbing trend among the attitudes of young Americans — especially on the left — towards the U.S. According to the study, a decreasing number of American youth believe that the United States is better than other countries.
The poll, which was conducted in September 2019, shows that the majority of Americans believe that the U.S either “stands above all other countries,” (24%) or is “one of the greatest countries, along with some others.” (55%) However, 21% of participants indicated that they believe “there are other countries that are better than the U.S.” This means that nearly a quarter of young Americans feel that America is not the greatest country on earth.
The results get worse with participants aged between 18 and 29. Among this group, 36% stated that other countries are better than America. This constitutes more than a third of Americans in this particular age group.
When the data is broken down along party lines, the results aren’t surprising, but still troubling. The report states:
“Nearly half (47%) of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents under 30 say there are other countries that are better than the U.S., as do roughly a third (34%) of those ages 30 to 49. By comparison, just 20% of Democrats ages 50 and older say this.”
Among Republicans and independents who lean conservative, 19% of adults under 30 believe other countries are better than the U.S. Only 4% of Republicans over 50 concur.
Even worse, a number of Americans believe that it would be “acceptable” for another country to become as “militarily powerful” as the U.S. The report states:
“When it comes to America’s status as a military superpower, a majority of adults (61%) say that U.S. policies should try to maintain the country’s position as the only military superpower, while 36% say it would be acceptable if another country were to become as militarily powerful.”
Again, the breakdown on party lines shows a predictable result, with more Democrats believing another country becoming as powerful as the U.S. is “acceptable:
“A narrow majority (55%) of Democrats under age 30 say it would be acceptable if other nations became as militarily powerful as the U.S., while Democrats ages 30 to 49 are divided on this question. Democrats 50 and older are more likely to say policies should try to keep it so the U.S. remains militarily superior than to say it would be acceptable for another country to gain similar military strength (57% vs. 39%).”
So what accounts for these results? There are likely several factors. As globalization has become more prevalent in mainstream thought, many on the left are increasingly favorable towards the idea that the U.S. should be more beholden to the international community. A significant number of Americans are rejecting the notion of American exceptionalism.
A poll conducted in November of last year by the Eurasia Group Foundation shows that belief in American exceptionalism has decreased significantly. A 2018 Gallup poll revealed that the percentage of Americans indicating that they are “extremely proud” to be Americans dropped to historic lows (47%).
In light of the results of these studies, it comes as no surprise that a growing number of Americans are less proud of their country. This would account for the term “nationalist” becoming anathema in American society, especially on the left. This trend has been growing over the past two decades, but the election of President Trump shows that there is a backlash against this line of thought.
The notion that other countries are superior to the United States is in line with the growing far-left progressive movement. It is an indication that their influence over America’s cultural and learning institutions has served them well. Put simply, their mass persuasion efforts appear to be working.
However, all is not lost. While the left has a firm hold on the country’s universities and media outlets, they do not have a monopoly on the spread of ideas. The rise of alternative media has provided conservatives and others who still adhere to the ideas of free markets, liberty, and yes, American exceptionalism, a means by which they can subvert the spread of Marxist thought. Last year, I wrote a piece for Liberty Nation discussing an Axios report on the rise of conservative media online:
“A number of conservative outlets, such as The Washington Examiner, The Washington Times, and RedState, are ‘experiencing major growth by widening their coverage,’ according to Axios. They are accomplishing this increase by reporting on the high-profile issues that are receiving the most attention on a given day. These include human interest stories as well as entertainment news. By focusing on a wider array of stories, right-leaning news sites are attracting a bigger audience.”
As it stands currently, conservative thought is flourishing on social media and news sites. Countering the progressive narrative is no easy task, but if the data is any indication, conservative media is up to it.
Let me know what you think in the comments below!
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