On patriotism

It’s probably just as well that Pew Research waited until today to drop this can of debatable worms; few people are paying attention to the news on the day before a long holiday weekend.

But here’s the apparent takeaway from Pew’s latest poll: The more patriotic you are, the more likely you are to be critical of the government.

Those who give Barack Obama the lowest job ratings – predominately Republicans and independents who lean Republican – also are more likely to say that they are extremely proud to be an American than are those who give the president more positive ratings.

Cue the debate on what it means to be “patriotic.”


  • David

    I wonder how this poll would have resulted when those that “love America” were saying it’s unpatriotic to be critical of a (white) commander in chief.

  • kennedy

    It strikes me that all the groups think that they are more patriotic than average. The survey must have been taken in Lake Wobegon.

    Also, the group that measures itself as closest to average is the 18-29 age group. I thought young people were supposed to be idealistic and overconfident.

  • Bismuth

    I’m guessing it’s more like the more patriotic you consider yourself, the more likely you are to be critical of the *current* government. Is there a similar poll from 4 years ago to compare? I’d bet the correlation would be reversed.

  • bsimon

    I’m waiting for the polling data where respondents self report their sense of self righteousness.

    “Why, yes, as a matter of fact I am better than everyone else.”

  • bob Collins

    Follow that link, Bri. A VERY large percentage of those surveyed said they were either AS patriotic AS or MORE patriotic THAN everyone else.

  • Paul

    The more patriotic you are, the less satisfied you would be with any of our past several administrations and the debacle called Congress. It is not an issue of skin color, nor is it a matter of party lines. It’s about the direction our country is taking, and the role the current governmental system is taking in the deliberate dismantling of basic American morals, values, and strength. Those who waited until the current administration to voice their dissatisfaction waited too long. Obama is just the figurehead of the final push to send the United States over the brink.