National Pride

Here are some dreadful facts about Americans age 14 to 37—that is, “Generation Z” and “Millennials”:

Nearly half believe “America is more racist than other countries.”
Nearly one third are “not proud to be American.”
1 in 5 believes the American flag is “a sign of intolerance and hatred.”

These were just a few of the findings in a recent survey conducted by YouGov. Behold the result of a modern American education. Our schools are fixating on America’s weaknesses and errors, whether real, exaggerated or imaginary—and ignoring its truly inspiring story!

Only in America! More than any other nation, this nation has offered individual liberty, social equality and economic opportunity. Uniquely blessed in material and political advantages, it has unlocked the productive and creative powers of its people to contribute to globally dominant political strength, military might and national greatness.

Our history has a wealth of individuals who seized the unparalleled opportunities offered by America’s free market and created successes that would have been impossible anywhere else in the world at any time in human history.

I saw a recent survey of young people’s attitudes toward America. A nonprofit organization called the Foundation for Liberty and American Greatness (FLAG), is “dedicated to educating Americans about the values and principles that make our nation exceptional.”

To show the need for such education, FLAG conducted a survey of 1,078 Americans in October, through the polling firm YouGov, regarding national pride among differing generations.

The survey shows that younger Americans “are becoming unmoored from the institutions, knowledge and spirit traditionally associated with American patriotism.”

Here is what these younger Americans think of their country:

  • 46 percent disagree that “America is the greatest country in the world.”
  • 38 percent disagree that “America has a history that we should be proud of.”
  • 28 percent are not proud to be American.
  • 14 percent agree that “America was never a great country, and it never will be.”

What is informing these notions of America being unexceptional? Here are a few more beliefs exposed by this survey:

  • 50 percent of younger Americans believe the United States is sexist.
  • 49 percent believe the United States is racist.
  • 46 percent say “America is more racist than other countries.”
  • 19 percent of Millennials believe the American flag is “a sign of intolerance and hatred.”

This self-image is tragically perverse. After decades of work by the enemies of America’s present and past, more and more people are embarrassed about American history, about its economic might and its world dominance. We are constantly condemning ourselves and apologizing for everything we do.

Yet why have so many immigrants the world over, spent their savings and even risked their lives to somehow just make it to America? Why don’t we see people fleeing America to go someplace else?

How ignorant are these young Americans in this survey?

Instead, they are going about shaming themselves and their forebears. And these shameful numbers will keep rising as long as our own educational system fixates on our weaknesses and errors—whether real, exaggerated or imaginary—and ignores the truly inspiring story of America!

  • 84 percent of Americans do not know the specific rights enumerated in the First Amendment.
  • Younger Americans are half as likely as older Americans to know which presidents are on Mount Rushmore.
  • 44 percent of younger Americans believe Barack Obama had a “bigger impact” on America than George Washington.

Stunning ignorance! And their appalling ignorance and lack of proper pride doesn’t just affect them. Because 47 percent of them are so embarrassed by what little they understand of the free market that they believe America’s future should be socialism.

And these are America’s new voters, teachers and politicians.

What happens when a nation has such a toxic view of itself? What happens when it destroys its own conviction about the nobility of its cause? At every turn we hesitate, we waver, we fear, we disbelieve, we apologize, we attack ourselves. How tragic!

What is true nationally is also true individually. We need to live our lives in pursuit of the highest ideals—truth, righteousness, holiness, freedom—true freedom, underpinned by the truth of God. “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32 NIV.

As we pursue those ideals, God blesses us and empowers us. We individually become stronger forces for good in the lives of the people around us, and in the community and world at large.

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