Americans aren’t feeling as patriotic as they once did.
According to new poll by Gallup, 47% of Americans are “extremely proud” of their nationality. The pollsters note it was the first time in the 18 years that they’ve conducted the poll that fewer than half of respondents say they’re proud to be Americans.
When Gallup first conducted the poll in 2001, 55% of Americans said they were extremely proud of their country. After the 9/11 terror attacks, the percentage of extreme pride increased to 65%, and climbed higher to 70% less than two years later. Pride took a tumble after former president George W. Bush invaded Iraq. It plateaued through the Obama years, but began to slide downwards from 2015.
White Americans have more extreme pride than non-white Americans. While extreme pride has remained relatively similar for white respondents since 2017, it dropped from 45% in 2016 to 33% this year for people of color.
The political news cycle might explain the drop. The poll took place from June 1-13, at the height of family separation crisis at the US-Mexico border. Videos of child detention centers and images of wailing children being separated from their families were splashed across many American TV screens. The ensuing pressure forced Trump to eventually reverse the policy.
Shifts in pride varied across the political spectrum. While there were sharp declines in pride among Democrats and political liberals, Gallup notes there was no significant decrease among Republicans and conservatives.