Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Indepedence Day follow up

Gallup released a poll a couple days before Independence Day showing an increase in the number of Americans who are willing to describe themselves as "Extremely Patriotic."  The increase is hardly worth noting since a total of 74% Americans call themselves either "Extremely Patriotic" or "Very Patriotic" with the individual being allowed to discern between the two. What is worth noting is what is driving the increase, and the timing of it:

The increase in the overall percentage of Americans calling themselves "extremely patriotic" is driven largely by seniors, Republicans, and conservatives -- all of whom are significantly more likely to say so than they were in 2005. Republicans' relatively higher identification with the "extremely patriotic" label is particularly intriguing when one considers that Democrats are currently far more likely than Republicans to say they are satisfied with the way things are going in the country (41% vs. 7%, respectively).  Still, the majority of Americans in each of these subgroups say they are "extremely" or "very" patriotic.

The interesting thing, as Gallup points out, is the sharp increase of patriotism among conservatives and Republicans despite being unhappy with the current course of the country.  The only logical conclusion from that is that their opposition to the current administration and its policies isn't driven by partisanship or selfish ideology, but by a genuine concern for America and her well being.  We oppose Obama not because he's black, a Democrat, or anything like that, but because we genuinely believe that his policies harm America.  Even if we're misguided, our priorities and loyalties still lay firmly with America, which significantly undermines the liberal accusation that we are rabid, racist, haters - unless they're suggesting that a love for country includes those attributes, or a that their patriotism is the only right form patriotism, something I hardly think would be popular.

The slight drop with Democrats and liberals is hardly concerning since, as Gallup stated, they retain a majority when you consider the "Very Patriotic" bracket.  However it would be interesting to theorize why they're not seeing a surge in patriotism while they control both the Presidency and Congress.  Perhaps they expected both to enact even more of the leftist agenda?  Too much of a stretch to add this to the evidence of liberals going far left?

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