FixUS Poll: As July 4th Approaches, Patriotic Values Still Popular
In light of the pervasive political conflicts dominating national conversations, the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget’s FixUS initiative, an effort dedicated to understanding the root causes of and promoting solutions to America’s polarization, worked with YouGov to conduct a national survey of Americans’ beliefs and values ahead of the 4th of July holiday. Although national sentiments are far from uniform, our survey’s results display that most Americans, regardless of political affiliation, share feelings of patriotism and national pride.
“While it would be naïve to disregard the country’s deep divisions, it’s encouraging to discover that most Americans share fundamental beliefs about American values, history, and ideals,” said Michael Murphy, the Committee’s Chief of Staff and Director of FixUS. “A majority of Americans are patriots who value the American experiment and what it represents,” he added, “and at a time when it has never been more important to put citizenship over partisanship, that’s a hopeful sign.”
Some of the survey’s key findings:
- Americans are proud of their country. 72 percent said they agreed or strongly agreed that they are proud to be an American, while only 11 percent disagreed or strongly disagreed.
- Americans take pride in their history. Out of 18 historical events and achievements, respondents were proudest of the passage of the 19th amendment giving women the right to vote. On a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being very proud), it drew an average of 8.5. Other highly rated events were the adoption of the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights (8.3), resolution of the Civil War and outlawing of slavery (8.2), victory in World War II (8.2), and the 1960s civil rights movement (7.9).
- Americans are unified on the importance of fundamental American ideals. Fundamental ideals, such as America as a land of opportunity, a country of equality and justice for all, a land of liberty, and a government of the people, were highly rated in importance. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being “extremely important,” the average answer was above 8 for all ideals surveyed.
- Americans agree we have yet to achieve these ideals, but progress has been made. Only 17 percent believe we have achieved the ideal of America as “a land of opportunity, where if you work hard and play by the rules you can achieve success and a happy life for yourself and your family.” However, a majority (61 percent) of Americans believe we are closer than not to achieving this ideal, with some differences by political party.
- Americans believe criticizing and working to improve the country is patriotic. For example, 85 percent agree or strongly agree that “if you love America, you should notice its problems and work to correct them,” including 88 percent of Democrats, 85 percent of Republicans, and 86% of Independents. Only 23 percent agreed with the statement, “I believe I should support my country, whether it is right or wrong.”
View the full survey findings.
While the survey shows a high degree of support for American patriotic values, notable partisan differences were apparent in some areas. While 43 percent agree or strongly agree that “people who criticize the country do so because they want to make it better,” only 23 percent of Republicans and 38 percent of Independents felt that way versus 63 percent of Democrats.
Partisan differences also emerged regarding outward symbols of the country. For example, while 65 percent of Americans felt “good or very good” when they saw the American flag, the partisan breakdown included over 90 percent of Republicans and about half of Democrats. The national anthem and Pledge of Allegiance too saw wide partisan gaps.
A disquieting signal coming from all sides was the sense that people were not being heard. About half of all Republicans and Democrats and 70 percent of Independents believe that politicians “rarely” or “never” listen to them. Also concerning is that only 32 percent of respondents believe that American culture and way of life have mostly changed for the better since the 1950s. An overwhelming 85 percent are concerned about the polarization of the country.
This survey is the first in a series of publications by FixUS on the topic of American patriotic values and ideals. This data release examines views of Americans overall, along with commonalities and differences by political party identification. Future publications will explore commonalities and differences by race, age, gender, political ideology, and other topics.
View the full survey findings.
For more information, contact Michael Murphy at firstname.lastname@example.org.