American pride could use a boost

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The Fourth of July brings out the biggest bangs for many Americans flexing their patriotic muscles. The holiday week is as good a time as any to consider, how proud are you to be an American?

Gallup has been posing that question every year since 2001. Back then, 55 percent of Americans said they’re extremely proud.

In the years right after 9/11, pride in their country powered all-time polling highs, peaking at 70 percent being extremely proud in 2003. Put that in your patriotic pipe and smoke it.

This year, however, a new low has been established. According to Gallup polling done the first two weeks of June, only 47 percent of Americans said they’re extremely proud of their country.

But the poll goes further, shedding at least a slightly healthier light on love of country. When you combine the responses of “extremely proud” (47 percent), “very proud” (25 percent) and “moderately proud” (16 percent), you’ve got 90 percent somewhere on the positive side of the ledger. Only 7 percent said they are “only a little” proud, while 3 percent said they’re “not at all” proud to be an American.

Still, the ratings are the lowest yet recorded by Gallup, and researchers say there’s a direct correlation between the dip and the election of President Trump. Categories showing the sharpest drops are Democrats and Liberals. Republicans (74 percent) lead the “extremely proud” category, followed by Independents (42 percent) and Democrats (32 percent). White males 65 and older also lead the “extremely proud” parade, and overall, whites (54 percent) are more inclined to be “extremely proud” than are non-white Americans (33 percent).

You can read more about the poll at: https://bit.ly/2lUBQIx

In our view, North Idaho would show up as off-the-chart proud to be Americans, and not just because the president enjoys widespread support here. With thousands of military veterans calling North Idaho home, there’s a patriotic flavor that can border on fervor — and it’s shared by many, many other locals.

Some of you reading this editorial will be disappointed but not surprised at the poll results, which strongly suggest that pride is directly tied to perceived political and judicial wins and losses. For our country to come close to reaching its potential, we need to rise above that low bar. Pride in country should not be linked to global crises, whomever inhabits the White House or which way the Supreme Court leans on hot-button issues, but on what each of us contributes to safe, clean communities and happy, healthy families. The only way we can get there is by going together.

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