Conservatives, Liberals and Patriotism


This is in the category of water is wet and fire burns.  Gallup has released the result of a poll which shows that conservatives embrace patriotism for the US far more than liberals:

“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.”

Go here to view the poll.  Since 2005 the number of Republicans calling themselves extremely patriotic is up 17 points, the number of conservatives doing so is up 15 points, while the number of liberals claiming to be extremely patriotic is down 4 points.  

None of this is unexpected.  Many liberals tend to have a jaundiced view of American history, some viewing much of it as a racist, patriarchal, genocidal and homophobic crime against humanity.  Conservatives tend to agree with Lincoln, who throughout his life fought against a great evil in American life, that America is the last, best hope of humanity.  The conservative protest movement, the Tea Party, draws inspiration from the Founding Fathers.  Their leftist adversaries deride them as tea baggers, using a vulgarity common in the homosexual community.

These attitudes stem from the fact that most conservatives deeply love America in spite of its flaws, while a signicant number of liberals despise America in spite of its virtues.  This is something new in American history.  Franklin Delano Roosevelt was an ardent patriot, while being the father of modern liberalism.  Paul Douglas, a liberal Democrat senator from Illinois, was  a 50 year old University of Chicago college professor in 1942.  He  joined the Marine Corps, served in combat with distinction, and rose from private to lieutenant colonel.  In the sixties, liberalism became associated with a disdain for patriotism in this country, and so we have the present situation where a large political faction in this country has within its ranks a large section that is not very fond of America.

13 Responses to Conservatives, Liberals and Patriotism

  1. Jay Anderson says:

    But … but … but … I thought all those conservatives were “seditious” traitors because of their refusal to embrace The One and his policies.

  2. Amy says:

    Please. This merely means that “conservatives” are pro-war. It’s a sad state of affairs in this country when patriotism is equated with the military.

    The Founding Fathers would be appalled at the state of today’s conservatism.

  3. Donald R. McClarey says:

    “This merely means that “conservatives” are pro-war.”

    The poll said nothing about foreign policy. However I will agree that conservatives do believe the country should defend itself, and that a defense policy aping the ostrich serves it poorly. Lack of support for a foreign war is of course not an excuse for being unpatriotic. Lincoln for example opposed the Mexican War, while always being a patriot.

    As to the Founding Fathers and modern conservatism, I do think that they would be appalled at many aspects of modern life, but I also think they would appreciate the patriotism of most conservatives. The Founding Fathers found much to criticize in their society, but their critiques were always written out of love for their country.

  4. American Knight says:

    Pro-military is not the same thing as pro-war. In fact, the best defense against war is to be better prepared for it than your enemy. If our military, a legitimate function of the federal government, is kept strong, voluntary, moral, resolute and leaps and bounds above all others – we probably won’t have much occasion to go to war. When we do, it would be quick and decisive. Don’t confuse war-mongering Neo-Cons, which are actually leftists and not conservative, with conservatives.

    Additionally, patriotism isn’t limited to war and military. One of the virtues of the Knights of Columbus is Patriotism, do you really think the K of C is a war-promoting fraternity?

    This poll isn’t surprising at all. The virtue of Patriotism has been asleep as we have fallen for all the temptations of modernity. BHO is bringing the modern impulse to fulfillment, and that is causing a righteous reaction from authentic conservatives. It is pretty simple.

  5. restrainedradical says:

    It looks like conservatives are more patriotic today than they were after 9/11, which demonstrates that the conservative brand of patriotism thrives better under Kenyan rule than during war.

  6. Mike Petrik says:

    “It looks like conservatives are more patriotic today than they were after 9/11, which demonstrates that the conservative brand of patriotism thrives better under Kenyan rule than during war.”

    I think the 9/11 reference would make more sense of “2005” read “2002.” But I do suspect that Kenyan rule can help stir US patriotism for the same reason that Kremlin rule helped stir Polish Catholicism.

  7. Foxfier says:

    To play devil’s advocate, here, the “extremely” thing might be a sticker. It’s often used to mean “irrational” rather than “to a high degree.”

    Even I wouldn’t self-ID as “extremely patriotic” because it sounds like a set-up for the famous “my mother, drunk or sober” junk, and “very patriotic” covers it just fine.

    They do have another chart showing prior poll results, but the one for 2002 is from January and was done with the Hartwood Institute, so it’s not quite apples to apples. (No, I don’t know that snow vs fireworks would change answers, nor do I know if the Hartwood folks just paid the phone guys, but I don’t know it won’t change the result, so it must be considered.)

  8. American Knight says:

    It is pretty simple, the political debate in this country is supposed to be between Federalist (Conservatives) and anti-Federalist (Libertarians) – there is no room for Liberals (Collectivists). So when Collectivists achieve the levers of power and start pulling them to tear down the Constitution, not to mention trying to kill God and His babies, again! Then it follows that Conservatives and Libertarians will become more Patriotic in an effort to return the political debate to its proper balance. Since most Republicans are conservative, then it would make sense to see Republican numbers go up, so long as you aren’t speaking to Castle or Graham and their ilk.

    I could care less that BHO is Kenyan, or not – the real issue is that he doesn’t have the heart of an American, certainly not a Patriot and he would be more at home in Communist China, so he should go be their president – just please appoint someone other than Biden or Pelosi.

  9. T. Shaw says:

    My priorities are God, family and country.

    Maybe liberals do not believe that patriotism is a virtue.

    basically, I believe liberals are evil and seem to hate not only our country but also despise the uses many of us make of our liberties and our property.

    I think liberals hate their mothers.

  10. Foxfier says:

    Fuji, are you really meaning to imply that being really really patriotic is “nation worship”?


    Have you informed the Pope about the risk to his chaplains?

  11. Donald R. McClarey says:

    Fuji, take your neo-Confederate rantings elsewhere. You are banned from this blog.

  12. Suz says:

    7% of Republicans are satisfied with the way things are going in this country?

    Are they soothsayers?

    I agree with Foxfier that “extremely” is a poor choice of adverb for a poll, because it has certain connotations—perhaps more so with younger people and their extreme sports and hula hoops and I-don’t-know-what—and I submit that “pretty darn” might be substituted next time around.

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