God bless America: Land that I loathe?

Polling of young adults nationwide suggests lack of patriotism is not restricted to the college campus. A July 2021 poll by the Pew Research Center asked what statement best illustrates respondents’ view of the U.S. It found that, among people ages 18–29, only 10 percent said the “U.S. stands above all other countries in the world.” This age group chose that response at the lowest rate of those polled. Forty-eight percent answered that America “is one of the greatest countries, along with others,” while 42 percent said “other countries are better than the U.S.” — the highest percentage choosing this response of any age group polled. These numbers do not reflect a great deal of patriotism among the youth in America.

Patriotism often comes into play when America is attacked, such as after Pearl Harbor or 9/11. It was incumbent upon the nation’s men to comply with the draft and dutifully serve their country in World War II. After 9/11, 181,510 were inspired to enlist in active duty. Twenty years later, it’s a different story.

As Charles Cooke pointed out, if America were invaded, we apparently could not rely on most of our nation’s fighting-age population to defend us. According to a March Quinnipiac poll, in the event of an invasion, only 45 percent of 18- to 34-year-old Americans say they would “stay and fight,” while the majority — 48 percent — say they would “leave the country.” Imagine that. Say, for example, China attacked our homeland. Many of those we would be counting on to fight and defend everything we hold dear would be busy getting on the next train, bus, or plane out of here.

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