So since patriotism does matter, the question remains: what is smothering it among Democrats and younger Americans? This brings us to the elephant in the common room.

What, after all, do Democrats and younger Americans share that other Americans do not? Both are more likely to be found in institutions of higher learning. And as no one will contest, America’s elite colleges have been, and remain, overwhelmingly liberal and Democratic. According to Inside Higher Ed, the most thorough examination of political bias in academe—a survey of 1,417 full-time professors conducted in 2007—found that the number who identified as “conservative” was less than 10 percent.

Such findings track with other gauges of political affiliation, especially at the nation’s most prestigious schools. A 2017 survey by the Yale Daily News of 314 faculty members found only 7 percent considered themselves “conservative.” In 2015, the Harvard Crimson reported the results of a study of 614 faculty members and their political donations. Ninety-six percent of the Arts and Sciences faculty gave to Democrats. At Harvard Law School, that number was a North Korea-worthy 98 percent. In 2020, the Crimson surveyed hundreds of faculty members and found only four who identified themselves as conservative.