Once upon a time, it was a given that Americans, both young and old, regarded America through the rosy lens of exceptionalism and accepted that this country, despite past mistakes, was still the leader of the free world in terms of economics, human rights and, yes, even morality.
Then came the Democrats with their “oh, we can’t have that” expressions of disgust.
They began hitting hard at the public schools, the universities, the committees that decide on textbooks for teachers, the First Amendment and freedom of speech — any and all areas where they could train the next generation in the way it should go while simultaneously stifling opposing views.
“Young people,” Pew Research’s Fact Tank reported, “in the United States express far more skeptical views of America’s global standing than older adults. They are also more likely to say it would be acceptable if another country became as militarily powerful as the U.S.”
Think what that means.
In the years between World War Two’s Greatest Generation and now, the values that marked America, that made America great — the individual call to duty, honor, faith, family, country — have been, in the minds and hands of millennials and Generation Zers, tossed to the wayside.
Overall, 24% of all Americans of all ages say this country “stands above all other[s]” and 55%, that it is “one of the greatest countries, along with some others.” But look at the 18- to 29-year-olds, and the view is a bit different. Among that age group, fully 36% say there are other nations that beat out America as the best.
And little to no surprise here: It’s those who identify as Democrat who are least likely to name America as A-Number One.
“Nearly half (47%) of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents under 30 say there are other countries that are better than the U.S., as do roughly a third (34%) of those [Democrats] ages 30 to 49,” Pew reported.
For contrast, only 19% of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents under the age of 30, and 4% over the age of 50, say other countries are better than America.
The survey results are startling on a couple of fronts — neither of which has to do with simple chest-thumping “all hail America” drumbeats. It’s true; the dwindling of patriotism is somewhat sad because citizens, honestly, bluntly, should love the country in which they live.
But take emotion out of it and the findings are startling because they show how far the left has been able to dig, in just a few short years, and how persuasive their anti-American propaganda has become to youth.
All around, children are being taught by union-backed leftist teachers, democratic-socialist loving college professors, leftist-fawning media personalities and the like that America’s founders are racist, and therefore America itself is inherently racist; that America’s government is interventionist and therefore America’s enemies are righteous in their attacks; that freedom of speech is good but some speech is dangerous and must be curtailed; that police target blacks, Republicans hate Hispanics, and Christians and conservatives want to get women out of the business world and back into the kitchen.
It’s working. The messages are working.
False as they are, the messages are having an impact — and this leads to the second big scare with the survey results: This is the mindset of America’s emerging leaders.
That’s a problem for all of America.
The fact is if the leaders of tomorrow don’t see America as already the best country in the world, they’re either going to try and reshape it into something it was never intended to be — or they’re just going to shrug off any sort of winning competitive attitudes, to the point where other nations indeed rise to the top and supplant America as number one.
Either way, either path, brings a demise of American exceptionalism. Without a pushback in America’s schools from conservatives, Christians and historians who teach the truths of this nation’s founding and greatness, it won’t be long before the Democrats’ rhetoric will become America’s reality. America really will be just like any other country.
• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter, @ckchumley. Listen to her podcast “Bold and Blunt” by clicking HERE. And never miss her column; subscribe to her newsletter by clicking HERE.
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