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Americans no longer find patriotism, religion, children or community involvement important, Wall Street Journal survey finds

The number of Americans who value patriotism, religion, and other key “American values” has been declining since the late 1990s and falling over the past four years, if we look at it. believes a new Wall Street Journal poll.

Released on Monday, the poll found that the percentage of Americans who say “patriotism” is very important to them fell to 38%, from 61% in 2019 and 70% in 1998. “Religion” has declined in importance, with 39% rating it as very important, down from 48% in 2019 and 62% in 1998.

Only 30% of Americans now consider “have children” very important, compared to 43% in 2019 and 59% in 1998. In 1998, 47% ranked “community involvement” as very important, a figure that rose to 62% in 2019, before falling back to 27% in 2023.

Only “money” has steadily grown in importance, with 43% of Americans ranking it as very important, up from 41% in 2019 and 31% in 1998.

Much has changed in the decades since the first such poll. The buoyant economy of the 1990s evaporated with the dot-com crash of 2000; the September 11 attacks were followed by disastrous wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the expansion of the national security state in the country; the 2008 financial crisis caused widespread economic impoverishment; Barack Obama’s second term saw the explosion of “woke” identity politics; and the election of Donald Trump has led to a seemingly irreversible political polarization.

This polarization is evident in the survey, with Republicans ranking patriotism, religion and having children higher than Democrats. Community engagement is slightly more important to Democrats, while both groups view money as equally important. The divide is widest on the idea of ​​patriotism, with 59% of Republicans considering it very important, compared to just 23% of Democrats.

While major political and historical events over the past two decades may explain the fall in these values, critics have pointed out that the poll’s methodology could be to blame. Previous versions of the same survey were conducted via telephone interviews with 1,000 adults, while the latest iteration was conducted online.

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Pollster Patrick Ruffini noted that those interviewed by telephone are “much more likely to respond in a way that makes [them] look like a citizen of integrity, patriotism and who values ​​community involvement. Other polls show that these and similar values ​​are also declining, but at a much slower pace than the Wall Street Journal survey suggests.

A Gallup poll last year found that 65% of Americans are “extremely proud” Or “very proud” be American, up from 87% in 2002. The figure of 65% represented a slight increase from the 2020 figure of 63%.

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