In his latest Fox News interview, Donald Trump boasted, in apparent reference to Americans, “Our people have more pride then they used to have.” It’s a theme the president has been eager to push for a while.
In May, the Republican delivered the commencement address at the U.S. Naval Academy and claimed, “We are witnessing the great reawakening of the American spirit and of American might. We have rediscovered our identity, regained our stride, and we are proud again.”
In this case, it’s worth asking who, exactly, the president meant by “we.”
Just 47 percent of adults in the U.S. say they are “extremely proud” to be American, the lowest share since polling organization Gallup first started asking that question nearly two decades ago.
And that’s down ten points in just the last five years, from 57 percent in 2013.
Looking at Gallup’s report, there’s a clear and predictable partisan gap: the number of Democratic and independent voters feeling extreme pride in the United States has declined steadily in recent years, while among Republicans, the sentiment inched up after Trump took office.
That said, putting aside partisanship, the broader trend is striking: over the last five years, Americans feeling extreme pride in their country has waned among men and women, those with college degrees and those without, and every age group.
If recent history is any guide, Trump will dismiss this as “fake news” and evidence of Gallup cooking up fraudulent data to embarrass him. Indeed, as far as this president is concerned, he’s ushered in a glorious era of patriotism, in which Americans stand tall, confident in the awesomeness of their awesome national leader, and any evidence to the contrary is necessarily wrong.
Trump’s vision, however, is at odds with our reality. Far from a “great reawakening of the American spirit,” Trump is an unpopular president, pushing an unpopular agenda, on the heels of an election in which he received far fewer votes from Americans than his principal opponent.
Morning in America, it isn’t.