In the quick months and years after the terrorist assaults of September 11, 2001, surveys revealed a surge in patriotism amongst Americans of all stripes. But that development has steadily decreased within the 20 years since, and a transparent partisan hole has emerged, with far fewer Democrats and independents figuring out themselves as proudly patriotic than Republicans.
As patriotism and wrapping oneself within the American flag has come to be extra recognized with being a right-leaning conservative or Republican, media protection of “patriotism” has taken a adverse flip as effectively.
“We’ve seen on multiple occasions major news outlets share their feelings and opinions in making patriotic symbols and demonstrations a divisive political issue,” Fox News contributor Joe Concha mentioned. “The New York Times just this summer had a writer named Mara Gay who declared that she found it ‘disturbing’ there were so many flags she had to witness on lawns and trucks. Disturbing.”
“The same New York Times that not too long ago asked if the Star Spangled Banner and National Anthem were racist. The same New York Times that is defending Olympian Gwen Berry – who turned away from the National Anthem in calling the playing of it a ‘set up.’ This is not the paper of record. It’s an extension of the DNC,'” he added, likening the paper to the celebration that tends to development decrease in American delight than its Republican counterparts.
Last yr, a file low of 63 % of Americans reported being “extremely” or “very proud” to be Americans. There was a slight uptick to 69 percent when requested the query by Gallup this yr, however nonetheless removed from the 92 % who reported that reply in 2002.
For Democrats, the answer is usually been tied to who is president. Trends confirmed much less delight in being Americans whereas George W. Bush and Donald Trump had been president, and extra delight when Barack Obama and Joe Biden had been in workplace. Republican patriotism has stayed comparatively excessive over the previous 20 years.
“One year after the Sept. 11 attacks, 93 percent of Democrats and 99 percent of Republicans said they were either “extraordinarily” or “very” proud to be Americans,” knowledge website FiveThirtyEight reported in July 2018. “The GOP number stayed comfortably in the 90s for the duration of George W. Bush’s presidency, but by January 2007, amid an unpopular war in Iraq that sparked no small amount of liberal dissent, the share of Democrats who were ‘extremely’ or ‘very’ proud to be Americans had shrunk to 74 percent.”
Political commentator Drew Holden mentioned that U.S. involvement within the Middle East and variations over the controversial Patriot Act, which supplied the U.S. authorities with sweeping anti-terrorism surveillance powers after 9/11, contributed to the polarization over patriotism and nationwide delight.
“I think that definitely played into this polarization. Post 9/11, patriotism became associated, by the media and both parties, with support for foreign wars in Afghanistan and eventually and to a lesser degree Iraq,” he mentioned. “I think that poisoned the well in a lot of ways. As soon as you’ve gotten a political cause tied to patriotism in the public square, it cheapens the term, and allows people to play fast and loose with the definition.”
“Patriotism is the most recent sufferer of America’s politicization and polarization disaster. But ought to it shock us that patriotism wanes when retailers like CNN associate the phrase with January sixth rioters and white supremacists?” Holden added. “By normalizing these outlandish perspectives, the media has helped create a narrative that uncontroversial views and displays of patriotism are adjacent to something evil, which is going to have a downstream impact on American culture more broadly.”
From the George W. Bush administration that marked the 2000s to the Tea Party motion in 2010 to Trump’s nationalistic politics taking management of the GOP since 2015, patriotism has been more and more considered as extra of a conservative attribute than a nonpartisan one. And liberal media protection has at occasions mirrored that rigidity.
CNN’s John Avlon requested in a 2013 opinion piece how the phrase “patriot” had develop into a grimy phrase. He finally positioned blame on conservative activist teams, resembling these related to the Tea Party motion, referring to themselves as “the ‘real’ patriots,” who, he mentioned, had been in search of to defend a conventional lifestyle from liberals, Democrats, different demographics and then-President Barack Obama.
A 2020 piece by Slate Magazine known as for liberalism to be made “great again” by liberals world wide taking again patriotism from “right-wing authoritarians,” who it argued had claimed it as their very own.
The development of discomfort with American flags and indicators of patriotism continued in 2021 at main retailers. Sports author William Rhoden said on “CBS This Morning” final month that he had loved overlaying the Olympics throughout his lengthy profession however felt in another way now, pointing to what number of “American flags” he noticed on the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
“I love the opening ceremonies, march of countries. Then I realized, you know, man, particularly after these last four years, I had it wrong. Nationalism is not good. We’ve seen the rise of White nationalism. Nationalism is not good,” he mentioned. “And also, this whole idea — I keep thinking back on the Capitol riots, and I saw a lot of, you know, U.S. flags.”
“So now when I see the flag and the flag raised, what — what America am I living in? You know, are the ones that don’t think, you know, we should be here?” he went on, referring to him and different African Americans.
For liberal retailers just like the New York Times, the American flag might be perceived as a hijacked image of problematic nationalism or avid Trump assist.
In a bit printed in July, creator Sarah Maslin Nir quoted people who discovered the flag has develop into so politicized that they now assume twice about flying it exterior their houses or companies. Some folks, as an example, have been hiding their patriotic delight in Old Glory after Trump’s supporters, and conservatives typically, “have embraced the flag so fervently.”
“What was once a unifying symbol – there is a star on it for each state, after all – is now alienating to some, its stripes now fault lines between people who kneel while ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ plays and those for whom not pledging allegiance is an affront,” Nir wrote.
Left-wing editorial board member Mara Gay went viral a month earlier than that when she advised MSNBC she was “disturbed” by the sight of “dozens of American flags” throughout a visit to Long Island, New York.
“I was on Long Island this weekend visiting a really dear friend, and I was really disturbed. I saw, you know, dozens and dozens of pickup trucks with explicatives [sic] against Joe Biden on the back of them, Trump flags, and in some cases just dozens of American flags, which is also just disturbing … Essentially the message was clear. This is my country. This is not your country. I own this,” Gay mentioned.
In 2016, amid the run up to Trump’s profitable bid for the presidency, resistance to patriotism prolonged past media and into the world of sports activities as NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick started kneeling throughout the enjoying of the National Anthem prior to some pre-season video games.
“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses Black people and people of color,” Kaepernick mentioned following one of many video games. “To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”
Some members of the media bought behind Kaepernick all through the controversy that spanned a number of years and started to justify his narrative behind not standing in honor of the National Anthem.
ESPN’s The Undefeated rapidly jumped to assist Kaepernick, claiming his protest was simply as American because the flag, and that he, like all Black folks, had “a right and responsibility” to battle in opposition to his historical past of oppression.
ESPN “SportsCenter” anchor Jemele Hill, a staunch defender of Kaepernick, was suspended the yr following the beginning of his protests for violating the community’s social media coverage when she responded on Twitter to Dallas Cowboys proprietor Jerry Jones, who mentioned that gamers who disrespected the flag would not play for his group. In her tweet, she known as on followers who disagreed with Jones to boycott the group’s advertisers.
The Guardian printed an opinion piece two years following the beginning of Kaepernick’s protest, after the controversial participant was now not on an NFL group, with author Mychal Denzel Smith claiming that though the protest is perhaps “unpatriotic,” it was “just fine.”
“His protest does not need to be recast as patriotic, as patriotism is not a higher virtue than justice,” Smith wrote.
Some argue the seemingly rising divide over patriotism primarily aligns with the political divide between Republicans and Democrats, and the latter transferring additional away from the outward show of delight in being American.
“The Democrats are embarrassed by the United States. Their coastal elitism can’t bear the thought of American exceptionalism. I never thought I would see loving your country as such a controversial idea,” Fox News contributor and former Republican congressman Jason Chaffetz mentioned.
“As the Democrats run away from the American Flag and a patriotic belief in our country, they do so as the minority. It’s as if they are campaigning for the Republicans. I’ve never seen wrapping yourself in the red, white, and blue as bad politics, but I think it shows how radical the Democrats have become recently,” he added.
Former White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, who is no stranger to the media’s adverse method to patriotism and flaming of partisan politics, noticed patriotism and patriotic symbols as issues that really unite Americans and predicted that makes an attempt to divide on the problem would not finally succeed.
“The radical left has taken symbols of national unity and turned them into divisive flash points,” she mentioned. “The left continues to attack the very symbols that unite us as a country. The good news, however, is that the American people are much wiser than the small number of far-leftists that seek to divide us.”