Thursday, May 22, 2008

Unconsidered Patriot

What is patriotism? Is it wearing a lapel pin? Is it supporting our troops? Could it be speaking out against war? In 2004 the General Social Survey asked a sample of United States residents whether people should support their country even if the country is in the wrong. Approximately the same proportion agreed or strongly agreed with this statement (37%) as disagreed or strongly disagreed (40%). The propotion responding affirmatively for those with less than a high school diploma is considerably higher (46%) than for those with a college degree (29%).

It seems that even elementary education teaches that patriotism (in the United States) is about the ideals of democracy and not simply about proudly waving the flag. Why isn't there more widespread disagreement with this statement across all education groups?

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