August 26, 2019
Our (2019) Values.
America isn’t a nation of people or land, it is a nation of values.
You need to get constant updates on what these values are, or the whole thing just falls apart.
The values that Americans say define the national character are changing, as younger generations rate patriotism, religion and having children as less important to them than did young people two decades ago, a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News survey finds.
When the Journal/NBC News survey asked Americans 21 years ago to say which values were most important to them, strong majorities picked the principles of hard work, patriotism, commitment to religion and the goal of having children.
Today, hard work remains atop the list, but the shares of Americans listing the other three values have fallen substantially, driven by changing priorities of people under age 50.
Some 61% in the new survey cited patriotism as very important to them, down 9 percentage points from 1998, while 50% cited religion, down 12 points. Some 43% placed a high value on having children, down 16 points from 1998.
Views varied sharply by age. Among people 55 and older, for example, nearly 80% said patriotism was very important, compared with 42% of those ages 18-38—the millennial generation and older members of Gen-Z. Two-thirds of the older group cited religion as very important, compared with fewer than one-third of the younger group.
“There’s an emerging America where issues like children, religion and patriotism are far less important. And in America, it’s the emerging generation that calls the shots about where the country is headed,” said Republican pollster Bill McInturff, who conducted the survey with Democratic pollster Jeff Horwitt.
At the same time, the survey found a few points of unity. A majority of Americans are very or somewhat satisfied with the economy, but two-thirds say they aren’t confident the next generation will be better off than the current one. Large majorities also rated tolerance for others as a very important personal value.
Asked about the country becoming more diverse and tolerant of different lifestyles and cultures, 63% of people who said they would vote in a Democratic primary said that such moves have been a step forward.
By contrast, 16% of Republican primary voters said these changes had been a step forward for the country. Instead, nearly six in 10 GOP primary voters said they saw a mixed bag of strides forward and steps back.
Democrats are currently the “Take America From Americans” party.
The survey also found partisan divides on views of race relations. When surveyed six years ago, about half of Republicans and a slightly larger share of Democrats said relations among the races were on a good footing. Today, half of Republicans say race relations are good, while only 21% of Democrats say so.
Overall, the latest poll found 60% of adults saying race relations are in a bad state, a smaller share than in mid-2016, before Mr. Trump took office, when 74% said relations were poor. At the time, two incidents of police shootings of African-American men had been in the news.
In the new survey, only 19 percent of African-Americans said race relations were fairly or very good, the lowest level in Journal/NBC News polling over more than two decades.
If you want to claim white people have to pay “reparations” for slavery, you can’t say that race relations are good.