- - Thursday, July 8, 2021

Who is proud to be an American? I am. 

The good news is that an overwhelming majority of adults (68%) are very or extremely proud to be an American. The bad news is the only group that is not proud are young people. Only 36% of those aged 18 to 24 said that they were extremely or very proud. 

TechnoMetrica Market Intelligence conducted the latest Issues & Impact/Tipp Insights poll from June 30 through July 2. The responses are similar results to polls conducted for Young America’s Foundation over the past year.  

Overall, 44% of the adults surveyed said they were extremely proud to be an American, 23% were very proud, 15% were moderately proud, and 8% were slightly proud. Just 6% said they were not proud at all. 

Despite all of the media coverage about racial issues in our country, only 7% of the black respondents and 9% who are Hispanic said they are not proud to be American. In fact, the majority said they were either extremely or very proud to be an American. 

As mentioned, young adults ages 18 to 24 were the group least likely to say they are proud to be American. Of the remaining groups surveyed, 59% of Americans ages 25 to 44 said they were proud, along with 75% of adults ages 45 to 64 and 86% of adults over 65. That means we have more work to do with young people. 

President Ronald Reagan warned about this years ago when he said, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”

The first battle is fighting for free speech. In most schools and on my campuses, cancel culture is really as conservative voices are blocked. Liberal bias is not enough. Radicals want total control of the message. 

Things like critical race theory (or, as I call it, state-sanctioned racism), the 1619 Project, and other Marxist curricula teach students to hate America. 

Instead, we should be teaching our students about the privilege of living in the United States. An objective education means learning about the good and the bad. The promise of America was spelled out in the Declaration of Independence. We have been working to fulfill that promise over the many years since 1776. 

Americans have access to freedoms and opportunities only dreamed about in socialist or communist regimes around the world. As many as 9 out of 10 Venezuelans live in poverty in a nation once one of the wealthiest countries in the Western Hemisphere. Before this year, the minimum wage in Cuba was the equivalent of $17 per month. 

In contrast, the median annual income, the typical measure of the middle class, in America is one of the highest in the world.  The United States is also the most charitable country as ranked on the World Giving Index. Of the Americans surveyed, 72% reported helping a stranger, 61% reported donating to a charity, and 42% reported having volunteered their time to an organization. 

Americans never embraced Marxism because we are not a class-based society. Many of our leaders, including presidents from either side of the aisle like Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama, came from humble backgrounds. They understood the promise of America. 

The brave patriots who were willing to risk everything to take on the oppressive British government spelled out that promise on July 4, 1776. More than facts, they expressed truths that should be obvious to everyone. They declared that all people were created equal and that God — not the government — gave us these rights, rights that cannot be taken away. They declared that there are many, but the most important are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. They further declared that the primary role of government is to secure these rights and that the government only has power given to it by the people.

After celebrating another 4th of July, our goals should be to teach our children and our grandchildren about the history of this remarkable nation and seek to live up to the lofty promise of our Declaration of Independence. That is why I am at Young America’s Foundation. We are making a difference, but we need to reach more young people and start sooner — before the indoctrination is complete. 

I am proud to be an American. Freedom and opportunity for everyone. 

• Scott Walker was the 45th governor of Wisconsin. You can contact him at swalker@washingtontimes.com or follow him @ScottWalker.

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