U.S. pulls back from values once defining it: poll

By Xia Lin
  • World
  • Saturday, 01 Apr 2023

NEW YORK, March 31 (Xinhua) -- Patriotism, religious faith, having children and other priorities that helped define the national character for generations are receding in importance to Americans, The Wall Street Journal on Monday cited a poll it conducted jointly with NORC at the University of Chicago.

The survey also found that "the country sharply divided by political party over social trends such as the push for racial diversity in businesses and the use of gender-neutral pronouns," said the report.

Some 38 percent of respondents said patriotism was very important to them, and 39 percent said religion was very important. That was down sharply from when the Journal first asked the question in 1998, when 70 percent deemed patriotism to be very important, and 62 percent said so of religion.

The share of Americans who say that having children, involvement in their community and hard work are very important values has also fallen. Tolerance for others, deemed very important by 80 percent of Americans as recently as four years ago, has fallen to 58 percent since then.

Bill McInturff, a pollster who worked on a previous Journal survey that measured these attitudes along with NBC News, said that "these differences are so dramatic, it paints a new and surprising portrait of a changing America." He surmised that "perhaps the toll of our political division, COVID-19 and the lowest economic confidence in decades is having a startling effect on our core values."

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