Monday, July 4, 2011

Harvard Says Republicans Own 4th of July, But It's Hard To Celebrate Given the State of the USA

A recent study from Harvard University suggests what we generally always felt; on the whole, Republicans are more patriotic than Democrats (or at least they seem to feel that way), and celebrating the 4th of July appears to benefit the GOP more so than the Dems, in terms of political mileage. So, think about that as you are on your way out to march in the remaining parades this weekend.

"The political right has been more successful in appropriating American patriotism and its symbols during the 20th century. Survey evidence also confirms that Republicans consider themselves more patriotic than Democrats. According to this interpretation, there is a political congruence between the patriotism promoted on Fourth of July and the values associated with the Republican party. Fourth of July celebrations in Republican dominated counties may thus be more politically biased events that socialize children into Republicans," write Harvard Kennedy School Assistant Professor David Yanagizawa-Drott and Bocconi University Assistant Professor Andreas Madestam.

It's also sobering to reflect on the state of the country on this day celebrating our national independence from mother England. So, to find out what the national mood is, we of course turn to a British publication (the Telegraph), to see what their view from the outside is. And it's not good for us:

The intoxicating atmosphere of the 2008 election and Obama’s inauguration has given way to a hangover. Americans were promised that the $787 billion Obama stimulus package would cut unemployment by funding so-called “shovel-ready projects”. Instead, unemployment is at 9.1 per cent compared to the 7.8 per cent Obama inherited, while the national deficit has tripled from less than $500 billion to a staggering $1.5 trillion.

To add insult to injury, at a recent gathering of his Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, during a discussion about the length of time it took to get projects funded, a smiling Obama interjected: “Shovel-ready was not as shovel-ready as we expected.” Members of the council sitting around him tittered but most Americans were not amused. [snip]

The 1980 election was won by Ronald Reagan with his “Morning in America” message. Today, a 10ft bronze statue of Reagan will be unveiled outside the US Embassy in London’s Grosvenor Square, which, in another sign of the times, is due to move to Battersea next year because of concerns about its vulnerability to terrorists. Thus far, there is no sign of a new Reagan emerging.

More worryingly, the optimism he embraced and came to personify is all but absent in America this Fourth of July.

Where is the Gipper when you need him?


Anonymous said...

Republicans more patriotic than democrats? What are you, stupid? I know a decorated member of the Marine Air Corp, veteran of Guadalcanal and the Bismarcks and the Philipines, that would slap you down just for saying it. TA you are are hack. Semper fi!

Team America said...

Go argue with Harvard, not me.

Anonymous said...

If you mean not treating the Founders as plaster saints and not treating American History as some sort of religious cult, perhaps so. Is it not wiser to see the past as it was? As flesh and blood, "warts and all"? Edmund Burke, the great conservative, said; "To make us love our country, our country ought to be lovely." And that is the challenge of those who care deeply about this country. Not being able to deal with change and trying to impose a kind of Vietnam logic in which we have to destroy America in order to save it or come out pretending that the Founders all acted and thought in sort of lockstep manner is not the way to build a greater country.