Headline RoundupMarch 30th, 2023

American Values, National Identity Questioned Following WSJ-NORC Survey

AllSides Summary

A Wall Street Journal-NORC poll surveying Americans’ values found a sharp decline in the importance of patriotism and religion and an increase in the importance of money, leading to speculation on what the data reveals about American national identity.

Decline in American Exceptionalism: A writer for the New York Post linked the poll’s findings to Soviet Russia, determining that “by ripping America’s focus away from God and into materialistic class warfare, Lenin’s American pals are winning.” The piece claimed the American education system is partially to blame, stating schools are “teaching kids to despise their birthrights” through critical race theory.

An Unsurprising Shift: A writer for the New York Times Opinion determined the results were “startling” but pushed back on narratives of moral decay in America, writing, “berating people for thinking wrong is itself wrong thinking, not to mention unproductive.” The writer determined Americans’ increased value of money made sense given rising costs of living, and linked decline in religion to a widespread decline in religion across developed nations, stating, “Americans are just going with the flow.”

Doubted The Results: An opinion piece in The Hill (Center Bias) questioned conclusions drawn from the poll, determining the drop in patriotism was a result of changing polling methodology allowing respondents to answer questions more honestly, stating, “perhaps the anonymity of online communication has shown us we aren’t exactly who we thought we were and that there is more diversity of thought in America than stereotypes would suggest.”

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