Tag Archives: independence day

Poll: 52 percent ‘extremely proud’ to be Americans — new low

As the nation prepared to celebrate Independence Day, 52 percent of U.S. adults said they were “extremely proud” to be Americans, a new low in Gallup’s 16-year trend. Americans’ patriotism spiked after 9/11, peaking at 70 percent in 2003, but has declined since, including an eight-percentage-point drop in early 2005 and a five-point drop since 2013.

Trend: How proud are you to be an American -- extremely proud, very proud, moderately proud, only a little proud or not at all proud?

Americans’ declining patriotism is likely related to broader dissatisfaction with the way things are going in the U.S. In January 2004, when 69 percent were extremely proud to be an American, 55 percent of Americans were satisfied with the way things were going in the U.S. That was the last time satisfaction has been at the majority level, and the percentage satisfied has mostly held below 30 percent since 2007, including the 29 percent in Gallup’s most recent update.

Americans’ patriotism stayed relatively flat from 2006 through 2013, a period that spanned the Great Recession and Barack Obama’s election and first term as president. But over the last three years, Americans’ willingness to say they are extremely proud to be an American has declined further.

In addition to the 52 percent who said they are extremely proud in the June 14–23 poll, another 29 percent said they are very proud and 13 percent moderately proud, meaning the vast majority of U.S. adults express at least a considerable amount of pride in being Americans. Five percent said they are “only a little proud” and 1 percent “not at all proud.”

Young adults lead decline in patriotism

Since the 2003 peak, all major subgroups have shown significant declines in the percentage saying they are extremely proud to be Americans. The largest decline has come among young adults, from 60 percent to 34 percent. In 2003 as well as today, young adults rank among the subgroups least willing to say they are extremely proud to be Americans.

Changes in Percentage “Extremely Proud” to Be Americans, by Subgroup
200120032016Change, 2003 to 2016
%%%(pct. pts.)
18 to 29516034-26
30 to 49567451-23
50 to 64577364-9
College grads586347-16
College nongrads547354-19

Young adults today are also one of the few subgroups that are significantly less likely to be patriotic than in January 2001, before the 9/11 rally effect. At that time, 51 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds were extremely proud to be Americans. Because no one who is 18 to 29 today was in that same age group in 2001 or 2003, the trends in patriotism among young adults could be evidence that those in the millennial generation are less patriotic than young adults in generations that preceded them. And that generational change may help explain why there has been further decline in patriotism among all U.S. adults over the last three years.

Political liberals (36 percent) join young adults as the least patriotic major subgroup today. Independents, Democrats, nonwhites and college graduates also show below-average patriotism.

Republicans (68 percent), conservatives (61 percent) and those aged 50 to 64 (64 percent) are the major subgroups most likely to say they are extremely proud to be Americans. Republicans, 50- to 64-year-olds and nonwhites are the only groups that are at least somewhat more patriotic today than before 9/11. As a result of Republicans’ still-elevated percentage, the 23-point Republican-Democratic gap in patriotism is now roughly double what it was in January 2001.


The vast majority of U.S. adults indicate they are at least moderately proud to be Americans, but as they celebrate the Fourth of July this year, fewer say they are extremely proud than at any point in the last 16 years. Americans’ continued frustration with national conditions — likely tied to their concern about the economy and lack of faith in public institutions — is probably one reason patriotism is at a recent low point.

It is unclear to what extent, if any, the presidential campaign that now pits two controversial and widely unpopular nominees against each other could be a factor in Americans’ expressed pride. A year ago — long before the presidential field was set — there were signs that patriotism was declining further.

Millennials’ greater reluctance than young adults before them to say they are extremely proud to be an American may also be a factor in the new low and, if so, could signal further declines in patriotism in the years and decades ahead.

Historical data are available in Gallup Analytics.


Review: ‘Independence Day’ sequel is big, dumb summer fun

If you have any interest in a sequel to Independence Day, you’ll likely not be disappointed by the improbably enjoyable Independence Day: Resurgence. It’s silly, light-as-air popcorn entertainment.

It’s both a redux of the first film — and also not. The world has changed in the two decades since those hovering ships destroyed the White House and most major cities around the globe, and alien defense is now basically a subset of every military outfit — not just some shadowy undercover operation in an undisclosed base in the middle of the desert.

Misunderstood genius David Levinson (Jeff Goldblum) is now the first guy they call, not the one knocking at the door trying to persuade everyone to listen. His dad, Julius (Judd Hirsch), wrote a memoir about the whole saving-the-Earth thing. And the generation of kiddos from the first movie have seemingly devoted themselves to their government, including the president’s daughter, Patricia (Maika Monroe), and Dylan Hiller (Jessie T. Usher), son of Vivica A. Fox’s Jasmine Hiller and stepson of Will Smith’s Steven Hiller, who died years ago and is memorialized as a national hero.

The only one not doing so hot is President Whitmore (Bill Pullman), who basically has alien-induced PTSD and a bushy “I’ve-lost-my-mind” beard and cane. Oh, and, surprise! The long-haired Area 51 scientist Dr. Brakish Okun (Brent Spiner) didn’t die in ’96 (yeah right); he was in a coma and wakes up when the aliens return.

There’s a whole mess of new characters, including the U.S. president (Sela Ward, channeling Hillary Clinton); a French scientist (Charlotte Gainsbourg); an African general (Deobia Oparei); and a hunky fighter pilot (Liam Hemsworth), who’s engaged to Patricia.

The plot is a big jumble of story lines, nonsense science talk and lots of “in ’96” references. Speaking of ’96, there’s nothing even remotely as thrilling or memorable as the first here — no mom, son and pup running through an L.A. tunnel, no Will Smith complaining about missing a barbeque while dragging a comatose alien through the desert, and no set pieces likely to influence future action movies.

Twentieth Century Fox didn’t screen this film for critics in advance — usually the sign of a clunker of a movie. Instead, this is the mindless spectacle we’ve been waiting for. This ain’t much, but it knows what it is, and it’s refreshing to have a “franchise” that isn’t bogged down with source material, fan expectations and allegiance to untold numbers of future films.

So grab some popcorn, turn your brain off, and hoot and holler along with the crowd.


Independence Day: Resurgence, a Twentieth Century Fox release, is rated PG-13 by the Motion Picture Association of America for “sequences of sci-fi action and destruction, and for some language.” Running time: 120 minutes. Two stars out of four.


Underdogs strive to survive an unoriginal summer film season

Hollywood’s summer film slate, which kicks off with the fittingly combative Captain America: Civil War, will be a season of struggle: for box office dollars, for originality and for opportunity.

More than ever, the big tent of summer moviegoing is held up by a forest of tentpoles stretching from May to August. The swelling size of the summer movie has turned the season into a game of survival. Testosterone often dominates in front of and (especially) behind the camera, and few non-sequel, non-reboot films dare to compete.

images - wigout - 051916 - JasonBourneBox office and stress levels run high in equal measure.

“It’s a different landscape than 2002 when the first Bourne movie came out,” says Matt Damon, who returns to the franchise in Paul Greengrass’ Jason Bourne (July 29). “It’s like a high-stakes poker game that I don’t want to be in. The swings are just so brutal. Ben (Affleck) just opened Batman v Superman a few weeks ago. Everyone around him and in his life was nervous about it. You feel less a sense of exultation when they do well and more a sense of relief because the bets are so big now.”

This season is particularly risk-adverse. Out of the 33 films coming from the major studios, only 12 aren’t a sequel, reboot or based on an already popular property, such as a video game or best-seller. Take comedy and horror out of the equation and you’re left with just a handful of originals. One of them is Jodie Foster’s Money Monster (May 13), a thriller about a brash financial news pundit taken hostage on the air, starring George Clooney and Julia Roberts.

images - wigout - 051916 - MoneyMonsterFoster’s film is doubly rare. She’s one of only two female filmmakers helming major studio releases this summer. Though equality remains a year-round issue for the movie business, the constricted summer months can reveal Hollywood at its most retrograde.

“It’s interesting to me that the studio system still sees women as a risk,” says Foster, who wonders if women ultimately even want to inherit some of the kinds of films that dominate the summer. “There are movies that are part of the system we may not be that interested in embracing. I think that more women in the film business will look slightly different than it’s looked in the past for men.”

Paul Feig’s Ghostbusters reboot (July 15) was met by a backlash from some corners of the Internet that took offense to a new, female-led version starring four of the funniest comedic performers around: Melissa McCarthy, Kristin Wiig, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones. With that lineup, Feig relishes heading into “the big guns of summer.”

images - wigout - 051916 - Ghostbusters“To put out a movie like this in the heart of tentpole season when it’s all these big movies out there, I find it very exciting because a lot of these movies are very male-driven, even though they have some great female characters in them,” Feig says. “But to have this be about four incredibly funny people who just happen to be women, I think that’s really exciting.”

This summer includes a number of anticipated sequels (Finding Dory, Star Trek Beyond, Alice Through the Looking Glass), the expected superhero films (Civil War, Suicide Squad, X-Men: Apocalypse) and some less likely resurrections (The Legend of Tarzan, Ben-Hur, Independence Day: Resurgence).

Recent history is clear: These will be among the summer’s biggest hits. Last summer (the second biggest ever with nearly $4.5 billion in box office), seven of the top 10 movies were remakes, sequels or came from a comic book. Ditto for four of the top five movies so far in 2016.

images - wigout - 051916 - PopstarAndy Samberg and his Lonely Island trio will be among the few to brave the sequel-strewn seas with something fresh: their celebrity flame-out parody Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping (June 3). Does he take any pride in being one of the few to push an original movie into summer?

“Um, yeah, we’ll find out,” says Samberg, laughing. “It’s heavy duty. We were looking at the schedule and we were like: ‘Holy crap. There’s stuff that’s coming out the week before and the week during us and the week after us, and they’re all really big movies.’ (Producer Judd Apatow) and the studio felt really strongly about summer and that we had something we could put there.”

One of the fathers of the summer movie season, Steven Spielberg, will also be in the mix with The BFG (July 1), his Roald Dahl adaptation that re-teams the director with Mark Rylance. The recent Oscar-winner plays the titular giant in a motion capture performance.

images - wigout - 051916 - BFG“The exciting thing about The BFG is the combination of Roald Dahl, who’s just a superb storyteller, with Steven and (late screenwriter) Melissa Mathison,” says Rylance. “It took five years to get made because of course initially many studios said: ‘Giants eating kids? I don’t think so!’ That edge of Roald Dahl, that frightening edge, I hope is still in there. There’s a kind of marvelous, frightening aspect to the fantasy as there is in the Tolkien books or the Grimm fairy tales that children can handle.”

Family audiences will be especially sought after by the likes of The Secret Life of Pets, Ice Age: Collision Course and the remake of Pete’s Dragon. One much smaller film, Life, Animated (July 8), will hope to sway moviegoers from the blockbusters while simultaneously reminding them of the power of movies.

The documentary, directed by Roger Ross Williams, is about an autistic young man, Owen Suskind, who found language through his love of Disney animated classics.

“It’s rare that you create a film like this that generations can enjoy together,” says Williams. “In the summer this is an alternative where families can go together and see it and hopefully be inspired and uplifted.”

To be uplifted rather than pummeled at summer movie theaters would indeed be an almost radical change of pace.

Ho, ho, ho: Hallmark TV celebrates Christmas in July

The Hallmark TV channels are beginning a week’s worth of holiday programming on the Fourth of July – but think ornaments and egg nog instead of fireworks and hot dogs.

The stunt on the Hallmark and Hallmark Movie channels begins Friday afternoon and continues into the early morning hours of July 15. Mostly, it will be repeats of the holiday movies that Hallmark traditionally airs during the last two months of the year.

“This is a little bit of escapism,” said Bill Abbott, president and CEO of the Crown Media Family Networks, “and that’s what television is for.”

Hallmark’s “Christmas in July” began two years ago as a single weekend intended as corporate synergy. The programming aired to draw attention to the annual debut of new holiday ornaments by Hallmark Cards, yet unexpectedly struck a chord with viewers. The weekend averaged 747,000 viewers, or 55 percent above more season-appropriate fare that aired the same weekend the year before, the Nielsen company said.

Viewership ticked up slightly in 2013 when Hallmark expanded its offerings, and this year the network went all-in. In addition to the movies, Hallmark’s daytime show “Home & Family” will offer holiday tips oriented to the time of year, like saving up for shopping or storage of decorations.

“You’re always concerned with how viewers will react to this kind of stunt,” Abbott said. “The passion that they reacted with was a surprise, on social media particularly. We would receive a lot of feedback. People would buy ornaments and go home and watch a holiday movie.”

Besides the rerun movies, Hallmark will air for the first time “Angels Sing,” a former theatrical release starring Harry Connick Jr. and Connie Britton.

“Often you can enjoy these movies more when it’s not the holidays because the holidays are such a time of stress and hustle and bustle for people,” he said. “Sometimes anticipating the season is better than actually being in the season.”

Movies that play best in the summer tend to be family stories where the holidays are more of a backdrop, Abbott said. The Debbie Macomber series will be emphasized, for example. A holiday music special wouldn’t particularly work.

Hallmark has toyed with the idea of a holiday-oriented network full-time, although it would feature other seasons besides Christmas.

That would involve risk, though. November and December are big business months for Hallmark, and the company would not want to cut into those ratings.

“We have to be very careful of overexposure,” Abbott said.

WiGWAG note: You won’t find “Bad Santa” in the lineup.

On the Web …



Packing a picnic for the 4th? $6 per person

How much does it cost to pack a picnic this Fourth of July? That’ll be $6 per person.

That’s according to the American Farm Bureau Federation, which launched an informal price survey this year looking at the cost of hot dogs, cheeseburgers and other Independence Day fare.

A typical summertime picnic averages $57.20 for 10 people, or $5.72 per person, according to the group, which puts out a similar estimate for Thanksgiving.

“Five dollars a person for a special event cookout is affordable for most people,” said John Anderson, chief deputy economist with the American Farm Bureau Federation. “We certainly know that there are people who struggle with affording food and other necessities, but in general, we’re blessed with very affordable food in this country.”

Sixty volunteer shoppers in 22 states checked retail prices for summer picnic foods for the American Farm Bureau Federation’s survey.

The group puts together a similar annual informal price survey about Thanksgiving dinner fare. Last year, the group said a turkey dinner with all the trimmings would cost about $49.48 for 10, or just under $5 per person.

However, since this year marks the group’s first Fourth of July price survey, Anderson said the group doesn’t have concrete numbers to compare with the 2013 figures.

“We expect the general level of prices to go up around 2 percent a year,” Anderson said. “That’s kind of normal price inflation, and … I certainly think that we’re in the ballpark of those normal price changes over the past year.”

Aside from burgers and hot dogs, the farm group’s picnic menu includes pork spare ribs, potato salad, lemonade, baked beans, watermelon, corn chips, chocolate milk, ketchup and mustard.

That list doesn’t include beer, which some Americans are shelling out a bit more for this year.

“More people are trading up to premium, more expensive beer,” said John Davie, president and CEO of Boston-based Consolidated Concepts, which works with thousands of food and restaurant outlets to help them save money on food and other supplies.

Davie also said the price of chicken breast has increased since this time last year.

Debra Graham agrees with that.

“It’s almost as cheap to buy steaks as to do chicken or burgers,” she said outside a Little Rock grocery store where she bought catfish for a Fourth of July fish fry.

But Graham, 52, said other prices seemed about as high as they usually are.

“If you want it, you’ve got to pay for it,” she said.