Despite all of the concern that I have for our country under the presidency of Donald Trump, I can tell you as we head into the Fourth of July holiday this week that I remain unabashedly proud to be an American. But am I proud of America right now? That's another question.
I am not one of those who, according to a new Gallup Poll, can no longer say they are "extremely proud" to be an American, although there are many things that our country is doing under Trump of which I am not the least bit proud.
But no matter what he does, he cannot take away my pride in the principles of equality and fairness that I believe are core values of our nation. One day, he will no longer be president of the United States and then we will return to being the greatest country on earth.
According to Gallup, the number of Democrats saying they are "extremely proud" to be an American has dropped from 45% in 2016 to 32% today. Republicans moved up six points in the past two years, and independents inched down by three points. Gallup has been tracking patriotism since 2001 when 87% said they were proud to be an American.
That is a remarkable decline, however -- from 87% in 2001 to those levels of today. Of course, it was 2001 when America was attacked on September 11, an act that spurred deep and intense feelings of patriotism in nearly all Americans.
Now, it is just harder when we realize that our country is responsible for caging immigrant children and treating those seeking asylum like common criminals.
It is just harder when we see our country pulling out of international environmental accords and eliminating environmental regulations designed to protect our air and water from contamination.
It is just harder when we see greed and politics take away badly needed health care for people in order to fund tax cuts that disproportionately benefit the wealthy or to spite the president whose name is now attached to that health care coverage.
And it's harder when we see our government take away food benefits for needy children and refuse to provide Medicaid health care coverage for the less fortunate among us.
I could go on and on, but the litany of unconscionable acts by the Trump administration is well known. But despite all of that and the fact that so many of our political leaders in Washington have proven to be spineless sycophants to Trump, I remain proud to be an American.
It's just that it's harder right now to be proud of America.