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American pride is now apparently a partisan issue

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To the lengthy list of issues that divide Republicans from Democrats, add this seemingly nonpartisan question: How proud are you to be an American?

According to an annual Gallup survey, released two days before Independence Day, only 45 percent of U.S. adults consider themselves “extremely” proud to be American, the lowest level recorded since 2001. (Twenty-five percent are “very” proud; 18 percent “moderately”; 12 percent “a little or “not at all.”)

Yet the overall figures obscure a deep divergence in feeling between members of the two parties. Democrats account for most of the recent decline: Since 2016, the share of that party professing “extreme” pride has fallen from 44 to 22 percent, while the Republican figure has grown from 68 to 76 percent.

The Trump presidency is the key variable: It reinforced the national pride of older, whiter people, who tend to vote Republican, while inducing the opposite reaction in the younger, more diverse Democratic base. And with Trump again on the ballot, the 2020 election may hinge not on foreign policy, the economy or health care, but on pride — who gets to feel it, and why.

President Trump staked his claim in a Fourth of July speech that was bombastic, kitschy — and calculated to appeal to the extremely proud 45 percent of Americans. (That statistic, probably not coincidentally, corresponds to the 44­ percent of adults who approve........

© Washington Post