“A recent poll conducted by the Winston Group confirmed this (full disclosure: the president of the Winston Group is David Winston, husband of Chriss). The poll found that, while 97 percent of Americans say they are patriotic, 70 percent believe that children today are growing up less patriotic.
“No surprises there. It only makes sense that the majority of Americans would be proud of our country’s history and grateful to benefit from it. But before the book was published, I hadn’t realized just how much louder are those who are unpatriotic or whose patriotism consists primarily in protesting. The patriotic ‘silent majority’- perhaps you’ve noticed – is quite silent these days.
“Even while writing the book, we were a little surprised to find that patriotism is now being treated like the crazy aunt who’s kept in the attic. Patriotism has become something that nobody really wants to talk about, even among those whose job is to encourage citizenship. For example, a while back Chriss attended a meeting at the National Conference on Citizenship. It was held in the ballroom of the Ronald Reagan Building – a building that honors one of our most unabashedly patriotic presidents. But during the daylong discussion of citizenship, not one of the speakers or panel members ever uttered the word ‘patriotism.’ When Chriss asked about this, she was told, ‘Patriotism isn’t a good word to use these days because it has been co-opted by the Right.’
“Sad, isn’t it? It’s not safe to express a love for our country even at a conference on citizenship.”