The data on leftist erosion of American values
By Mark Alexander
There are no more graphic examples of cultural degradation than a crime scene where a sociopath has murdered children. Such was the case this week when a deranged woman killed three children and three adults in a premeditated hate crime against a Christian elementary school in Tennessee.
As I noted regarding the Nashville attack, while Joe Biden and the Demos' Leftmedia echo chamber ubiquitously refer to these assaults as "gun violence," the hard reality is that violence is a culture problem.
In fact, the vast majority of violence today is associated with the cultural devolution directly tied to generations of failed Democrat policies. And there is an inconvenient truth Demos definitely don't want you to know about crime stats — the correlation between race and violence.
But the Nashville assailant did not fit the profile of a gang-banging drug thug from some Demo-controlled poverty plantation.
So, what does the latest data tell us about the rise of this distressed generation?
In large measure, degraded culture is a reflection of degraded values, and there is emerging evidence confirming what most people with a modicum of common sense already know: As the importance we place on traditional American values has plummeted, so has American culture.
The latest reputable polling on values is a new Wall Street Journal-NORC survey finding that "patriotism, religious faith, having children and other priorities that helped define the national character for generations are receding in importance to Americans."
According to the WSJ-NORC results: "Some 38% of respondents said patriotism was very important to them, and 39% said religion was very important. That was down sharply from when the Journal first asked the question in 1998, when 70% deemed patriotism to be very important, and 62% said so of religion."
No surprise that the poll also found "the country sharply divided by political party over social trends." Only 23% of Democrats said patriotism was very important while 59% of Republicans agreed, and just 27% of Democrats said faith was very important while 53% of Republicans agreed.
That polling disparity is totally predictable because the Democrat Party playbook is based on hate and division, which is dutifully promoted by their Leftmedia parrots; thus, its adherents loathe all that is good and right about our nation. This is a case study of the Demo pollaganda effect.
Also of note, "Tolerance for others, deemed very important by 80% of Americans as recently as four years ago, has fallen to 58% since then." Yet another result of Demos fomenting "hate and division."
Bill McInturff, who has worked with previous Journal and NBC polls, observed, "These differences are so dramatic, it paints a new and surprising portrait of a changing America." And it's not a pretty picture. He added that "perhaps the toll of our political division, Covid and the lowest economic confidence in decades is having a startling effect on our core values." That implies the changes may be temporary.
However, in 2019, Wall Street Journal reporter Chad Day wrote similar observations about that year's values poll, which began measuring values in 1998: "The values that Americans say define the national character are changing, as younger generations rate patriotism, religion and having children as less important to them than did young people two decades ago."
So, what is the deeper problem?
It is not surprising that younger Americans place lower priority on values — many of us could say that about our younger years before reality caught up with us. But reality did not catch up with many inheritance welfare leftists, mostly suburban "white privilege" Democrats who are obsessively focused on vanity and virtue signaling.
You know, they are the "truly enlightened" who swapped their "Hate Has No Home Here" yard signs for Biden-Harris yard signs to ensure their neighbors knew they were not affiliated with any "deplorables."
Indeed, too many Baby Boomers, who were born between WWII and the mid 1960s, are themselves wimpy snowflakes who have raised a generation of even wimpier snowflakes, who are raising a generation of even ... well, you get the generational implications.
Social observer Auguste Meyrat notes: "If one wants to know why so many millennials seem to struggle with hitting the essential milestones of adulthood, one should simply look at their Boomer parents, who laid the groundwork for perpetual adolescence. It was the Boomers who decided to resist the conformist culture of their own childhoods by embracing hedonism (sex, drugs, and rock and roll), challenging social priorities and traditions, and rejecting moral and religious authorities."
Meyrat notes for too many Boomers: "Unlike previous generations that grew up on books and newspapers, most of the Boomers spent their formative years watching television, [which] short-circuited young viewers' critical thinking and left them with a shallow morality that oversimplified complex issues."
Of the dulling effect of screen time, Helen Andrews, author of the definitive book Boomers, notes, "No medium has done more to shape the boomer mentality, which may be why they have been so deaf to the well-founded worries that mass-produced media is optimized to rot the human brain."
But Meyrat concludes: "It would be a mistake to assume that all is lost for my generation. A few of us were raised by good parents (usually the ones who hated Boomer culture) and now enjoy the fruits of a good life. Others who weren't so fortunate can at least recognize the mistakes that were made, fix those things in themselves, and do their part as parents, teachers, or leaders to improve things for the younger generations."
It is worth noting that questions have been raised about the WSJ-NORC polling methodology.
Political analyst Patrick Ruffini asserts: "The dramatically different results we see from 2019 and 2023 are because the data was collected differently. The March 2023 survey was collected via NORC's Amerispeak, an extremely high-quality online panel. In the fine print below the chart, we can see that data from previous waves was collected via telephone survey. Surveying the exact same types of respondents online and over the phone will yield different results. And it matters most for exactly the kinds of values questions that the Journal asked in its survey."
National Review's John McCormack notes: "For a better survey on American attitudes about patriotism, see Gallup, which also finds a decline in patriotism, but not nearly as steep as what the WSJ poll found since 2019. ... Of the percentage of Americans who say patriotism is 'very important' to them, Gallup finds only a five-point drop from 2019 to 2022 — from 70 percent to 65 percent who say they are 'extremely' or 'very' patriotic.'"
According to Gallup, another highly reputable public opinion surveyor, on the issue of patriotism for example: "The 38% of U.S. adults who say they are 'extremely proud' to be American ... together with the 27% who are 'very proud,'" combines to 65%, and "another 22% say they are 'moderately proud.'"
So the degradation may not be as bad as WSJ-NORC suggests, but there's no question the slide in values continues — and there's no question why.
Finally, an interesting WSJ-NORC finding on the Left's gender dysphoria advocacy: "Half of people in the survey said they didn't like the practice of being asked to use gender-neutral pronouns, such as 'they' or 'them,' when addressing another person, compared with 18% who viewed it favorably." Again, there was the age divide: "Some 30% of respondents under age 35 viewed the practice favorably, compared with 9% of seniors."
And that takes me full circle to the politicization of the Nashville attack. We know that attack was premeditated and clearly a hate crime targeting Christians. However, because the assailant is among the Left's prized gender-confused constituency, I doubt that the Biden administration will allow the Department of Justice to classify this assault as a "hate crime."
Watch how the Left spins this to suggest the hater who committed the assault was actually the "victim," and the Christian victims were actually the "haters." One group has already blamed the assault on Christians, claiming the assailant "had no other effective way to be seen than to lash out by taking the life of others," and concluding, "Hate has consequences."
Mark Alexander is the executive editor of the Patriot Post.