While Americans are still more "American" than Europeans when it comes to issues involving religion, military force, and individualism, according to a new Pew poll, we've lost our sense of exceptionalism about our own culture. In 2002, 60% of American agreed with the statement, "our people are not perfect, but our culture is superior." Today, less than half of those surveyed agreed, 49%.
This is sadder news, though, for the rest of the world than it is for us.
The exporting of our Judeo-Christian beliefs and values has done more good for more people than the spread of any other culture in the history of the world. There's no question the result has been the freeing of untold millions from those lesser cultures that don't believe as we do in human rights, individual liberty, economic freedom and opportunity, a colorblind society, the rule of law, and our God-given right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
And one of the great things about America is that we make room for other cultures. The spreading of our own is never at the expense of another. Anyone can become an American and do so without losing their identity. This country is a miracle -- and is so thanks to the values that make up our unique American culture.
But decades upon decades of cultural brainwashing through America's left-wing media, education, and pop culture institutions have apparently succeeded in making more than half the country believe that what it means to be an American is no better than what it means to be from anywhere else. And when our own president doesn't believe in American exceptionalism, and therefore doesn't teach and preach about the greatness of who we are, what we've done, and where we came from -- you can further understand why we're losing this battle.
Unless you read and study for yourself, the left's stranglehold on the culture would have Americans believe we're among the greediest, most racist and homophobic countries in the world today -- when the complete opposite is the truth. You'd also believe that the sins of our past and founding (slavery, segregation, the subjugation of the American Indian) were unique to the American experience and not something shared by almost every other culture in existence, including Africans and, yes, the American Indian.
Before dropping out of college, I took an American history class in which the professor dwelled more on the WWII firebombing of Dresden than all the incredible sacrifices this country made to free the world during that war, up to and including the moral miracle that was the Marshall Plan. The goal, obviously, was to put America in her place as little better than the Nazis.
And we see this in movies, television shows, novels, and almost daily in the media. It's everywhere now, as pervasive as an unchecked cancer.
But again, I don't so much weep for us as much as I do the rest of the world. If Americans don't understand that our culture is what's best for everyone, we won't attempt to spread that culture. And the result can only be a darker world for those who most desperately need and rely on us to lead the way.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC