Friday, November 18, 2011

Poll on American Exceptionism: Americans are Split

Remarkable as it may seem, but even on the issue of "American Exceptionalism" Americans are SPLIT, according to a recent CBS poll.
Article Link:

It found: "Just under half, 49 percent, of Americans agree with the statement, "Our people are not perfect, but our culture is superior to others," according to a survey from the Pew Research Center. Forty-six percent of Americans say they disagree with the statement.

The percentage of Americans who think their nation's culture is superior has declined in the past decade, according to Pew -- in 2007, 55 percent called American culture superior, while about 60 percent did so in 2002."

There is an age split in the poll: "For instance, six in 10 Americans ages 50 or older say American culture is superior, while just 37 percent of Americans younger than 30 agree. Those who did not graduate from college are more likely than those who did graduate from college to call American culture superior by a difference of 9 percent."

But in a way, American attitudes are close to those of the Europeans: "the change in attitude about American exceptionalism does put the U.S. more in line with European beliefs -- 47 percent of Germans think their culture is superior, while 44 percent of Spaniards think their country is the best (fewer British or French citizens are inclined to call their respective countries the best).

Apparently the poll did not ask the Chinese or Indians --the two rapidly growing Asian superpowers -- about their cultural attitudes...

I am not really troubled by this. It's good to feel special about your own culture but not if it means that other cultures are viewed negatively. If you recall, during WWII Nazi superiority was carried to the extreme. None of us want to go down that road again...

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