Staff Ed: Gen Z is not proud to live in the U.S. That’s better news than you think

According to a recent poll conducted by Morning Consult, only 16% of American Gen Z adults (aged 18 to 25) are proud to live in the United States. Ranking lower than Baby Boomers at 73%, Gen Xers at 54% and Millennials at 36%, the survey places Gen Z as the U.S.’ least proud generation. But pride and patriotism are not one and the same.

To feel patriotic about one’s country is not to blindly agree with and be proud of each of its policies and believe it to be perfect, but to recognize both its strengths and weaknesses. Gen Z’s unprecedented willingness to call out America’s flaws solidifies them as one of the most patriotic generations ever.

From America’s deceitful war on terror abroad to its sharply divided domestic political landscape, the past 25 years of American history have featured far more pain than progress. And thanks to the internet, Gen Z has had a front row seat to every ugly detail.

As the first generation to grow up surrounded by cell phones and social media, information on any and every American controversy is simply a click away. Social media has offered today’s young adults a means of instantaneously communicating their thoughts, feelings and experiences to anyone, at any time. Although this has united millions, our connection has come at a price. According to a 2019 study conducted by the National Academy of Sciences, the average human is more physiologically activated by negative stories than by positive ones.

Thus, it should come as no surprise that the content reaching the highest levels of “virality” on social media tends to depict drama, violence and controversy.

Gen Z has used social media to gather support for the Black Lives Matter movement in the wake of the police killings of George Floyd and Tyre Nichols. Those graphic videos of American dysfunction point out the contradictions between the U.S.’ principles and actions – every flaw in the country’s pledge of “liberty and justice for all.”

From rampant school shootings, to the overturning of Roe v. Wade and the enactment of “Don’t Say Gay” laws in states across the country, Gen Z has borne the brunt of America’s recent failures. Likewise, they have been at the foreground of nearly every major protest and political movement over the past decade. Surrounded by an endless stream of negative news and information, defiance and protest is not a choice for America’s youth – it is a necessity.

Although the statistics may label Gen Z as the U.S.’ least patriotic generation, their distrust in American government is something to be commended. Gen Z is disillusioned by America’s unfulfilled promises. And that is a good thing.

In a country that prides itself on open debate and freedom of expression, Gen Z’s criticism of America is a positive sign for the nation’s future. Rather than remaining complacent through America’s many controversies, young adults across the U.S. are taking action. By educating themselves and increasing their involvement in the democratic system, Gen Zers are getting their voices heard on a national level.

According to the Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE), turnout for voters aged 18-29 was at its second-highest during the 2022 mid- term election since the 1990s.

History books often reference the U.S. founding fathers as some of the greatest patriots in American history – men who would live and die for their country’s prosperity. But before they were patriots, the U.S. founding fathers were revolutionaries.

Like the youth of today, they sought freedoms in life and were dissatisfied with their government. Most notably, however, they understood that to be patriotic is not to have blind faith and pride in one’s country, but to constantly seek out and identify the ways in which their nation could be improved.

Although Gen Z may not be proud to live in the U.S. today, Americans should find comfort in their desire for change.

Like our nation’s founding fathers, the next generation of American citizens have their eyes set on a brighter future.

Read on Issuu.

One thought on “Staff Ed: Gen Z is not proud to live in the U.S. That’s better news than you think

  1. Wow, amazing weblog layout! How long have you been running a
    blog for? you made blogging glance easy.

    The entire glance of your site is fantastic, let alone the content material!
    You can see similar here dobry sklep

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Previous post SDUSD’s Measure U is so ironic it’s painful
Next post A Look at ELD