Years after 9/11, fervor stays high across racial, religious, political lines
By Michael E. Ross
Updated: 8:54 a.m. ET July 4, 2005
Whether or not “patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel,” as the British writer Samuel Johnson observed more than 200 years ago, it may be the first refuge of a broad cross-section of modern-day Americans, regardless of their ethnicity, religion or political affiliation.
On this all-American holiday, the nationalistic impulse among Americans remains strong almost four years after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States, according to a recent poll.
The poll, conducted by the Roper Reports unit of NOP World, is based on personal and telephone interviews over several years. It found that 81 percent of Americans believed patriotism is “in,” meaning it is an important factor in their individual identities, compared with 14 percent of Americans who believed patriotism is “out.”
The Roper/NOP poll found the gap was the widest since 1991, after the first Persian Gulf War, and far wider than during the mid- to late 1990s.
“That [patriotism] appears so long after the period of frenzied flag-waving following 9/11 suggests that it is settling in as a fixture of American perceptions,” according to Roper Reports.