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Americans Cherish the 'One' in Our 'Many'

Posted By Ken McIntyre On June 27, 2008 @ 12:22 pm In First Principles | Comments Disabled

Widespread ignorance of U.S. history is only the most visible symptom of a troubling decline in popular knowledge of the nation’s core principles.

Some hopeful news, as well as sobering facts, arrived earlier this month in “E Pluribus Unum [1],” a report issued by the Bradley Project on America’s National Identity [2]. The purpose of the project, brainchild of the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, is to begin “a national conversation … to affirm the belief that what unites us is far greater than what divides us.” The report warns:

Many Americans are more aware of what divides us than of what unites us. We are in danger of becoming not ‘from many, one’ — E Pluribus Unum — but its opposite, ‘from one, many.’

Among results of a HarrisInteractive survey of more than 2,400 American citizens conducted for the study:

  • 96% of Americans agree it’s important “for the future of the American political system that all citizens be able to speak and read English.”
  • 89% say colleges and universities should be required to teach U.S. history and government.
  • 89% say America is “somewhat divided” or “very divided” along ethnic and cultural lines, including 74 percent of Hispanics, 80 percent of whites and 86 percent of blacks.
  • 84% agree we “share a unique national identity” — but 63% of those citizens say it grows weaker by the year. The younger those surveyed, the less likely they were to be proud of their country or believe a national identity exists.

Heritage has compiled some of this information for our latest À La Chart [3], coming a week before America celebrates the Fourth of July.

Americans Cherish the ‘One’ in Our ‘Many’ [3]

Article printed from The Foundry: Conservative Policy News from The Heritage Foundation: http://blog.heritage.org

URL to article: http://blog.heritage.org/2008/06/27/americans-cherish-the-one-in-our-many/

URLs in this post:

[1] E Pluribus Unum: http://www.bradleyproject.org/bradleyprojectreport.html

[2] Bradley Project on America’s National Identity: http://www.bradleyproject.org/index.html

[3] À La Chart: http://author.heritage.org/Press/ALAChart/alachart-detail.cfm?customel_datapageid_244663=251516

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