Americans across the political spectrum are worried that the United States is losing a fundamental national identity, a new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research revealed Sunday. Seven in 10 Americans say America is losing track of "the beliefs and values the country represents," and that concern holds true across party lines.
Of course, the nature of that national identity is much more controversial. Republicans are likely to cite "culture grounded in Christian beliefs and the traditions of early European immigrants," the AP reports, while Democrats "point to the country's history of mixing of people from around the globe." A majority of self-identified members of both major parties valued the American "tradition of offering refuge to the persecuted."
"There's so much turmoil in the American political situation right now," said Lynele Jones, a poll participant. "People's ideas of what is America's place in the world are so different from one end of the spectrum to the other."
University of Kansas political scientist Patrick Miller suggested questions about national identity are to be expected in the current political climate. "Our sense of identity is almost inseparable from the subject of immigration because it's how we were built," he said. "Given what we are and how we've come about, it's a very natural debate."