Where are we as a nation?
It depends on who you ask and their political identification. For many conservatives, they might say they feel alienated.
A PRRI “American Values” survey finds 47% of Americans say they feel like a stranger living in their own country, while 51% say they’re fine with the way things are.
It’s when you break it down by political party that you find the divide. Many Republicans are lost in America.
“Because more of the culture has changed in a dramatic way, and it’s changed in a way they didn’t want,” says American Spectator publisher Melissa McKenzie.
Six in ten Republicans report a sense of estrangement, a longing for a simpler time. Half of the country says life was better in 1950 and half say it wasn’t, the line of demarcation along party lines; 64% of Republicans say things are worse, 60% of Democrats say things are better.
McKenzie cites as an example the 2008 California ballot measure permitting gay marriage. “Gay marriage in California was voted down, and the Supreme Court changed it. The will of nine people were imposed on a whole state,” she says. In 2018, a Gallup poll finds 67% of Americans now approve of gay marriage. In 1996, it was 27%.
The black-and-white days of Mayberry RFD have faded into the past with Make Room for Daddy and Leave it To Beaver. “Maybe people are pining for a time when life was simpler. Technology has complicated things and distanced us from one another,” McKenzie says.