During the Fourth of July, many in this generation show their patriotic spirit while posting on their favorite social media site. Young adults would post sayings like “back-to-back World War champs” or the typical “#Merica.” These trends through social media would suggest an increasing amount of patriotism in the younger generation, but is that entirely so? Patriotism and pride for America are steadily decreasing in the younger generation, and this attitude could eventually be the biggest challenge our generation will face. This generation’s attitude toward the government, the economy and the overall well-being of the country are declining, and this lack of nationalism could become a problem for our generation in the future.
People in this generation have grown up through many tough times. These people have seen a recession, the destruction of 9/11 and an overall decrease of world opinion on America as a country. Americans are finding it harder to be proud to be an American and become patriotic. The distaste for the government lies at the heart of our government. Some would use the word "corrupt," but most would say our government could use a reform. The younger generation has this view of the government. These people dealt with the consequences of actions a generation before committed. Neither the recession nor 9/11 was a direct result of the millennial generation's actions, hence why this generation is more distrustful of the American government than past generations. Voter turnout is usually low in the young adult age group, but lately this statistic has fallen even lower still. Fewer people are caring about their input in the government because they feel their opinions do not matter. The hatred toward the government could be a challenge to this generation because they will soon be running it, and if citizens cannot unify in the government, this country will not become better.
Trends show younger adults leaving the United States to study abroad or find work in other countries, and some young people don't believe America is the best place to live. Americans believe that the uneven wealth distribution, poor economy and high unemployment rates are enough to cause people to emigrate out of the United States.
Citizens are losing pride for this country, especially the millennial generation. With the loss of pride, the generation loses the faith they have in the country. They feel that this country has abandoned them and has failed as a government to help individuals prosper. The increasing economic gaps between the rich and the poor and increasing unemployment rates cause people to lose hope in this America. This feeling is a major challenge that we have to overcome. This generation has grown up seeing how not to run the country, and has only learned about the great achievements of America through a textbook. When this generation comes to power, I believe people will not know what to do, nor know how to fix or change our current government's state. This lack of knowledge coupled with the lack of patriotism could lead America into a further and faster down spiral.
The Pledge of Allegiance has been degraded since the beginning of this decade. Arguments that children's religious freedoms are violated by the saying of the Pledge of Allegiance is the main deterrent as to why this saying is rarely repeated anymore. This saying should be one of unification, no matter if the phrase "under God" is present. Citizens of the United States should be proud to pledge their allegiance to this country but through the younger generations many are not and find this saying to be a nuisance. The idea of unification and “united we stand” no longer holds importance to some of this generation.
I believe that the declining patriotism and lack of unity in the country, and specifically, in our generation, could potentially be a significant downfall to America. In order to grow as a nation, this generation needs to unify under the identity of Americans, though we're all different. We need to put aside common differences to make this nation better. Young adults need to look past political preference and economic status to see and do what could be best for this country and think about how to make this a country we can be proud of. We must strive to be part of a country with a solid government working for the betterment of the people so that we can become patriotic again. In doing this, when we Tweet and Instagram a picture and say #merica, we truly feel prideful.