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84 Percent of Voters: Being American Means Accepting Diversity

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Tuesday, 08 Aug 2017 09:25 AM Current | Bio | Archive

Research conducted for the Democracy Fund’s Voter Study Group found that 84 percent of voters believe that accepting people of diverse racial and religious backgrounds is important to being truly American.[1]

Three other items also were viewed as important by more than 80 percent of voters: respecting American political institutions and laws (89 percent), having American citizenship (88 percent), and speaking English (83 percent).

At the other end of the spectrum, only 18 percent think that being of European heritage or descent is important. Seventy-four percent (74 percent) disagree.

Just over half believe that being born in America (53 percent) or living here most of your life (54 percent) is important. Over 40 percent disagree on those points.

The survey did not ask about what professors Sid Milkis and Marc Landy call the "American Creed." They believe, "No other country has a set of key principles and statements to which its citizens adhere to the same degree that Americans adhere to the principles of 'life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.'"[2]

However, while the survey did not ask about it directly, the Democracy Fund's finding that American voters value diverse opinions over a European heritage is consistent with that creed. In my latest book, "Politics Has Failed: America Will Not," I describe that creed as a belief that we all have the right to do what we want with our own lives so long as we don’t interfere with the rights of others to do the same. That creed developed in the popular culture and formed the foundation for our political institutions.

Throughout our nation’s history, the popular culture has led the way, and political institutions have followed. In fact, after the War for Independence began, the Continental Congress waited 443 days to issue the Declaration of Independence. By then, the colonies had already achieved what has been called "de facto independence."[3]

Scott Rasmussen’s Number of the Day is published by Ballotpedia. Each weekday, Scott Rasmussen’s Number of the Day explores interesting and newsworthy topics at the intersection of culture, politics, and technology.

Scott Rasmussen is a Senior Fellow for the Study of Self-Governance at the King’s College in New York and an Editor-At-Large for Ballotpedia, the Encyclopedia of American Politics. His most recent book, "Politics Has Failed: America Will Not," was published by the Sutherland Institute in May.To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.

Footnotes:

  1. Democracy Fund Voter Study Group, "Reports from the Voter Study Group," accessed August 7, 2017
  2. Landy, M. & Milkis, S. (2014). "American Government: Enduring Principles, Critical Choices, 3rd Edition." New York, NY: Cambridge University Press. (page 55)
  3. Phillips, K. (2013). "1775: A Good Year for Revolution." New York, NY: Penguin Group. (pages 17-18)

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Recent research finds that 84 percent of voters believe that accepting people of diverse racial and religious backgrounds is important to being truly American.
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2017-25-08
Tuesday, 08 Aug 2017 09:25 AM
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