In many ways, America has never been more divided. There are those who are thrilled to have President Donald Trump in the White House, and there are those who are horrified by it. There aren’t many in the middle. But for the most part, Americans are proud of their country and all the unique things it offers.
This what Yahoo Finance found after surveying 2,643 of its readers last week. We asked readers about their favorite things about America, specifically asking them to name things they found funny, interesting or strange.
Respondents answered four questions about how they felt about the country. They were also asked open-ended questions about what made them proud, and what they found funny, strange or quirky about America.
America is split
Americans surveyed were polarized about how happy they were about the direction the country is going. Nearly 700 people answered “zero,” while over 600 answered “10.”
Proud to be American
We found that half the population surveyed was definitely proud to be American — with a significant number saying they weren’t.
Democracy, freedom, and opportunity
The third question, where respondents were asked about their favorite things about America, invoked a lot of comments about the values that make the country great. Many said they were proud of America being a democracy, the opportunities it gives to people, and the rights the Constitution enshrines. Within the category of freedom, freedom of religion and speech came up frequently.
For the last question on what respondents found interesting, funny, or strange about America, comments ranged from the electoral college system to fry sauce (which is ketchup mixed with mayo and served with fries, explains one respondent).
A lot of Americans were most intrigued by regional differences — one respondent said that accents were what made the country so unique. “In my own family,” the respondent wrote, “we have Norwegian, Texas, Florida, New York, and California ‘valley girl’ accents. Family reunions need interpreters.”
On the other hand, one respondent found the experience of travel harrowing, with “Gestapo-like treatment at the airports by TSA officers.”
A lot of respondents were concerned about immigration and the border control policy, and how it was affecting families that were being separated.
While that last question inspired some interesting responses, it shouldn’t come as a particular surprise that so many people surveyed are unhappy with the direction the U.S. is going. A recent Gallup poll found just 47% of people surveyed were “extremely proud” to be an American — a new low.
That decline in pride came before the election of President Donald Trump, but Gallup found that it has accelerated over the past year.