July 4th, 2008
09:48 AM ET
6 years ago

Poll: Founding fathers would be disappointed in America

Americans say the founding fathers would likely be disappointed with the state of the country.
Americans say the founding fathers would likely be disappointed with the state of the country.

(CNN) - As Americans celebrate the anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, an overwhelming majority say the 56 signers of that document would be displeased at how the country has turned out.

According to a new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll, close to 70 percent say that if the signers of the Declaration of Independence could see America today they would be disappointed, while just under 30 percent say the founding founders would be happy with the country 232 years later.

Americans didn't always feel that way - in 2001, 54 percent thought that the signers would be pleased with the state of the country today; now that figure is down to just 29 percent.

But the poll shows a majority of Americans are still proud of their country - 61 percent say they are extremely proud to be an American, and another 28 percent say they are very proud. Those figures are virtually unchanged from 2005, although they are down a bit from 2002 and 2003.

Should a presidential candidate always wear a flag pin on his lapel? Forty-one percent say yes, and another 13 percent say a candidate should frequently wear one. Only about one in ten say a candidate should never wear a flag pin on his lapel.

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soundoff (203 Responses)
  1. Gramma Faye /Idaho

    There was a time in the not to distant past that it was not acceptable to wear a flag as adornment or to burn it, or wear flag patches on law enforcement uniformes. And if you were in good health and capable, and messed up by not paying respect to the Pledge of Allegiance or National Anthem you could end up with someones elbow in your ribs or someone behind you getting you by the ear and you stood and did what is expected.
    The key word here is 'RESPECT". Not enough people anymore even know what that is or how to show it. It is something you basically have to be brought up with and someplace back down the road they forgot how to teach it. To many think all of our freedoms are owed to us and don't understand we have to keep fighting to keep them,
    Lack of respect, now, that would NOT make our Founders happy.
    GOD BLESS AMERICA ON YOUR BIRTHDAY AND EVERY DAY.

    July 4, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  2. bd, New York, NY

    Absolutely...

    We've went from a “natural right” philosophy to a “government grants freedom” philosophy. A few founding fathers such Hamilton would love the current political ideas. Strong centralized government and an erosion of individual liberties. The only candidate during this election who championed natural law was Ron Paul. Unfortunately, Ron Paul is too American for America.

    Obama is for a strong centralized government. He believes in extorting Americans for their hard earned money.

    Mccain believes in a few of the bill of rights when it provides votes.

    Washington, Jefferson, and other founding fathers are turning in their graves.

    The Hamilton faction has big smile. They lost the battle of ideas and won the battle of action.

    A special thanks to Lincoln, FDR, LBJ, Carter, and W Bush for warping and dismantling the constitution, the supreme law of the land.

    Happy Fourth of July….

    July 4, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  3. scarey

    The only thing of importance in this clip is the fact that the vast majority of people FINALLY understand that there has been grave damage done to this country by this administration and that the Founding Fathers would be not just disappointed, but appalled. Time to get it right, people – elect Barack Obama

    July 4, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  4. Emma, San Jose, CA

    Anyone can adorn themselves with any kind of jewelry, including a flag pin, but that is not a sign of anything. It does not change their actual
    beliefs and principles.

    July 4, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  5. no bush third term

    A flag pin is a pin, not the truth. McCain thinks the American public can be distracted by this argument while he flip-flops on every position he ever held in the last 8 years.

    Wake up, America. This man is a pandering old fart who just wants to be President before he dies. He's flipped every position to toe the line with Bush. Are you ready for 4 more years of BUSH?

    Where's McCain's flag pin? I can't find a photo of him with one on at all. Use google images and type in McCain and see if you can. Does this mean he doesn't need one to be patriotic? Hmmm... does that mean he has one set of standards for himself and another for everyone else?

    Do you want a president like that? I think not.

    July 4, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  6. bd, New York, NY

    Also note:

    The Flag Pin is a non issue. Politicians decided to waer it after 9/11 to show unity. I would never wear a flag pin and I love this nation.

    I think the majority of the founding father would not vote for Obama nor Mccain.

    July 4, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  7. bd

    If the Boston Tea Party were today:

    The the W Bush faction of the GOP would scream terrorism and the Obama faction of the DNC would be the one's taxing the tea.

    I think there is large segment of Americans who do not feel represented.

    July 4, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  8. mitchell hussein martin

    i'd rather keep wearing my flag underwear.we even have flag toilet paper in our house.we never want to get caught with our pants down,[by the patriotism police of the republican party],and not be showing our constant respect for the flag.patriotism need not be worn on one's sleeve,if it's already in one's blood.

    July 4, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  9. al

    Raymond Duke July 4th, 2008 11:21 am ET

    Raymond what is the difference between the American institutionalized slavery and slavery from previous generations? By the way the only people that are crying about racism are the ones who think affirmative action is wrong. I believe this is called reverse racism. Is it really blacks who bring up racism or is it the person who wishes not to talk about it? The person who does not want to talk about it (racism) pulls the dreaded "race card." Lately who has been pulling the card–The MEDIA and people who are not smart enough to understand the truth.

    July 4, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  10. Puma puma puma

    After the travesty of the democratic party primary- I should think so.

    July 4, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  11. Jim in FL

    The Founding Father are not defined so much by the Declaration of Independence, but rather by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Here are James Madison's own words from Federalist Paper # 45:

    "The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined."

    We have strayed, it would appear.

    July 4, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  12. Still for Hill but now ONLY for Hill

    The selecting and installing a nominee based on the loud demands of the African American community and the newbie voters sure was an sad day for America.

    July 4, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  13. Dr.Mimi De La Cruz

    I JUST WONDER WHAT % WOULD TAKE THE RESPONSIBILITY

    AND ADMIT, THAT IT IS, THEIR VOTE THAT IS RESPONSIBLE

    FOR OUR PREDICAMENT. AMERICANS VOTE FOR VOTE

    FOR SLEAZY LOOTERS TO RUN OUR NATION

    THAN COMPLAIN AT THE RESULTS.

    28 YEARS OF REPUBLICAN GRAB, LOOT & RUN POLICIES

    CAN DEVASTATE A WORLD, LET ALONE A NATION.

    July 4, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  14. Obama remorse

    I feel the pain.

    I watched Hillary be savaged by Obama, his campaign and the media- just so the least qualified slick politician could be advanced.

    I watched the DNC swiftboat their own best candidate.

    I watched the superdelegates abandon the purpose they were created for, and drag the limping Obama across the finish line.

    Pandering? Yes. Democracy? No way.

    July 4, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  15. Walt, Belton,TX

    What about a radical left wing candidate's radical wife?

    July 4, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  16. xddy4u

    Men marrying men, and women marrying women were so far fetched from the founding fathers. Such weren't even discused. That's why what constitutes a marriage wasn't an article in the Constitution.
    What a sock they would get to read of same sex marraige.

    July 4, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  17. William, from Cali!

    Looking back on our "founding fathers",from where I sit today; I think there a several reasons, to be disappointed in "some of them". Some of them were "perpetrators" and 'contributors", to the ills that plagued Our Nation's early History and are still, "on the books", in some states, Today.

    July 4, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  18. Pat

    I am the flag of the United States of America.
    My name is Old Glory.
    I fly atop the world's tallest buildings.
    I stand watch in America's halls of justice.
    I fly majestically over institutions of learning.
    I stand guard with power in the world.
    Look up and see me.
    I stand for peace, honor, truth and justice.
    I stand for freedom.
    I am proud.
    I have been burned, torn and trampled on the streets of countries I have helped set free.
    I have been soiled upon, burned, torn and trampled in the streets of my country.
    But I shall overcome – for I am strong.
    I have slipped the bonds of Earth and stood watch over the uncharted frontiers of space.
    I have borne silent witness to all of America's finest hours.
    But my finest hours are yet to come.
    I am proud, and I am invincible.

    July 4, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  19. shame on the DNC

    For the first time in my adult life I am ashamed of my democratic party.

    OR... for those who think there is actually a REAL difference:

    For the first time in my adult life I am really ashamed of my democratic party.

    July 4, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  20. selected not elected

    Not as disappointed as 18 Million who watched our party select and install the least qualified candidate- for political correctness.

    We watched our party trash and destroy the BEST leader... with the gleeful help of a biased media.

    Raping a democratic candidate for presidency is NOTHING to be proud of.

    July 4, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  21. Franky

    Man, our founding fathers wouldn't be disappointed, they'll be surprise how far we made it, LOL!!!! Even I'm surprised, LOL!!

    July 4, 2008 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  22. Chris K

    Of course the founding fathers would be angry.

    Thanks to the republican party and big business America has become what it was never meant to be: A theocracy governed by big business, and controlled by fear, where the freedoms sought by a band of patriots centuries ago have been slowly taken away.

    Of course, the fact that I'm saying this likely makes me a terrorist in the eyes of your government. I need to be more careful so I don't end up being rendered in some far away land.

    July 4, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  23. aware

    Right!

    But, this land of the free founded on Judeo-Christian values/morals/principles with its multiracial society and freedom of religion will begin to heal as more moderate young professors and ideologues replace the retiring left-wing leaders of our universities and schools.

    America needs to stop playing the blame game for bucks which encourages the formation of victims and begin to encourage the formation of victors! :)

    McCain 08, the only wise choice!

    July 4, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  24. David Goldman

    AMERICANS ARE GETTING, WHAT THEY VOTE FOR,

    MORE BILLIONAIRES, A CRUMBLING INFRASTRUCTURE,

    MORE POVERTY, NO MEDICAL INSURANCE, NO, NO, NO

    TO SPENDING OUR TAX DOLLARS ON AMERICANS. THE

    REPUBLICANS WRAP THEMSELVES IN THE FLAG &

    CHRIST'S ROBE WHILE LOOTING OUR NATION.

    July 4, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  25. Concerned Citizen of America 08

    Happy Independence Day America

    July 4, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
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