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. Connie

    By the way could CNN check and see were the flag pins are made.Our we promoting China made pins? Barack Hussein Obamo 08

    Connie "Hussein" Sturgeon from Indiana

    July 4, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    Bush and his henchmen are a disgrace to the spirit of America.

    July 4, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  3. to Nat

    It's because the average American has the intelligence of a tree. The average man/woman knows little to nothing about what goes on in Washington and could care less when they actually talk about serious issues, like the economy.

    July 4, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  4. THE O

    This is so sad that an AMERICAN citizen has to prove his love for this country, and is jumped on for flip flopping ( changing ones mind )
    How sad that we are following the incompetant legacy and way of thinking of the bush mentallity. I want a President who is willing to change his mind when new facts come to light. Instead of staying the course, with a mouth to flame type of mentallity. I don't care if one wears a flag pin to show their patiotisim. one only has to look at,
    5 deferment dick cheney. to see that it means nothing at all....

    BARACK THE VOTE!!!!!!!!

    BARACK / SEBELIUS 08

    July 4, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  5. Concerned

    Texas for Obama hit the nail right on the head. Some wear crosses as if they were just pieces of jewelry. If they religously use profanity and hate people who are different, they dishonor Jesus.People who wear the flag pin and are too lazy to become educated about the issues that negatively impact our nation dishonor the flag.. Timothy McVey served in the military, but he was no patroit. He killed many innocent American citizens. Serving is the military does not a patriot make. Becasue a person has served in the military does not make him or her more qualified to become the President. The question is: 'Why did a person choose to serve in the military?". Was it because it was expected of him or her or was is because he or she or felt the sincere call to service? I am as patriotic as any one who has ever served in the military; however, I would make a poor soldier. I do not hae the physical endurance. I have chosen another way to serve the county that I love so dearly.

    Happy 4th of July!
    America! Bless God!

    July 4, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  6. Ron

    Who really cares, Obama is about unity within America AND across the world...something the current adminsistration and McCain don't care to incorporate (the 'world' part). Instead they threaten war to 'any' country that says anything negative about America. You don't resolve issues with egos and violence, you resolve them by being the bigger person and reaching out to them to help establish a better relationship. Thes factors have caused our staunch Republican family to vote straight Democratic this next election for the first time ever.

    July 4, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  7. Mk

    What a great country this is.
    I am proud to be an American. We are blessed to live in this wonderful country where "most" people are honest and truly want what is best for the Country.

    Then there are those few who do try to make the rest of us look ad like this guy
    Scott July 4th, 2008 10:07 am ET

    If Obama were to win the WH, will we keep our national anthem or will he change it to the Black Anthem?

    But hey, here is the US
    even idiots like Scott get to have a voice. Not sure why CNN doesn't moderate idiocy a little better, but hey, it IS a free even country even for the morons.

    July 4, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  8. John WA

    CNN you're absolutely right. Our founders would be disappointed. Disappointed that a news organization like yours would use the flag pin as an example instead of a real issue like being mislead to war for oil. Not doing a major report (if you reported on it at all) on the phase 2 report on the use of intelligence leading up to the war, something we've been waiting for 5 years to get that shows the not only was good intelligence ignored, intelligence was made up. All the ways the current administration has blatantly disregarded the constitution. Report on something that matters.

    July 4, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  9. BROOKLYN

    Of course they would be disappointed, its a fricking mess and... The two bone head con artists running for office will only make it worse...

    July 4, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  10. Mauri

    To Maria: My direct line of maternal ancestors came to America in the mid-1600s, and he was, in no sense of the word, a rogue or criminal. His grandfather was the Mayor of Canterbury, and from this line, which originated in Virginia, many have proudly served this country well in both civic and military services. Now, many generations later, nobody has to tell us what to do, what to wear, what to sing or how to act in paying respect to this greatest land in the world.

    July 4, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  11. Marilyn

    The founding fathers would be disgusted with the United States today for a number of reasons. Among them: our steady slide into socialism, the invasion of our country by illegal immigrants, our poorly managed economy, and rampant crime in our streets. Many of them would probably no longer choose to live here.

    July 4, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  12. Ron- democrat turned independent via HILLARY then obama

    what do you think
    they founded a country based on democracy where majority rules a country that is now run by minorities. we are so obsessed with the rights of a few that we are destroying ourselves from within.a great country was created by immigrants with a common goal now we cater to immigrants with self-serving goals who want all the rights of the founders plus special rights that were not afforded them where they come from. the only way to to make this country great again is to go back to the original plan one rule for all.

    July 4, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  13. Mauri

    TO CNN:

    WHY IS MY BLOG ALWAYS HEADED BY:

    "yOUR COMMENT IS AWAITING MODERATION," WHEN OTHERS ARE NOT?" i'VE BEEN BLOGGING HERE FOR A LONG TIME, BUT IF THIS IS NOT REMOVED OR EXPLAINED WHY - i'LL MOVE TO ANOTHER TO OPENLY EXPRESS MY VIEWS.

    Thank you,
    Mauri

    July 4, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  14. United States of America for Obama

    God Bless America with -

    PEACE for all who are troubled;
    GRACE for all who are needy;
    COURAGE for all who fear;
    STRENGTH for all who are weary;
    FAITH for all who are seeking;
    HOPE for all who are uncertain;
    PROTECTION for all who serve;
    WISDOM for all who lead;
    CHANGE that will revive our nation.

    YES WE CAN!
    Do all things through GOD
    Who strengthens us!!!

    GO bama GO!!!

    July 4, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  15. jason

    is there any poll out that asks what percentage of americans thinks the media has become, at best, useless (but more often destructively misleading)?

    of course there isn't. because that would be useful.

    July 4, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  16. aware

    Nat from Toronto: As a former Canadian, I know that Toronto, Ontario is extremely elitist!

    Now, as an American, I also know that America will resolve the deep problem of multiculturalism (which breeds victimhood and failure) and think very carefully about the universal health care (which is an inferior system) that Canada is plagued with.

    We are a land of the free and the brave and a multiracial society founded on Judeo Christian values/morals/principles with freedom of religion and speech (no French language police). :)

    July 4, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  17. WoMaN4McCain

    If you wanna wear a flag pin made in China then by all means, wear your lil flag pin. I could give a hoot whether they wear one or not. I don't wear one and don't intend to start so how can I expect someone else to? Doesn't mean I'm unAmerican.....doesn't mean they're unAmerican.

    July 4, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  18. Charlotte

    Explains Obamas sudden need to wear one?

    July 4, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  19. Rob indetroit

    I don't need a flag pin to show who i am. but in today's society you have towear your patroism on your sleeve. Some of the founding father's like Ben Franklin would be proud of Barack Obama. GO OBAMA 08.

    July 4, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  20. Giovanni

    With a senate that has accomplished nothing in the past years of course they woudn't be happy. Hillary and McCain have been my favorite senators for a long time...

    July 4, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  21. Heide

    Flag pins don't have anything at all to do with patriotism. This is shallow, either – or mentality that focuses on non-issues.

    July 4, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  22. saga4obama

    to Alice and America:
    How about a DAP, good bruthuhs and sustuhs??????? AMAZING how AA's are so SOLID around their Black idols yet still desert their chidren………….!!!!!!! O J be's cool with me, what ya talkin bout HO? I ain't the Daddy, ugly Black rhymes with "witch"- Alice

    is this the America our fathers would be Proud of? just askin...Dawg

    July 4, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  23. Marie Everett

    I agree with "Dennis" above. I think the founding fathers would be proud of our country except that the good people of the country have sat silently and let our government, through civil suits by minority members and activist judges, take away some of our liberties and twisted others such as freedom from religious interference by the government. Since the government has gotten away with that so far, they now think they are free to twist the interpretation of the Constitution and have become uncivil. I am mainly pointing at the Liberal side of our philosophies.

    July 4, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  24. Crush Rush

    I think they would vomit if they saw this Republican party.

    July 4, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  25. Rob indetroit

    I think it's good that someone with Obama,s high IQ can modify his opinion WITH CHANGING SITUATION'S THA SHOWS HIS VERSATILITY, UNLIKE BUSH, WHO IS A IDIOT.

    July 4, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
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