Watching the Olympics in a foreign country (the U.K.) brings out the super-patriot in me. I’m cheering for the U.S. athletes in each event, and I don’t even care about the games!
Is this patriotism unusual? Actually, we Americans are outliers in this regard. In a recent set of World Values Surveys, 71 percent of Americans responded positively when asked if they were very proud of their country. Among 16 other rich countries in the surveys, the average was only 45 percent. And only Australians and Irish were as proud as we seem to be. The jingoism of the networks in the U.S. during the Olympics caters to, and perhaps reinforces, our attitudes.