Forty percent (40%) disagree and say the United States is not like that....America, love it or leave it. That's the old saying, popular with right-wingers back in the Vietnam era. There was a lefty response — what was it? — America, love it and change it? Something like that.
Still, 79% of Americans say that if they had a choice to live anywhere in the world, they would still choose to live in the United States. Just 11% disagree, while 10% more are undecided.
For the first time since 2006, more Americans now consider Thomas Jefferson the greatest Founding Father. Thirty-five percent (35%) name Jefferson, the chief author of the Declaration of Independence, as the most important Founder, while 32% feel that way about George Washington. In a distant third is Benjamin Franklin with 11%, John Adams at 10% and James Madison with just one percent (1%). With the exception of Franklin, the others constitute the first four presidents of the United States.
Most Republicans (56%) and Democrats (58%) believe America is a nation with liberty and justice for all. Adults not affiliated with either political party are evenly divided on this question.
GOP voters are more likely to name Washington as the greatest Founding Father, while Democrats and unaffiliated voters lean more towards Jefferson.
GOP voters are more likely to embrace the long American tradition and see it in a positive light. It's always been good, always exceptional. The City on a Hill. They pick George Washington.
Democratic voters are more the love it and change it type....
... and that tends to draw you to Jefferson, with the strong association to the revolution — to the Declaration — and not to the Constitution. He was in France when the Constitution was drafted, and his stay there continued until 1789, the year the French Revolution began.
Only after his return to America in 1789 did Jefferson's rhetoric about the revolution become more heated...What's your American orientation, Washington or Jefferson? Or will you give the 1-percenter his due? I mean James Madison. What would he have had to have done to get more than 1% in that poll?
The execution of aristocrats by popular tribunals led to nervous arguments in America and Jefferson's famous letter on which he falls into arguing that the revolution's glorious ends justified apocalyptic means: "My own affections have been deeply wounded by some of the martyrs to the cause, but rather than it should have failed, I would have seen half the earth desolated. Were there but an Adam & Eve left in every country, & left free, it would be better than as it now is."...
When Jefferson wrote these words, he did not know that Louis XVI had been executed... By the end of the year... Jefferson concluded that the French people were not yet "virtuous" enough to accept a sudden republicanism after so many years of superstition and despotism and that Louis XVI could have been retained as a limited monarch, thus staving off "those enormities which demoralized the nations of the world, and destroyed, and is yet to destroy, millions and millions of its inhabitants."