July 24, 2021

New Yahoo News/YouGov July 4 poll: A staggering 62 percent of Americans no longer see America as Ronald Reagan’s ‘shining city on a hill’

This Fourth of July, a new Yahoo News/YouGov poll shows that no matter how polarized they might be politically, Americans finally seem to agree on something: that everything about America is getting worse.

In his 1989 farewell address, President Ronald Reagan famously described the United States as a “shining city on a hill” — a beacon of hope and a model for the rest of the world. According to the Yahoo News/YouGov survey, which was conducted between June 29 and July 1, a majority of Americans (52 percent) believe that Reagan’s remark was accurate at the time he said it; only 21 percent disagree.

Yet today a staggering 62 percent of Americans say the U.S. is no longer that shining city on a hill. Just 17 percent say it still is.

“I am in Texas, COVID-19 is on the rise, and there’s quite a lot of anxiety,” said poll respondent Alexandra Foulks, a 62-year-old native of France who now lives in Dallas with her husband.

Foulks scoffed at the notion of America as the proverbial “shining city on a hill.”

“We are banned from Europe right now,” she said. “How could we be shining?”

Overall, the poll found the American people in a historically pessimistic mood heading into a holiday weekend traditionally marked by family cookouts and fireworks displays — events that have been canceled across the country in the midst of a surging coronavirus pandemic that has killed more than 128,000 Americans and is currently infecting more than 50,000 each day.

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