Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek. 

Please don't choke on that extra-large burger.

Please don't pick up that barbecue implement and make an injudicious attempt at assault.

This is just  research. These are just numbers. They don't have to represent the truth.

So prostrate yourself on my purple leather chaise-longue here and hark these troubling words. We'll turn on our favorite Lee Greenwood song to help you.

OK, it's like this.

A mere 34 percent of Millennials are extremely proud to be American.

At least that's what Gallup's polling says. (Thank you, the Washington Post for bringing me this cheery news.)

Because you're an analytical sort, you'll now try to explain this phenomenon.

Is it because they're young, impressionable and the media is so desperately liberal?

Perhaps. But do millennials read what used to be called "the media" anymore? Don't they just get their news from their Facebook friends?

And from Facebook itself. Wait, isn't that the company that was accused of suppressing conservative views?

Talking of Republicans, they're the most proud to be Americans. 68 percent say they are still extremely proud of their country. This is despite having a president some believe isn't an American at all.

This 68 percent figure is larger than the number for so-called liberals has ever been.

But what about the nation as a whole? Surely there's still some extreme pride here.

Well, 52 percent of Americans say they're extremely proud to be so. Isn't that the same number as the percentage of Brits that voted for Brexit?

Is that just a coincidence?

Of course, we could take another hint from Brexit and several other recent votes.

It could be that when pollsters come along, people don't always want to tell the truth to some neutral-sounding stranger.

It could be that millennials feel vast pride for their country, but don't feel comfortable saying so.

It could also be that they look at those stars and stripes and the bright red, white and blue and decide that it's just not a great look for them.

Extreme sports, sure. Extreme pride? Ah, meh.

And wait, doesn't pride come before a fall? Does that mean that extreme pride comes before an extreme fall?

National pride is a curious thing, especially for a nation whose philosophy is so steeped in individualism.

Perhaps as millennials view the state of the world and their own nation, they see institutions -- corporations and governments, for example -- that don't live up to their extreme promises.

Perhaps they look at their own futures and see more uncertainty than hope.

So when someone comes along and asks them about extreme pride, they simply wonder what that feels like.

Published on: Jul 4, 2016