A new study is calling New Jersey the least patriotic state in America, but I'm not having it.

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When a study or survey comes out painting the Garden State in a negative light, I get really peeved, even if there's some truth to it. I'm a proud New Jerseyan, and like one, I get very territorial. It's hard not to when the state gets a bad rap in the mainstream from shows like Real Housewives and Jersey Shore. People LOVE to rag on New Jersey.

Enter: WalletHub. It has just ranked all 50 states based on their level of patriotism. According to its website, WalletHub used 13 categories to break down which states showed the most patriotism including, the state’s military enlistees, the number of adults who voted in the last presidential election, and its volunteer rate.

Based on a total score of all the categories, New Jersey came in dead last, with a score of 22.12. It's a striking number in comparison to the state WalletHub found to be MOST patriotic, New Hampshire, which scored a 63.97.

Look, the breakdown of these numbers are a bit over my head. The bottom line is, I personally feel I have a great love of this country. I appreciate my freedom in ways I can't even begin to express. The magnitude of freedom is nearly indescribable. I have the deepest gratitude for those who were either drafted, like my own father, or enlisted in the military to protect that freedom and keep America safe. I thank a veteran every chance I get. I cover myself and my home in red, white, and blue whenever I'm given the chance. And, I VOTE. Not only during presidential elections, but EVERY time. Even for the local school board, and I don't even have children.

So, does all of what I just ranted about qualify me for WalletHub's survey? Probably not. But, much like the congeniality portion of a pageant, a person's 'patriotism' can sometimes be hard to weigh. It's about spirit and love of country as much as it's about the numbers, but that's just my personal opinion.

Is morale down because of recent events, like the pandemic and Black Lives Matter protests? Of course. Can we improve our 'ranking' in surveys like WalletHub's so as not to take a national beating and wind up in stories like this one? Sure. So, lets vow to volunteer more, support those who decide to make a career in the military, and, for goodness sake, PLEASE VOTE. And, in the words of quite the patriotic Forrest Gump, 'that's all I have to say about that'.

By the way, Pennsylvania, home of Independence Hall and the Declaration of Independence, ranks 37th. You can see the full rankings of 'Most Patriotic States in America' by WalletHub here.

As someone living in New Jersey, do YOU feel patriotic? Let us know in the comment box below.

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