Wednesday, August 12, 2009

You Want "Your" Country Back From What Exactly?

I'll keep this short and sweet. During some of these town hall meetings on health care reform, I have heard people all but crying out the following statement: "I want my country back." What exactly do they mean? They want their country back from whom?

It would be too easy, and I think incorrect (mostly), to argue that these are people who simply aren't mentally able to process the fact that a bi-racial man of African descent, who is married to a multi-generational (and allegedly grievance ridden) black American woman, was elected POTUS. But something is driving this. I just don't know what it is.

Here is Jon Stewart's humorous take on it (and I love the montage of the commentary on the right regarding opposition to the run-up to the Iraq War).

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Though I was no fan of George W. Bush, and I thought that the comparisons of Dick Cheney to Darth Vader and/or Voldemort were almost apt, I don't think that I ever felt the level of fear that these folks seem to be displaying. It is genuinely fascinating.

Any thoughts?

UPDATE: Here is video from yesterday's "Hardball with Chris Matthews" that inspired this post:


Better Guy X said...

It's not "what" they want it back from, it's "whom." Not just blacks, or Latinos, or Asians, but all of those group who no longer hold the status quo in such high regard, those who wonder why it takes so long to make fundamental changes until you see the bottom line and who benefits, those who have been doing the bidding of the higher ups for so long, they don't realize they've been bamboozled, until they need a boogeyman. Welcome to the post-racial America, President Obama.

Scott said...

There have been a number of times over the past 8 years that I have myself thought that I "want my country back."

When the photos from Abu Ghraib came out showing grinning Americans abusing prisoners, I said to myself--this isn't my America. I want my country back.

When we started locking people up at Guantanamo with no legal process or recourse, and then systematically torturing those people, I thought--this isn't my America.

When it was revealed that my government was spying on it's own citizens,
When our government took us to war with a country that had not attacked us and lied repeatedly about the reasons for the war--

I wanted my country back. And with the election in November, I thought we were on the path to returning to an America that resembled the country I grew up believing in.

So to the "birthers" and "tea-baggers" and racist gun-toting right wing fundamentalist morons out there I would have only one response--

We have elections every two years. You want "your country" back? Vote. What you may discover in an election is that your numbers are far less impressive than the volume of your shouting.

Anonymous said...

better guy: it looks like maybe there's an interesting point in there, but what you've written is confusing. Care to clarify?

hscfree said...

Good points Scott.