I, The People

Salon’s David Sirota gives the Tea Party credit where it’s due…

“I Want My Country Back” — this ubiquitous Tea Party mantra belongs next to Nike’s “Just Do It” on Ad Age’s list of the most transcendent idioms. In just five words, it perfectly captures the era’s conservative backlash. Take a moment to ponder the slogan’s phrase-by-phrase etymology:

The whole article is here, it’s short and sweet.

Conservative activists have made brilliant use of such slogans as ‘family values’ and ‘faith’. We are supposed to assume that the families are just like ours, or maybe even better, and the faith is Christian, or Judeochristian, not Hindu or Jehovah’s Witness or something minority.

‘I want my country back’ is not as provocative as some of the signs I saw from opponents of health reform. ‘B.O. stinks’, ‘Obama Lies, Grandma Dies’, Obama as the Joker, Obama as Hitler– that’s in Warwick, RI, at the Health Care Town Hall. Who took the country? The majority of voters who elected our president and congress?

Unless you are Narragansett, you’d better ask who can claim that un-named parties took away ‘my country’. And ask what happened to ‘We, the People’.

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One response

  1. I forget what writer it was who said that for every honorable social movement, there is one that mimicks its values dishonorably.

    So with this: I first heard the phrase “I want my country back” from the most honest politician in America, one of the very few brave enough to speak up against the Bush invasion of Iraq: Howard Dean.

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