Taking back the country

 

    Colorado's political season got off to its official start on March 16 with precinct caucuses, but even before those gatherings, some candidates had ads on TV.
 
    Among them was Jane Norton, former lieutenant governor and one of several candidates for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate. The seat was won by Democrat Ken Salazar in 2004. He was appointed Secretary of the Interior, and his appointed replacement, Michael Bennet, is also involved in a contest for his party's nomination, and his campaign has also aired some advertising.
 
    Back to Norton. Part of her televised message is "We can take our country back."
 
    Like many GOP candidates this year, she's trying to get some Tea Party support. And there's a message you see and hear at Tea Party events: "Let's take our country back" or "It's time we took our country back" or some variation thereof.
 
    Indeed, the unofficial anthem of the movement is a song called "Take our Country Back" by Chris Cassone, who performed it at the 9/12 Rally in front of the U.S. Capitol. He also plans to be there singing it on March 27, when a traveling Tea Party "Just vote them out" series of rallies starts in Searchlight, Nev. (home town of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid), and wends toward Washington, D.C., through Arizona, Utah and Colorado.
 
    But just what do they mean by "Take our country back"? The song lyrics aren't much help; the lines point to the sinister powers of an unnamed "they," as in "Draw a line in the sand so they all understand" or "Soon they'll try to take away the only voices left that say the truth."
 
    The phrase "take our country back" implies that there was a time when "we" had "our country," that something happened since then to dispossess "us," but "we" can organize to get it back.
 
    Now, if this were a rallying point for the Utes, Navajo, Lakota or similar Native American nation, "take our country back" would make sense. I'd understand it.
 
    It might also make sense for hard-core Texans or Californians, since those states were independent republics before joining the United States. While there may be some secessionist sentiment in the Lone Star State these days, the "take our country back" attitude extends far beyond its borders.
 
    So what do they have in mind? Who's the "they" that has at some point swiped the country from its rightful rulers?
 
    Politicians? Since America started governing itself, the government has, pretty much by definition, been run by politicians. So they're nothing new.
 
    Lobbyists? They've been around pretty much since, well, before America was a nation -- Benjamin Franklin went to London in 1757 to lobby the British parliament on behalf of Pennsylvania's.
 
    Pundits? Well, there's Franklin again, along with many other founding fathers, like Alexendar Hamilton and James Madison when they produed the Federalist Papers.
 
    As for economic domination, you could make the case that America was pretty well run by slaveholders before 1861, and after the Civil War came industrialists and financiers. So that may be what's changed, in the sense of there being something to go back to. But I seriously doubt that the "take our country back" rallies are really calling for a return to chattel slavery.
 
    So even though "take our country back" resonates as a slogan, I can't figure out what it means. And I'm a rural white guy with no college degree -- that is, part of the demographic group that really should be able to understand Tea Party slogans.
 

High Country News Classifieds
  • COMMUNICATIONS COORDINATOR
    Introduction: Grand Staircase Escalante Partners (GSEP) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization with offices located in Kanab and Escalante, Utah. We are committed to the conservation...
  • CARETAKER
    2.0 acre homestead needing year-round caretaker in NE Oregon. Contact [email protected] for details.
  • MEMBERSHIP MANAGER
    For more information visit www. wyofile.com/careers/
  • THRIVING LOCAL HEALTH FOOD STORE FOR SALE
    Turn-key business opportunity. Successful well established business with room to grow. Excellent highway visibility.
  • DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR
    For more information, visit www.wyofile.com/careers/
  • SONORAN INSTITUTE, CEO
    Chief Executive Officer Tucson, Arizona ABOUT SONORAN INSTITUTE Since 1990, the Sonoran Institute has brought together diverse interests to successfully forge effective and enduring conservation...
  • STAFF ATTORNEY
    STAFF ATTORNEY POSITION OPENING www.westernlaw.org/about-us/clinic-interns-careers The Western Environmental Law Center (WELC) is a high-impact, nonprofit public interest environmental law firm with a 27-year legacy using...
  • PROJECT MANAGER
    Position Summary Join our Team at the New Mexico Land Conservancy! We're seeking a Project Manager who will work to protect land and water across...
  • SEEKING PROPERTY FOR BISON HERD
    Seeking additional properties for a herd of 1,000 AUM minimum. Interested in partnering with landowners looking to engage in commercial and/or conservation bison ranching. Location...
  • DIRECTOR OF PRODUCT AND MARKETING
    High Country News seeks a Director of Product and Marketing to join our senior team during an exciting chapter of innovation and growth. This individual...
  • WILDLIFE HAVEN
    Beautiful acreage with Teton Creek flowing through it. Springs and ponds, lots of trees, moose and deer. Property has barn. Easy access. approx. 33 acres.
  • ARIZONA CONSERVATION CORPS PROGRAM DIRECTOR
    Arizona Conservation Corps is seeking a Program Director in Flagstaff or Tucson
  • COPPER STAIN: ASARCO'S LEGACY IN EL PASO
    Tales from scores of ex-employees unearth the human costs of an economy that runs on copper.
  • EXPERT LAND STEWART
    Available for site conservator, property manager. View resume at http://skills.ojadigital.net.
  • CONSERVATIONIST? IRRIGABLE LAND?
    Stellar seed-saving NGO is available to serious partner. Package must include financial support. Details: http://seeds.ojaidigital.net.
  • CANYONLANDS FIELD INSTITUTE
    Colorado Plateau Natural & Human History Field Seminars. Lodge, river, hiking options. Small groups, guest experts.
  • WESTERN NATIVE SEED
    Specializing in native seeds and seed mixes for western states.
  • CHUCK BURR'S CULTUREQUAKE.COM BLOG
    Change will happen when we see a new way of living. Thinking to save the world.
  • COMING TO TUCSON?
    Popular vacation house, furnished, 2 bed/1 bath, yard, dog-friendly. Lee at [email protected] or 520-791-9246.
  • OJO CALIENTE COMMERCIAL VENTURE
    Outstanding location near the world famous Ojo Caliente Mineral Spring Resort. Classic adobe Mercantile complete w/living quarters, separate 6 unit B&B, metal building and spacious...