FREE SPEECH ZONE | Yes! Let’s take back our government.

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What a grand idea. There are just two problems: take it back from whom; and give to whom?  It is astounding that after all the shouting, sloganeering, cajoling, speeches, and Tea Partying…no one seems to have asked these questions. And if they did, what would be the answers?

Starting with taking it back from whom – presumably they mean President Obama.  But, he was duly elected, by a majority of Americans, and they have no right to demand that this government be given to them.  The government already is in the hands of the people. It already “belongs” to the people Constitutionally, democratically, and in exactly the proper electoral way these same folks want America to be run and governed. 

So if the government is to be “taken back”, then to whom? Presumably they mean “them”, the ones that are complaining it was “taken from them”. And who is “them” – well it must be the Tea Party; the Glenn Becks, the Sarah Palins, the Rush Limbaughs, et al.  But, it is not Obama’s to give…nor is it their right to get.  What we have here is an “empty suit”, a lot of noise, without any substance, logic, or reason.

That being the case, then what is this really about?  Well, several things, mostly ugly, dark, and unpleasant. And what would that be?  OK, get ready for the protests, complaints and denials, because very simply it is mostly about… race! To begin with, it is first about having a black man in the presidency – and that is an essential part of their “getting our government back”. Sure there are denials about this claim, but the passage of some controversial legislation in the past two years does not raise the ire, the anger, the intensity that we see today. It took over 170 years to elect a Catholic (John Kennedy) to the office, and similar protests were raised then by this seemingly benign event – but nothing like the hate Barack Obama has engendered.  Mitch McConnell said it best: the most important job of the next congress is to get Obama out of the presidency.  And that statement goes way beyond simple politics or policies.

To most (perhaps not all) of the Tea Party types, and the “Birthers”, Obama is an anathema to the American ideal of what a President should be.  Not only his skin, but a man with a funny name. Went to school in Indonesia. Had foreign parentage and upbringing.  He does not look like American president should look. Michele Obama does not represent what first ladies should be like.  This is not what they imagine our country should represent – we are the nation of Washington…Lincoln…and white guys with solid names like Truman, Johnson, Carter, and Clinton.  Real Anglo Saxon names. Guys like Bush and Reagan, who came from a fine American background, live on ranches, and actually chop down trees and kill deer.  Yes, “let’s take our government back!”

But that is not the worst of it, because beyond Obama there is the future threat presented by immigration – and more Obamas. By 2050, or so, over half of America will be people of color; and that is really spooky to the people on the right.  That future has to be “nipped in the bud” right now according to the protesters! And it has to begin with “taking our government back”, and getting a nice white guy, and pretty Caucasian first lady back in the White House.  Note, it is the White House!  This is not new — this bugaboo about immigration, the changing face of America, and race and ethnicity has been around nearly since our founding. The infamous “Know Nothing” party in the early 1800’s railed against Europeans coming here; including Irish, Germans and French. They would ruin the country!  At the turn of the 19th Century, the Eastern Europeans were treated with the same skepticism – but as it turned out much of America’s richest intellect, culture, music, and professionals came from that influx.

Even the Japanese were treated with disrespect as WWII began, yet they served honorably and faithfully to protect our country, to fight for their adopted country. And today are among the most educated and advanced Americans. 

Today it is mostly the Hispanics who are “ruining” the way America should “look”.  Those who fear them definitely do “want their government back”; forgetting that it is also the legitimate government of legal American  Hispanic citizens, whose government it is as well as those who “want it back”. They conveniently co-mingle illegal immigrants and legal Hispanic citizens to confuse the issue and besmirch the group.

There is a solution for the whole issue, which can eliminate the “immigrant” problem altogether.  Also the racial problem.  And the whole dispute as from whom the protesters want to take back the government; and to whom they wish to give it.  And that solution would be to eliminate all of us who emanated from immigrants; past, present and future.  Then return the government to the only indigenous people to whom it would really belong. The Indians!  The people who lived, ruled, governed America from sea to shining sea, north and south, with amber waves of grain. The tribes who gave us those magnificent purple mountain majesties above the fruited plain.  But after the treatment they got from our early settlers, in their land; and got their hearts buried at Wounded Knee…I am not sure they would want this government back.  And even if promised, I doubt they would trust those God-fearing, righteous, super patriotic protesters to let them “take back the government” anyway.

In the end, the cry should not be that they “want to take our country back”– what they really want is to “take our country backwards”.