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A Different Take on 'Take Our Country Back'

03/12/2012 02:31 pm ET | Updated May 12, 2012

If there is one thing that I find even more offensive than the far-right politicians' claim that they, and their followers, are the "real Americans" -- and by implication that I am a fake American -- it is their insolent slogan, "We want to take our country back."

I have explained why here and here.

But that's just little ol' me saying so.

I was thus pleasantly surprised to find someone with a little more authority and better reputation than little ol' me saying: "One of the battle cries of the far right is this: 'We want to take our country back.'"

I had interpreted the far-right "battle cry" as follows:

"Take our country back"? From whom? From the nearly 100 million Americans who were born and raised in this country, who love America even more, if that's possible, than this 70-year-old naturalized geezer? [the author]. From Americans, whose fatal flaw is that they happen to be Democrats?

However, this "someone" -- none other than former Governor of Michigan Jennifer M. Granholm -- looks at the take-our-country-back clarion call a little differently. She believes that what these politicians want to do is take the country back -- back in time. "Back to those golden days before civil rights and gender equality. It was so much easier back then, wasn't it?"

Granholm continues:

So, let's go back to the bad old days with our Republican friends and see what life is like.

It's a bad time for organized labor. Since 2010, Republican-controlled legislatures in 26 states have rolled back workers' rights to collectively bargain. Forget about voting rights gained in the '60s. Republicans have rolled back voting access in 14 states.

Granholm then focuses on what has been in the news quite a bit lately: women's rights and the assault on those rights:

And, of course, if you're a woman, the take-our-country-back crowd has nothing but trouble for you.

In this black-and-white, '50s era mindset, the sexual McCarthyites hear the words "contraception," "women's health" and "Planned Parenthood" as "abortion."

Those words are like a dog whistle to anti-choice, anti-reproductive health zealots. Think I'm overstating?


Some readers may answer "yes" to Granholm's rhetorical.

I invite them -- actually all readers -- to read her "Some facts then ..."

Such as the fact that "[in] the country that the Republicans are 'taking back,' 2011 was a watershed year: more than 1,100 anti-abortion laws were introduced. Eighty passed. That's more than double the previous year." And that the focus of the 80 percent male Texas legislature is on "controlling women's bodies." And how about Virginia's infamous ultrasound bill.

But Granholm also has some warnings for men. Why? "Because who knows? After the 'personhood begins with a zygote' crowd finishes with women, you all may be next."

Read more here, and remember that our country cannot be taken back to the past and will not be "taken back" from the millions of "other" real Americans.