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Dorian de Wind Headshot

Gov. Christie's "Taking Our Country Back"

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Last night, at the Republican National Convention, after ignoring -- even contradicting -- Ann Romney's message of love, during a self-centered, self-serving keynote speech (he used the word "I" more than 36 times) mostly focused on how he took New Jersey back, Gov. Chris Christie announced that Republicans "are taking our country back."

I remember those words well from the 2010 elections, the heyday of the Tea Party, when we were treated to some soaring oratory that also included the "real Americans" rhetoric.

It has been a while since we heard this slogan -- perhaps because the likes of Palin and Bachmann have been out of the limelight.

Nevertheless, as in the past, I find these words offensive, as offensive as that other battle cry by far-right politicians claiming that they, and their followers, are the "real Americans" and, by implication, that we, Democrats, are not "real" Americans.

I have railed against this before and I will do so again.

I have said before, "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 72-year-old naturalized geezer?

From Americans, whose only 'disqualifying' flaw is that they happen to be Democrats?

Does that mean that the United States of America, the great country to which I immigrated 55 years ago -- a country I adopted and which I thought had adopted me -- really hasn't been "my country" all or some of these years?

About six months ago, another American, a former governor, also addressed the GOP take-our-country-back clarion call, but from a different perspective:

One of the battle cries of the far right is this: 'We want to take our country back.' Maybe you dismissed that as meaning, back from the Democrats. But you notice, they don't say, 'we want to take our government back.' They say... 'our country.'

And based on the evidence pouring out of state legislatures, that is what the Republican revolution of 2010 has set out to do -- 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?

This American is none other than former Governor of Michigan, Jennifer M. Granholm.

In her article -- referring to going back to the "bad old days with our Republican friends" -- Granholm talks about the rolling back of workers' rights, the rolling back of voting access in 14 states and, for women, about going back to the " black-and-white, '50s era mindset" where the "sexual McCarthyites hear the words 'contraception,' 'women's health' and 'Planned Parenthood' as 'abortion.'" Granholm provides facts to back up her going back to the "bad old days with our Republican friends" claim.

But Granholm, in a "back to the future" example, also warns the "guys":

... [I]magine that you wanted a vasectomy, and that same largely female legislature said that in order for you to have that procedure, a doctor must to do an ultrasound on your private parts which requires you to view the sperm, the pre-humans swirling in your testicles, on a nearby monitor while listening to the doctor describe the millions of potential lives you will be ending.

Far-fetched? Perhaps.

But listening to "guys" like Todd Akin, Tom Smith, Rush Limbaugh, et al, perhaps not.

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