During the 2010 elections, the heyday of the Tea Party, we were treated to some soaring oratory by real, "take-our-country-back" Americans: Those real Americans, real patriots, real believers who belong to the party of core values, the good party -- the party of God.
Feeling quite rejected and dejected, feeling like a fake American, I "rambled" about it then.
After the shellacking we, fake Americans, got last November, I hoped that the rhetoric would stop -- for a while it did.
But, hey, more elections are coming up and, like clockwork, it is again time to separate real Americans from fake Americans. It is again time for the Bachmann-Palin-Gingrich choir and cheerleaders to rally the faithful, to incite the real Americans, to throw out the red meat and to chant, "We're going to take our country back."
Just a couple of questions.
Does that mean that the United States of America, the great country to which I immigrated 54 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?
Does that mean that sometime, somehow, fake Americans stole the USA from the real Americans, and now the real Americans are mad as hell, want it back and are going to take it back in 2012?
Well, this fake American, who apparently served someone else's country's military for 20 years, is mad as hell, too.
So mad that I have to fall back on what I said when I heard similar words almost a year ago:
"Take our country back"? From whom? From the nearly one hundred million Americans who were born and raised in this country, who love America even more, if that's possible, than this 71-year-old naturalized geezer? From Americans who just happen to be registered Democrats?
Real Americans live throughout these United States, not just in the "heartland", not just in Sarah Palin's fictional and fanciful "Real America." Real Americans are not just Republicans, conservatives, libertarians, Tea Party supporters, or whatever. We are all Real Americans. There are no "Fake Americans."
I respectfully ask our Republican friends to challenge us, Democrats, on policy and politics, on party line and philosophy, on process and even on principles, but, please, do not question our patriotism, our "Americanism," our love for God and Country, because when you do so you are not only dishonoring half of all Americans, you are doing a disservice to your causes---legitimate and honorable as they may be.
You are also discrediting yourselves and, more important, you are demeaning and dangerously dividing the Real America you profess to honor and love.
Perhaps in the coming months we can tone down the rhetoric by referring to all voters just as Americans and by recalling that Woody Guthrie had all Americans in mind when he wrote the following unforgettable verse 71 years ago:
This land is your land, this land is my land
From California to the New York Island
From the Redwood Forest to the Gulf Stream waters
This land was made for you and me.
CODA: I made one small change in the quote above. Since time does go on, "this 71-year-old naturalized geezer" was "only" 70 at the time of that writing. Time does seem to make us older, but not necessarily wiser.