September 23, 2014

What “Take Our Country Back” Really Means

From a purely sociological and psychological perspective, I would have to agree with the recent assertions by Frank Rich in The New York Times regarding the true meaning of “take our country back”, which has been the battle cry of the Tea Party Movement. 

In fact, I believe, after much reflection and study, that most of the anger (which seems to be originating almost entirely from the southern, poor, white, non-educated regions of the country) has to do with what Charlie Munger calls “deprivation super-reaction tendency”, which is almost universal among all mammals, including humans.

The conjunction of a black president and a female speaker of the House — topped off by a wise Latina on the Supreme Court and a powerful gay Congressional committee chairman — would sow fears of disenfranchisement among a dwindling and threatened minority in the country no matter what policies were in play. It’s not happenstance that Frank, Lewis and Cleaver — none of them major Democratic players in the health care push — received a major share of last weekend’s abuse. When you hear demonstrators chant the slogan “Take our country back!,” these are the people they want to take the country back from.

The week before the health care vote, The Times reported that births to Asian, black and Hispanic women accounted for 48 percent of all births in America in the 12 months ending in July 2008. By 2012, the next presidential election year, non-Hispanic white births will be in the minority. The Tea Party movement is virtually all white. The Republicans haven’t had a single African-American in the Senate or the House since 2003 and have had only three in total since 1935. Their anxieties about a rapidly changing America are well-grounded.

The country has changed in that we are even more of a meritocracy today than at any time in the past.  Women, minorities, gays, Jews … all can now work on Wall Street, in law firms, start businesses, and enter the market without being run out of town.  Merely being one of the boys isn’t enough anymore.  The level of shrillness is nothing but the last, desperate gasps of an aging demographic group left over from a time when America meant apple pie and baseball for some and lynchings, beatings, and disenfranchisement for others.

  • http://silver-investing.info/a-silver-coin/ Silver Investing

    These tea party individuals are crazy. It extremely seems like they are going to try and do something dangerous.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/7EHQWSUNO43P7YH627FYTMPIHI PatrickM

    I’m sorry that you didnt stop to think that maybe, just maybe, the Tea Party reaction is to the POLICIES being proposed. I am writing this now in 2012, and obamacare is still as wrong and as unpopular as that week when it passed. Also, the Republicans in 2010 elected many minority candidates across the country, including Tea party black Republican, Allen West,  debunking Frank Rich’s point about demographics. The Democrats will play the ‘race card’ far too readily because they dont want the discussion to be on the issues, and certainly their approach of calling those who dont agree with them evil and stupid is quite divisive. Here we are 2 years later and those same Tea Partiers who said the Obamacare bill was unconstitutional might get a Supreme Court to agree with them.

    • Joshua Kennon

      I did stop to think about it. That isn’t what is happening. To believe otherwise requires an almost negligent understanding of political history in the United States.

      There are plenty of people who oppose certain policies of various administrations. As a fiscal conservative, I am among them on specific bills. Ron Paul is an excellent example of someone who is fundamentally opposed to, say, President Obama’s administration, due to a core difference in the belief of the role of the Federal government in the lives of people, just as Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton debated that same topic. You don’t see Ron Paul out there screaming, “Take our country back.” You see him out there arguing passionately about the specific policies he believes are a violation of the sovereignty of individual citizens.

      That is good. That is wise. That is the lifeblood of a healthy democratic republic.

      That is not what is happening with the “take our country back” crowd. It is disingenuous because Barack Obama has taken virtually no position as President that diverges wildly from the administrations before him, including George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, President Reagan, President Carter, all the way back to JFK and FDR. If you disagree with his philosophy of the role of the Federal government, he should be opposed just as George W. Bush was opposed for expanding Medicare coverage to the elderly.

      It is remarkable to me how ignorant a small portion of the population is to actually believe Barack Obama is an extremist. That isn’t rational opposition like, again, Ron Paul would be given their different world views. For example, the same conservatives screaming, “Take our country back!” were the very people supporting what is now called Obamacare as an alternative to Hillary Clinton’s public healthcare proposals in the early-to-mid-1990′s! Obamacare was conceived, designed, and structured by Republicans more than twenty years ago. It is nothing new.

      (In fact, Obamacare is a rich man’s dream. Do you have any idea how good it is going to be for pharmaceutical stocks? There is a reason I am a net buyer of Johnson & Johnson for the long-term positions.) I oppose it simply because I think it is an overreach of the Federal government due to the 9th amendment, which reserves powers to the individual states and people. As much as I admire Hamilton, I am firmly in Jefferson’s camp of the role of central government.

      In fact, I drastically favor a smaller government. I would gladly opt out of Social Security if I could, I believe in almost radical personal privacy rights as well as religious freedom. If I had my way, I’d slash the payroll tax to 2% on the first $50,000 to $100,000+ in income, bringing them back in line with what they were in the 1950′s, while simultaneously slightly increasing the top-tier shelf rates. That puts more money back in the hands of the lower and middle classes who will … you guessed it … spend it and drive the economy.

      Despite my fiscal conservatism, you will never see me yelling, “Take our country back”.

      Why?

      Because this generation is the most pro-life in history, with per capita abortions at a fraction of what they were since Roe v. Wade was decided. Education levels and literacy levels are at all-time highs, despite horrific underperformance in certain sub-demographics that need to be addressed. Personal free time has reached the highest level in recorded history, with the average person having many more hours per week than even their great-grandparents did. Personal standards of living are at an all-time high despite stagnation in under-skilled workers inflation-adjusted salaries due to improvements in product quality (e.g., even a ‘cheap’ car today has heated seats, navigation, decent speakers, and vastly improved fuel economy compared to when my parents were my age).

      Additionally, people are judged based on their productivity and output, not characteristics. That strikes me as fair in a meritocracy because I don’t care if my accountant is a button-up Brooks Brothers white Republican male with 2.5 children or a black lesbian with pink hair and multiple piercings; I just want the best person for the job.

      Opposition to policies is rational and good. I am a personal freedom libertarian who believes in creating countermeasures in business and government to prevent abuses and create a level playing field (e.g., strong anti-trust laws or consumer protection rules).

      I pulled the genetic jackpot card. I am a rich, white, self-made man that falls very high on the intelligence bell curve, married to the love of my life, with the flexibility to live anywhere, do anything, and play golf or video games all day if I wanted. Not everyone was that lucky.

      Recognizing that, the nation is better for every person today than at any time in history except one group: under-educated, poor-to-middle-class, white, heterosexual, Christian males.

      Thus, I don’t want to take the country back. Sure, I want to restrict the size of the government and protect individual privacy. That is why I support or oppose individual policies – such as cheerleading President Obama’s proposed 50% payroll tax cut, which the Republicans killed despite being one of the best small government proposals ever floated in Washington and vehemently denouncing the continuation of President Bush’s policies that American citizens can be detained with a warrant as part of the fight on terrorism.

      People like Ron Paul, or Chris Christie, or Jon Huntsman, are rational. People screaming, “Take our country back” are not. This is especially true when you compare President Obama to true extremists and dangers like Senator Bernie Sanders, who I consider the most evil member of the United States Congress.

      • Made In America

        You my friend are a complete idiot.

  • rodney Rawlings

    First of all. The assumption that tea party members are poor uneducated white trash and are dangerous people is a ignorant and racists statement. Im not trying to argue and fight with you people. When we say ” take our country back” we mean stop the destruction of our civil rights. Please people do a little research. Our country has been hijacked by a group of global banks and corporations. The trilateral commission, Goldman Sachse, the rockafeller foundation and various other groups are in control of our media, military. Police force, and most politicians both Democrats and Republicans. do the research. Like I said, I just want to help you understand whats going on. Do the research. And I dont mean turn on fox news or cnbc. Here is a list of things to search to get started.
    1. The new world order( you’ve heard several presidents speak of this)
    2. Mk ultra (as well as other forms of mind control. They use Hollywood to dumb down the public and idolize total scum bags)
    3. False flags. One of the ways they stage events to put new laws in place. 1by1 taking our rights away.
    4. Globalization- one world government. Watch the movie 1984 to get an idea of what this will look like.
    5. Study the constitution. You will see how the forefathers warned us about central banks.
    6. Gmo’s. Look it up. It in most of our food. Look up what happens the the 3rd general of test rats.
    I can go on and on. Were being assulted from every angle. And most people just are in a honey boo boo induced stuper.
    I cant speak for all tea party members. But im not a crazy ,racists idiot. Im just a guy who doesnt want to see this country turn to communist china or nazi germany. I want my children to grow up in a free society were they can live happy healthy lives free of tyranny. And I wish the same for yours. Thank you for your time. And I hope you look into some of the things I wrote about before its too late.