James McPherson's Media & Politics Blog

Observations of a patriotic progressive historian, media critic & former journalist


  • By the author of The Conservative Resurgence and the Press: The Media’s Role in the Rise of the Right and of Journalism at the End of the American Century, 1965-Present. A former journalist with a Ph.D. in journalism, history and political science, McPherson is a past president of the American Journalism Historians Association, a board member for the Northwest Alliance for Responsible Media, and a professor of communication studies at Whitworth University.

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A question for Tea Partiers who want to ‘take back America’

Posted by James McPherson on April 16, 2010

I’m not trying to be facetious; I really want to know. I keep hearing you talking about “taking back America.” Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann say it. You have a Web site that says it. You’ll sell me a bumper sticker that says it. Clinton-era whoremonger Dick Morris wrote a book that says it (though why conservatives listen to him, especially, escapes me). There was a whole conference about it. And there’s even a a weird song and video (below) that have Uncle Sam saying it. And still I don’t get it.

My question: Exactly whom or what are you taking America back from? Those of us who voted in the majority in the last election?

Same-day addition: Martin Lobel at Nieman Watchdog points out something else that seems to confuse the Tea Party crowd and reporters: If you reduce taxes, you increase the deficit. Except in that wonderland that provides a magical escape for many of today’s protesters and a few Republican members of Congress (some of the same folks who pretend they can repeal the just-passed health care bill, though they’re basically after your money).

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6 Responses to “A question for Tea Partiers who want to ‘take back America’”

  1. […] right now is about a conference to “take America back” (back from whom, as usual, is unclear). The story quotes WND founder and editor Joseph Farah, while promising: Speakers at […]

  2. […] had no response to that, just as when the various nuts proclaim that it’s time to “take back America.” This entry was posted in History, Journalism, Personal, Politics, Religion, Written […]

  3. […] though I’ve made fun of Tea Party folks a time or two or three, I’ve also supported their efforts — while pointing out that the […]

  4. eurobrat said

    Exactly. I have tried to engage folks on the other side in this conversation–because, like you, I’m genuinely interested in finding out more–but I’ve yet to get a satisfactory answer. I’m starting to suspect that they’re unwilling to offer a response because their solution to what happens to that pesky majority of Obama voters is not a pleasant one.

  5. James McPherson said

    “their solution to what happens to that pesky majority of Obama voters is not a pleasant one”

    Assuming they’ve even thought things out that far–which, in the case of these folks, I tend to doubt.

  6. eurobrat said

    Yeah…I guess that other James guy we recently talked to is proof of that. When we asked him some follow-up questions, he just got agitated, the poor man 😉

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