“Taking My Country Back”

That’s an oft quoted remark from the Tea Party folks these days. According to the take-back folks, someone stole something. I’m curious as to what it actually means and wonder if all Americans have the same vision of ‘the good old days’?  What was stolen?

Many Americans my age recall the post-war years- especially the wonderful 50’s when middle class American burgeoned and prospered. Is this the time that the ‘take-back’ crowd longs for? Of course, it all depends on when they were born, yet that was the Baby-boomer time, and there are a lot of us around who remember those ‘good old days.’

What was it like for Americans then?  Well, that ought to be qualified: what was it like for white Americans then? We all know that blacks and Latinos didn’t share in those good old times.

Eisenhower was President. The Federal highway system was being constructed as were new housing developments, businesses and factories.  Unions were strong and demanded just wages and safe working conditions.  The salaries of the owners of the business may have been 5 to 10 times that of the worker. Banks were in the savings and loan business and credit was exchanged by local bankers.  As were mortgages.

Credit cards were rare although there were shopping credit cards from department stores. The 1950  Diners Club card was good for only a meal and was to be paid in full at the end of the month.  It wasn’t until 1958 that Visa and American Express got into the business.

The Stock Market was something that middle-class Americans knew little about nor invested in because of the cautionary stories told by parents of the crash in 1929.  My generation kept their money in the local bank- which is where I kept my hard-earned paper route money as well as my 50¢/hour vegetable market summer job.

There’s the money story as I recall during my formative teenage years during the 1950’s.  Security reigned supreme. People were not interested in money-making schemes nor were they interested in amassing debt.  My father paid cash for his new cars- a great lesson for to his son.

Then, everything went to hell!

The turning point for my generation was the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Until that terrible November day, life was swell for us boomers.  We saw our future like we lived the past. But that day the bubble burst. Life, we learned, turned cruel.  And all hell broke loose.

I’d like to ‘take my country back’ to the 1950’s and early 60’s.  For the middle class white boy things then were just swell. But, you can’t go back.  The ugliness of today’s American life slaps you in the face and the dream is deferred.

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5 thoughts on ““Taking My Country Back”

  1. Hello Muddy,
    I remember my teacher being called out of the class by the principle of the school by the brown square box above the chalk board intercom PA system. When she got back, she stood in the front of the room, and in a quite voice, announced that the President had been shot and killed. All sat at their desks in shock and disbelief with many of the girls breaking down and crying.

    They called the school buses early and we went home to our families as many of the mothers were “stay at home moms” and only the fathers had to work to provide for the family.

    We lost our innocence that day.

    I also remember well the local Baltimore television news station doing a story showing a little black boy on one day going to a barber to have his hair cut only to be turned away. But the next day the “Civil Rights Law” was passed and the same little black boy went back to the same barber shop and they could not refuse him a hair cut and he walked out happy smiling for the cameras.

    Many of the Teabaggers I am exposed to would love to go back to the times were this little black boy would have known his place…..much less be President!!

  2. Yes, Engineer, those ‘good old days’ stopped at the ‘colored’ section of town. They really haven’t been part of that good time yet despite the Civil Rights Act and other laws ‘granting’ them equality.

    I wonder if the Teabaggers ASSume that ‘taking our country back’ means taking our country back from the black and brown-skinned people who have the audacity to ASSume that it is THEIR country too?

    Perhaps a representative of the Tea Party could comment here on just what it means to them to ‘take our country back.’

  3. I had a few seconds of imagining a Tea Bagging Henny Youngman Zombie doing a stand up comedy routine in Hell that started with the line…”Take my country back, Please!” Then I came to my senses…
    There is a point where this is like political alzheimers…nostalgia for a past that never was. That’s the problem, we are dealing with denial, amnesia, avoidance of reality on a massive level. A population anesthestized by a manipulative media.
    A mass of people who confuse freedom with irresponsibility. Youy can have the right to carry a firearm anywhere in public and taxes are slavery. Government regulations on industry and finance are socialism.
    You have no responsibility to your fellow man. Right makes might….
    This is not “taking back their country” . This is nostalgia for the Middle Ages. If this is where these guys want to go, then I shall declare myself the Duke of Detroit!

  4. What was stolen? Little by little muddy, your rights and liberties are being stolen.
    Funny thing is that YOU…yes YOU were able to recognize it when Bush was president.
    Obama steps in and you act like everything has suddenly changed for the better when NOTHING has.
    You’ve selectively allowed yourself to be deaf, dumb and, blind according to circumstance.
    Your blind liberalism and self loathing has created an insane double standard…Bush’s fuckups…BAD and worthy of your scorn….Obama doing the SAME shit…has you shaking in your boots because it would be RACIST of you to dare condemn him in the open!
    It sucks for you because YOU liberals set the bar as to what “racism” is now defined as. And disagreeing with Obama has been the the pinnacle of “racism” by your own standards!
    Now he’s been exposed as being another Bush…and you’re afraid to rip the liberal duct tape from your mouth and call it like it is…for fear that YOU’ll be a “racist” then too!
    And in the liberal world…the truth is sacrificial when the possibility of having another liberal call you a “racist” is at stake!

    Better to keep mum and let everything go to hell in a handbasket than to stray from the herd!

  5. “Now he’s been exposed as being another Bush…”

    Are you saying Bush was a Communist?

    Anyway, on a more consistent note: another “Family Values Republican” bites the dust! It’s getting so bad I’m beginning to wonder if there isn’t a conspiracy the evil Gays are perpetrating on our manly and Godly GOPrs. They must be sneaking in to the congressional canteen and tainting our esteemed moralist’s Perier (too French), er Evian (Damn.. still French!) … Tap water with some kind of aphrodesiac!

    http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2010/5/18/867472/-Family-values-GOPer-to-resign-from-Congress-after-affair-with-aide

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