Friday, September 25, 2015

Taking Our Country Back--to Where?

photo by pieter mustard / flickr
"Carry me Back to old Virginia,
There's where the cotton and the corn and taters grow,
There's where the birds warble sweet in the springtime,
There's where this old darkey's heart am long'd to go."
                   --James Bland

Donald Trump is not the only one wanting "to take our country back." We've been hearing this manta now for quite some time. Mostly the longing comes from politicians--but I have also heard it from pulpits and some editorialists that surprise me. It has a powerful ring: "take my country back."

Back to where, please tell me.
To slavery days. 
No, not that far.
To the days when women could not vote. 
Well, not there either.
To segregation and separate but equal.
That's not exactly what I had in mind.
Maybe back to those days when we incarcerated the Japanese in California.
That was a mite excessive.
Maybe back to the draft when everybody had to go--even politician's sons.
We don't need the draft.
Maybe World War II when men and women were shipped overseas and some did not come home for three years or more.
I said we don't need the draft.
Maybe back to pre-social security days when we didn't spend so much money.
We couldn't do without social security.
Maybe those great days when the government didn't stick their noses into our groceries and our 
  medicines and education was one-room for those that could go.
We don't want to go back to that. 
Perhaps those days not too long ago when gays kept their mouths shut, didn't hold hands in the street 
and stayed in the closet.
Well, at least marriage was for one man and one woman.
Maybe at least go back to the Vietnam days when 50,000 of our own came home in boxes.
Nobody would advocate that., No draft, I said.
Maybe before transgender bubbled to the surface.
We'd be just as well off without all that. It's confusing.
Maybe having a white man in the White House.
At least people wouldn't wonder where he was born.
Maybe women not working outside the home and staying home with the kids.
Well, it sure helped.
Maybe we go back to when we didn't want any Jews or Nee-groes or Irish or Italians not to speak of     Mexicans, for goodness sake.
We know that is going much too far. I'm Irish myself. But we do need more wall.
Maybe go back to the Hitler days when we turned back Jewish refugee ships and sent them home to die.
You know that's not what I mean.
Maybe the Depression days when money was just about nonexistent and everybody stayed home.
God, nobody would wish for that.

Remember those words that come from the Bible. Have we forgotten?

""In great fear the Israelites cried out to the Lord. They said to Moses, "Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? What have you done to us, bringing us out of Egypt? Is this not the very thing we told you in Egypt? 'Let us alone and let us serve the Egyptians? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness.'"

But Moses said to the people, 'Do not be afraid, stand firm, and see the deliverance that the Lord will accomplish for you today; for the Egyptians whom you see today you shall never see again. The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to keep still.'"

--Roger Lovette /

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