I’m all for free speech. Political correctness, on the other hand, is a militant form of manners that the Left established to control both people and the narrative.
I’m also a raging conservative. I fell in love with politics at age seven because of Ronald Reagan. I listen to Rush Limbaugh, and my most prized possession is my hand-signed personal letter from Elizabeth Dole.
BUT, there is one phrase I want to ban from conservatives’ vocabulary: Take our country back.
Why? Because it’s slang, jargon, lingo and so forth. When we as conservatives say it, we know what we mean. We want traditional values respected, a strong national defense, the Constitution followed, Washington working for us not the other way around.
When other groups hear this, however, they hear something entirely different. Let’s take a look at why this phrase is deadly to the conservative movement and what I propose that we should be saying.
The first group who hears something entirely different than what we mean when we say “Take our country back” is young people. What they hear is ‘Take our country backwards. ‘They think that we want to return America to the 1950s. Don’t believe me? Then consider what one of their cultural heroes said recently.
In an interview with Rolling Stone’s Andy Greene Jon Stewart said, “When people scream ‘I Want My Country Back!’ at Tea Party rallies, I can’t help but think many of them really mean, ‘I want my youth back. I want it to be 1955 again.'”
It’s almost like they’re blaming Obama for the fact the world has changed a lot since they were kids.
I don’t disagree. They also blame Clinton and anybody who isn’t a Republican. That’s because their vision of the country is so simplistic. I want to say to them, “Yeah, things did seem nicer when you were eight.”
We need to come up with a phrase that emphasizes to young people our belief in maximizing individual freedom and creating economic opportunity, BUT at the same time we are also firmly living in the 21st Century.
The next group of people who hear something different than what we mean is immigrants. What they hear is ‘Take our country back from you.’
According to my friend, Harry (himself a Nigerian immigrant and a conservative Republican), when his immigrant friends and family hear our mantra they think that we mean we want to kick all of the immigrants out–legal and illegal. Who can blame them when they’ve got the media telling them that Republicans are racists and against immigration without making that important distinction that we are against ILLEGAL immigration?
While doing a Google search on “Republicans want to kick out immigrants” I picked the first item that came up, which was the Huffington Post interview between Chris Hayes from MSNBC’s ‘All in with Chris Hayes and Rep. Mo Brooks of Alabama.’ Hayes tweeted “@RepMoBrooks just told me all 500,000 Dreamers under DACA and ‘8 Million” immigrants w/ jobs should be deported. #inners’.
But look at what Brooks actually said, “There are 8 million jobs in America now held by illegal aliens, that’s 8 million job opportunities taken from American citizens,” said Brooks. When Hayes asked the congressman if he “would like to see those 8 million deported,” Brooks answered, “Yeah, if that’s what’s necessary to protect American jobs. Absolutely.”
Illegal–that one word makes ALL the difference in how a conservative views an immigrant. Legal immigrant? Welcome, come enjoy freedom in America. Illegal immigrant? Get to the back of the line and/or leave our country. Come back without doing the international version of break-enter-squat.
With that important distinction being omitted by the media, some legal immigrants think we want them out, too.
The last group who hear something different when we say “Take our country back” is African-Americans. What they hear is ‘Take our country back to Jim Crow.’ I don’t have to outline the countless times race baiters like Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Charlie Rangel, and the like say that voting for Republicans will mean crosses will burn with impunity in front yards, voter suppression will be rampant, and worse yet, slavery will be reinstituted (though our party was founded to END slavery) and racism will abound.
We need to come up with a phrase that showcases that we want equal opportunity for all, regardless of skin color, ethnicity and national origin.
Americans are a forward moving people. We want progress. Saying ‘Take our country back´ is antithetical to how Americans think. We don’t want to go back. That implies retreat and digression, weakness; not the bold, brash strength that we Americans are known for.
So, what should we say? Well, we need to spell out exactly what we are trying to say. We want to emphasize freedom, opportunity, equality and fiscal responsibility.
I propose that we say something like “We need to take our country to fiscal sanity, equality, and freedom . . . for all.”
I realize this is a mouthful, but it better illustrates what we are trying to say without sounding elitist, racist, nativist, and all those other –ists that liberals like to attach to us.
It also doesn’t use the word ‘back’ to conjure up the impression of archaic thinking.
If we can’t get our message across to the very groups that we are trying to reach, then the gains that we made on Election Day this year will be short lived.
Related: The president insults Chinese people with gum chewing. Watch.