BLOCK: And Professor Harris-Lacewell, when you hear, I want my America back, do you also hear a racial context to that?
Prof. HARRIS-LACEWELL: I certainly know that progressives and liberals often use very similar language during Bush's administration. As we saw the erosion of civil liberties, we often use the language of wanting our America back. I think it has something to do with how Americans project their own world views onto the broader American context.
I do worry about whether or not, at least for some of those opponents of health care reform, that part of what they're saying is a reflection of an anxiety about I want an America back where African-Americans, where Latinos, where women were truly second-class citizens rather than first class, equal member with a full right to govern.
I'm not saying that every opponent believes that. I worry about the ways in which there may be a resonance of that anxiety that emerges.
BLOCK: Tony Blankley, would you think…
Mr. BLANKLEY: Yeah. I mean that may well have been a true statement if you'd ask somebody in 1964, '65, or '67.
But in 2009, I don't know anybody who thinks that way. I mean this is out of the history books. This isn't out of life. A lot of my friends are very conservative. I have liberal friends too, a couple of communist friends as well. But nobody thinks that way. I mean this is trying to bring up an old problem that has largely disappeared.
I was listening to the above interview on my way home - out in the county, Philpot Kentucky. Philpot is really just a 4-corners community with a tiny post office and its own zip code. When we say we live out in the "county" we are really saying we live out in the country.
We've been out here in the county for more than 10 years. We moved down here from Michigan in 1995. My point is that we are now 'from around here'. From the heartland of America.
I can tell you Mr. Blankley that I do know people who "think that way". I know the devoted American's who daily question whether President Obama was really born in the United States of America. I know proud and arrogant Americans who "want their America" back - the way it was "in 1964, '65, or '67". I know patriotic Americans who state that they wish the President of the United States of America would fail. I know Americans who have mobbed together hoping to defeat health care reform so that they can celebrate a "win" over that <explicative deleted> and his bleeding heart liberal commie pinko socialist death-panel friends.