The Other McCain

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‘Take Our Country Back’: Chris Cassone Tells the Story of His Tea Party Anthem

Posted on | March 11, 2012 | 6 Comments

Think back to where you were three years ago, in March 2009. President Obama had just been inaugurated. Nancy Pelosi was Speaker of the House, Harry Reid led a Senate majority of 59 Democrats, and they were in the process of ramming through Congress the $800 billion “stimulus” bill, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Where were you?

Chris Cassone was sitting at home, watching TV, trying to make sense of it, and growing increasingly worried about what was happening. Then one evening, while watching Glenn Beck on Fox News, Chris Cassone picked up his guitar and started “humming and strumming,” as he says. With a few minutes, he had the melody and words of a chorus, and then he began adding verses until he had a song:

Take it back! Take our country back.
Can’t you see that we’re under attack?
Draw a line in the sand
So they all understand
And our nation stays intact.
Take it back!

Little did he know how far that song would take him. Cassone first performed “Take Our Country Back” in public on March 21, 2009, at a Tea Party rally on the town square in Ridgefield, Connecticut. Then on April 15 — Tax Day 2009 — he performed it on “Fox & Friends,” and at three Tea Party rallies, in Hartford and New Haven, Conn., and Fishkill, N.Y. Here’s the video that Chris put together of his trip that day, featuring the studio recording of his song:

Eventually, “Take Our Country Back” carried Chris Cassone all the way to Washington, D.C., and the biggest Tea Party rally of them all, the 9-12 March on Washington, where he sang his song for a crowd numbering in the hundreds of thousands (the estimates are still in dispute) and a nationwide TV audience.

Chris Cassone tells this amazing saga in his new book, Take Our Country Back: One Song and One Man’s Story of the Tea Party and, in a gesture typical of his Christian generosity, Chris insisted on crediting me as his co-author. So if you buy a copy of his new book, you’ll be putting some money in my pocket, too.

Take Our Country Back tells the story of Chris’s involvement in the Tea Party, but it also tells the history of the movement and, if you were part of that movement, I think you’ll see a lot of your own story in his story. Chris submitted the manuscript in fall 2010, before the mid-term election, and the publisher subsequently asked for a brief postscript, which I provided. As a bonus to The Other McCain readers, here it is:

The Revolution  2010

What did the Tea Party accomplish? All those rallies, all those townhall meetings, all those speeches and songs and viral videos — what did it all mean in the end?
Well, for starters, Chris Cassone has a new representative in Congress. So do some 40 million other residents of the 63 House districts across the country that switched from Democrat to Republican in the midterm election of 2010. Incumbent Democrat Rep. John Hall, who had previously won re-election by comfortable margins in New York’s 19th District, was beaten 53-47 percent by GOP challenger Nan Hayworth. And similar results were recorded in scores of districts, as the Republican Party made its biggest gain of House seats since 1938 to win a majority of 242 seats. That’s the most House seats the GOP has held since 1949.
This historic landslide — bigger even than the 1994 “Contract With America” that put the speaker’s gavel in Newt Gingrich’s hands — was all the more remarkable because it was accomplished despite ferocious opposition. While the Republican win in 1994 was a surprise to many political observers, Democrats and their liberal media allies in 2010 saw the danger early and spent months trying to stave off a midterm backlash. Television airwaves were flooded with attack ads against GOP challengers, while the media poured out stories depicting Republican candidates as dangerous extremists beholden to Tea Party radicals. Voters saw all that and, apparently, ignored it. Of the 84 million votes cast in the November 2010 congressional elections, nearly 45 million (53 percent) were cast for Republicans.
Among the candidates elected in this landslide were two black conservatives, Allen West in Florida’s 22nd District and Tim Scott in South Carolina’s 1st District, both of whom were Tea Party favorites. The massive electoral tsunami devastated Democrats everywhere. The GOP picked up six seats in New York alone, as well as gaining five House seats in Ohio, five in Pennsylvania, four in Florida and four in Illinois. The 2010 tidal wave wiped out Democrats with decades of seniority: In South Carolina’s 5th District, Republican Mick Mulvaney beat 14-term incumbent John Spratt, powerful chairman of the House Budget Committee. GOP challengers also defeated Mississippi’s Gene Taylor (10 terms), Pennsylvania’s Paul Kanjorski (13 terms), Missouri’s Ike Skelton (17 terms) and Minnesota’s Jim Oberstar (18 terms).
When all was said and done — and it was nearly Thanksgiving before Democrat Dan Maffei finally conceded to Ann Marie Buerkle in New York’s 25th District, giving Republicans their 63rd pickup of 2010 — most pundits reacted as if this nearly unprecedented rejection of the party in power was no big surprise. There was a lot of talk about voter demographics and long-term trends, as if what happened on November 2 had all been part of a predictable pattern. But in early 2009, when the newborn Tea Party movement made its first faint rumblings of discontent, no one predicted that this grassroots insurgency was destined for victory. Had it not been for Chris Cassone and millions of other Tea Party activists who raised their voices in protest, the massive voter backlash against the Obama-Pelosi-Reid agenda might never have developed, and it certainly wouldn’t have had the kind of overwhelming momentum that defeated 63 incumbent House Democrats. (One ironic result: As a result of the election, some 1,800 Democratic congressional aides lost their jobs, perhaps giving them a new perspective on the effects of their party’s job-killing anti-business agenda.)
Just as the election of 2010 could not have been predicted in early 2009, neither can future political developments be predicted now. Will the Tea Party movement hold the new Republican majority to their promises? Will Congress act decisively to reduce deficit spending and force the federal government back within its constitutional limits? Or will the millions who rallied to the “Don’t Tread on Me” banner of the Gadsden Flag now return home, plop down on their sofas and let the politicians in Washington go back to business as usual? These are questions that can only be answered by those who fought the Revolution of 2010. They have shown that ordinary Americans really can make a difference and now, as always, our nation’s fate remains in the hands of “We the People.”
God bless them. And may God bless the United States of America.

Robert Stacy McCain


6 Responses to “‘Take Our Country Back’: Chris Cassone Tells the Story of His Tea Party Anthem”

  1. Bob Belvedere
    March 11th, 2012 @ 9:14 pm

    Bravo!  Well done.

  2. Tom Callow
    March 11th, 2012 @ 10:06 pm

    Over 2 million.
    Park Police told more that one person, more people than they had ever ever seen.
    Many people did not even make it into the city till very late. That figure came from a park policeman.

  3. Chris Cassone
    March 12th, 2012 @ 12:31 am

    The DC’s Red Line mysteriously had maintenance that day. I heard that tens of thousands more missed it. Also, another mystery: the administration forbade aerial photography that day – no planes or helicopters were allowed. Best estimate was through Freedomworks who used USA Todays own metrics for estimating the 2009 inauguration. 1.7 million. Hey, that’s FOUR Woodstocks!

  4. Tough Times for Conservative Bloggers | The Lonely Conservative
    March 12th, 2012 @ 12:37 am

    […] sacrifice to our financial well being.***In case you were wondering, this post was inspired by Stacy’s post at The Other McCain about Chris Cassone’s song and new book. I wanted to write something about that, but my mind […]

  5. Bob Belvedere
    March 12th, 2012 @ 7:16 am

    And unlike Woodstock [and every other Leftist gathering] they cleaned up after themselves!

  6. Aljazeera says Tea Party is KKK, Nazi, White Supremacists! | Vicki Goes to Washington
    March 16th, 2012 @ 6:09 pm

    […] I am an eye witness to how the media lies. I wrote the foreword to Cassone’s book, ”Take Our Country Back: One Song and One Man’s Story of the Tea Party,” His journey from hippie to […]