It’s not unusual for the political party which was just kicked out of power to try to rally the troops and prepare for the next battle. This year is no exception and the Democrats are ginning up their voters to mobilize in advance of the midterms and the next presidential race. They’ll need a good rallying cry of course, and it seems like they’ve selected one. It’s time for the Democrats to take our country back! That’s the message coming from Minnesota Congressman (and DNC chair wannabe) Keith Ellison in a new op-ed he’s published. It’s all just so exciting. (Time Magazine)

What we need is a Democratic Party that is willing to listen to everyone and organize conversations that bring people together. Because at the end of the day, we’re a team.

So when Republicans bring divisiveness, we have to bring the unity.

It’s who we are. And it’s how we take our country back.

Well said, sir. I’m sure you’ll be working on that party unity thing for the next four years. But if you don’t mind, there is one nagging question which comes to mind. Isn’t the phrase “take our country back” inherently racist? That was certainly the opinion of CNN’s Don Lemon back before the primary voting had even begun. And it dates back much, much further than that.

We can wind the clock back to the spring of 2014 when our own Ed Morrissey was compelled to publish a history of the hateful phrase in response to a column on race and politics written by the Washington Post’s Eugene Robinson.

I’m reminded of a tea party rally at the Capitol four years ago when Congress was about to pass the Affordable Care Act. I can’t say that the demonstrators who hissed and spat at members of the Congressional Black Caucus were racists — but I saw them committing racist acts. I can’t say that the people holding “Take Back Our Country” signs were racists — but I know this rallying cry arose after the first African American family moved into the White House.

After citing Byron York’s research which showed John Kerry using the same phrase in 2004 and Hillary Clinton saying it in 2003, Ed rather gently reminded Eugene Robinson that you need a long memory to work in this business. Or at least the ability to Google things.

This has been standard political rhetoric for at least as long as I’ve followed politics. Without a doubt, the slogan represents many different motivations, but that’s as true of “Take Back Our Country” as “Support the Troops.” Robinson either just started following politics in 2009, or has his own reasons for skipping research and ignoring the avalanche of evidence that eminently disproves his point.

Since the question has been asked of conservatives for the past eight years on a nearly daily basis, I think it’s only fair that the query be put to Congressman Ellison. Take back the country from who, exactly? White people? Men? Christians? Or just the people who voted in sufficient numbers to carry the electoral college? Inquiring minds want to know.