There was a theme during the Republican National Convention that was as nasty as it was revealing. Speaker after speaker denigrated and mocked the service and work of community organizers. McCain’s running mate Sarah Palin repeatedly questioned the relevance of such selfless service. In typical Rovian fashion, they did most of this just after having a day where ‘service’ was supposed to be their theme. Apparently the big wigs at the RNC decide what does and does not qualify as service. How elitist of them.
The attacks on community organizers really reveals just how out of touch McCain is with the daily struggles of people in this Bush Economy. Community organizers come from all walks of life and represent a broad range of groups. They passionately sacrifice their time and effort to work on the front lines helping those that fall through the ever increasing cracks of our society. They bring neighbors together to solve problems all across America. They work in small towns and in inner cities fighting injustice, poverty, unemployment, illiteracy and a whole host of other things.
Some of our country’s most important movements were brought about by the work of community organizers tracing all the way back to the very beginning. Think Thomas Paine in the American Revelation and the Abolitionist Movement, Susan B. Anthony and Women’s Suffrage, Martin Luther King Jr. and Civil Rights, and the fight for worker protections that many now take for granted. Although McCain-Palin can sneer down at the work of community organizers, we would not be the nation that we are today without them.
Rather than mock community organizers perhaps McCain-Palin should join them on the front lines. It would certainly be a quick education for people that clearly don’t get how much misery people are feeling right now. Don’t expect them to do that anytime soon, since they plan on expanding many of the failed policies that brought us to this point. Their continued failure to look past their narrow ideology will only create more need among more people. Although McCain-Palin will continue to sneer down from above, rest assured, community organizers will be there working hard, solving problems everyday and aiding the many casualties of failed right wing policies.
If you are offended by the insults hurled by the McCain-Palin team, you can join many other people in demanding that they personally apologize for their demeaning attacks on such important work. You can also visit the new blog, Community Organizers Fight Back.
UPDATE: Apparently McCain-Palin are going to take their smear of community service on tour. Today in Cedarburg, Palin continued her mocking of community service work.