kevsand (1000+ posts) Wed Sep-03-08 11:42 PM
Sarah Palin on community organizing
Advertisements [?]From Gov. Palin’s VP acceptance speech: “I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a 'community organizer,' except that you have actual responsibilities." Cue the laugh track. Nor was this her only disparaging remark towards community organizing in the speech.
As someone who works side by side with community organizers on a daily basis, and as a former community organizer myself, I find that I am deeply offended by this remark. It was obviously intended as a sarcastic joke at Obama’s expense, and she just as obviously thought she was being oh, so clever to make it. Far from clever, however, it is instead the sort of baseless, gratuitous cheap shot that is frequently the resort of those without any legitimate argument to make, and which ends up saying much more about the speaker than their subject.
By choosing this remark to attempt a dig at Obama, she has instead deliberately insulted community organizers everywhere, as well as everyone who’s ever been a community organizer, everyone who’s ever been helped by a community organizer, and everything that’s ever been accomplished by community organizing. That’s a very long list.
It includes nearly all of the civil rights movement in this country. It also includes pretty much the entire labor movement. It includes a whole lot of church groups, and neighborhood watch groups, and after school programs, and clean up efforts, and condo and home owners’ organizations, and PTAs and PTOs, and just about every form of grassroots collective action you can think of, including the Founding Fathers. It is the practical application of our freedom of association in action. In short, the stuff that makes America the envy of the world.
She doesn’t even try to distinguish good or bad, but paints liberals and conservatives and anarchists and God-fearing citizens of the republic all with the same brush. Every neighborhood organization that ever tried to get rid of an adult bookstore, every group that ever protested at an abortion clinic, every collection of parents concerned about anything, they’re all the same. They’re community organizers, so she thinks they’re of lesser value. Objects of derision. Butts of the joke. I’m not laughing.
But at least now we finally know who Sarah Palin “really” is. She thinks it’s funny to make jokes about people who try to work together to make life a little better for their families. That makes her an arrogant, elitist bureaucrat, committed to top down authoritarian government, dismissive of citizen empowerment, and out of touch with the actual meaning and history of democracy in a free country. And that’s too bad.