Friday, September 5, 2008

Community Organizers - or an Open Letter to Sarah Palin

Dear Sarah Palin (and your speechwriters); I'm sure that, when crafting your speech for Wednesday, you meant to only attack the Obama campaign. But in attacking his record, you also managed to insult thousands of Americans who, for little or no pay, choose to make their community a better place by taking an active role in it. And I'm sure, as mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, and later as governor, you did make decisions that affected thousands of people (670,053, to be exact, according to the 2006 census). But just as important and just as worthy is the one-on-one attention to detail that a community organizer gives his or her particular cause. Is helping someone find a job unworthy of you? Is helping one family find a clean, safe and affordable home beneath your efforts? Better yet, is rallying your neighbors to fight a far-away ruler bent on milking you for taxes merely tilting at windmills? For without community organizers like Sam Adams, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and Paul Revere, you wouldn't even be running for vice president - you'd be paying exorbitant taxes to the British Empire. I don't think that anyone mocked Thomas Jefferson or John Adams for their roles as community organizers when they became president - we had to wait more than 200 years for you to come along and do that, I suppose. I don't know if you recall this, but the current president made a great to-do about faith-based initiatives. Who do you think runs those wonderful causes that - as President Bush pointed out - often serve the needs of their communities far better and quicker than the government can? Community organizers. Calling into question a candidate's experience is one thing - after all, nobody runs for the office expecting sunshine and lollipops. But slamming an entire group of very worth individuals is the exact reason you played to a lot of empty seats this week. If it was on purpose, then it shows how out of touch your party is. If it was unintentional, it shows how out of touch your party is.