Who’s kidding who… I was obviously not predisposed to be inspired or excited by Sarah Palin’s speech at the Republican National Convention last night. What I did not expect was to be so confused and insulted.
I have never really cared for cheap shots on the campaign trail. I can certainly understand the appeal of going for an easy laugh by making a joke about McCain not knowing how many houses he has, but I don’t like seeing it done. There are so many important issues to discuss in this election, it just seems like a waste of time and a bit beneath what I expect from someone representing a presidential candidate. That being said, I’m not naive. I know that party conventions are more about show than substance these days so I expect folks on both sides to take their shots. What amazed me last night, however, was what the Republicans chose to use as their punch line. Community activism.
Guiliani started the mocking and Palin drove it home. It came across as condescending and vicious. When did working to organize and better your community become a laughable activity? It is challenging, important, effective and at times depressing work… it is definitely not something to be made fun of. Few people in this country do more than just complain about issues that trouble them. The individuals that actually take action by knocking on doors and mobilizing neighborhoods are to be commended.
I truly don’t understand what the goal was in choosing community organizers as their target. How are the local organizers working for McCain swallowing the quotes that belittled their contributions to his campaign? Even national presidential campaigns are built on the backs of local community activists… and I suspect those activists would take issue with the notions that they bear no responsibilities and their work has little value.
I have made regular efforts throughout my life to commit time bettering my community and championing the causes I believe in. I am proud of all of that work and intend to continue doing it. It is often tedious but someone must be willing to do the jobs that aren’t glamorous or instantly gratifying. Important goals are not accomplished by stepping onto a stage and stating why you wish them to be so. It takes hard work from many at the local level and I appreciate when an elected official understands the importance of inspiring and mobilizing the masses to effect change.
I can only assume that the party leaders who spoke last night found local organizing so laughable because they consider themselves above doing it.
And to think it is those same party leaders that have been painting Obama as an elitist. Pot, meet kettle.
P.S. Just for fun…