By Eric Makuna Tande
“I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a "community organizer," except that you have actual responsibilities... My fellow citizens, the American presidency is not supposed to be a journey of "personal discovery." This world of threats and dangers is not just a community, and it doesn't just need an organizer.” Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska at the Republican National Convention.
Even when Republicans have common roots, their understanding of the lives and concerns of the less advantaged is lightweight. How can Gov. Palin – and her speech writers - not understand what a Community Activist does?
US Senator Barack Obama with Eric Tande
How can she not understand the significance of a young man dedicating his life to mending the lives of people who have lost their livelihoods and the ability to support their families and community after the closure of steel mills in Middle America? Her attempt at belittling the service Obama rendered as a community activist does not even qualify as political theatre.
Security hyper-speak for the sake of security is meaningless, and a mainstay of Republican politics. Security ultimately has meaning when men and women in this great nation have the security of a job and a home, can provide healthcare and education for their kids, and comfortably plan for retirement. A young man understood these needs and decided to walk the most unsafe streets of Chicago to help provide new job skills to Americans who had lost their security, and he gave them new and tangible security. Using tax dollars to go to war under ill defined pretences because we can and then touting misplaced victory does not equate to security – OR JUDGEMENT.
At a very young age when most adults wallow in self indulgence and live for the moment, Obama decided to serve poor people and his country. After affording himself a stellar education, he elected to forego huge pay checks and an easy life for the danger and near squalor of Chicago’s poorest neighborhoods. That is tough decision making, that is character, that is service and, YES, that is COMMUNITY ACTIVIST. Obama understands the human condition. If he had done nothing else besides being a community activist for the last 20 years, he would still qualify to be President.
The Republican disconnect is real and it is a chasm. Negative attacks will not save their day in this election because the ladder of fear mongering is not high enough. Attacking the press will not help either. Bombastic rhetoric is good for the Republican soul but it does not protect families in Middle America from misguided economic policies and home foreclosures.