"Love is a harsh and dreadful thing to ask of us, but it is the only answer."--Dorothy Day



In an attempt to be somewhat balanced, though I am fairly sure that's impossible, I've made it a point to watch the RNC this week. Last night I turned it on and made it through about 5 minutes of Fred Thompson before I could stand no more and had to turn if off. And tonight I managed to sit through the majority of Rudy Gulianni, who surprisingly only mentioned 9/11 one time, though his backdrop was the downtown skyline of New York City. And then came Sarah Palin, who made an impressive show, whose shoes were much better this time around, who has proudly towed her party line of affluence for the already affluent, and endless violence over the possibility of diplomacy. As she spoke of drilling in Alaska to bring about energy independence, I had this picture in my head of the point in the Lion King when Scar has taken over and all the trees have been destroyed and the herds have moved on. I know that none of this is far or balanced, and I have drank entirely too much of the very tasty Obama Kool-Aid to feel any differently. But I do have some serious, serious problems with all of this. They are as follows....

First of all, days late, I am terrifically insulted that the Republican Party would presume that one woman candidate is as good as the next, and that the women of America are so naive to believe that Governor Palin and Senator Clinton can be compared in anyway beyond their apparent political aspirations and their anatomical features.

(2) In my line of work, you meet alot of veterans. People who thought it was their duty, who were poor and enlisted for greater opportunities, or who were drafted and had no out, who fought in Vietnam or Desert Storm. Not one of these people who I have met believes that this war should continue. They know all too well the toll of war. This was one of the reason I was so supportive of John Kerry 4 years ago. He was someone who had fought in an unjust war, and who had had the courage to step back and to say so. Though his ordeal there was nothing compared to Senator McCain's, he knew what he was talking about when he said that this should not continue. It is not cowardice to believe that we should end the war before all important victory is attained...whatever victory even means anymore.

(3) I am very insulted by the disdainful and mocking tone tonight's speakers used when speaking of Senator Obama's experience as a community organizer. They have never seen the need for such organizing as they have apparently never been a part of a forgotten community. Community organizers are the people who begin the fight for better schools in low-income neighborhoods, for better opportunities and higher education for young people, for health care and housing for poor and marginalized people. When you insult their advocates, you are once again forgetting millions of forgotten people.

It is frighteningly apparent that the people who develop the party platforms for the RNC are speaking to a very small piece of America. They do not speak to the millions of unemployed or uninsured Americans. Or the millions of people living on the streets. Or those living in seemingly endless cycles of poverty and despair. I am terrified at the prospect of the country being put into the hands of people who see no need to give people hope and who mock those who try to do so. Because quite frankly, hope is all some people have right now.


JTB said...

it occurs to me as well, after having listened to Palin, a bit of Giuliani, Cindy McCain and John McCain's speeches, that mocking the idea of community organizing is also totally inconsistent with their own Republican ideals. Cindy McCain said it straight out in her speech: individuals are supposed to reach out and solve social needs, not government; we just want gov't to get out of our way so we can do it. Okay...but doesn't the idea of individuals taking notice of the social problems that exist in their communities and initiating local solutions sound very much like a definition of community organizing???

Jennifer said...

I found #3 to be a very profound statement! The Republican party constantly harps on Obama's lack of experience, but you're right. Dismissing his experience as a community organizer shows ignorance and apathy in regard to the situation that many people are in right now. It's hard to believe that people can call Obama elitist, then go and say things that, like you basically said, demonstrate a disconnect between the Republican party and millions of Americans who live in poverty and in violent, broken communities.

Dean Smith said...

Wow! This is really good stuff! I need to drop in on your blog more often. Thanks!