Thursday, September 18, 2008


Watching the Republican National Convention, my putrid distate of Rudy Giuliani grew by the buckets. I always felt he was such a snake and if I had to watch him spurt his shallow campaign speeches through his fake teeth and 9/11 hubris one more time, I would shoot myself. Luckily, we don't have to deal with him for little more than a smirky speech every now and then. He is the one that started the little 'joke' about Barack Obama's experience as a community organizer.

He giggled and guffawed and his silly little audience followed suit.

'Yeah, really. What's a community organizer anyway?! ha, ha, that Giuliani - he's got a point. American people don't need people out in the community trying to help people, actually talking to residents, gathering qualitative information on the quality of their lives. We need more smug suits, sitting in frequently redecorated offices who need advisors for everything down to what kind of toilet paper with which they should wipe their ass. We need more people in charge whose only exposure to 'real' people are the hands they shake on the campaign trail and that lobbyist who used to live in their town. If our leaders were out actually experiencing what we do every day, how would they be there for the corporate interests, how would they make sure the lobbyists are getting the attention they deserve, how would they make time to reward loyal followers with their earmarks and continued employment.'

Then, Palin took the ball and ran with it - comparing her positions of mayor of a city with a population equal to that of my high school and then governor of a state with a population a little larger than Kansas City - to that of Obama's experience as a community organizer (in that lovely, piercing, smug accent of hers). She said that a community organizer has no real responsibilities. Which is a nice insight into what her opinion of 'real' is. Ask the residents who were given resources to find food, housing, jobs when they walk into their church or mission to find a community organizer there to help - ask them what feels more real. Ask the elderly woman who is picked up at her home and brought to the polls by a community organizer - ask her what real is. Ask the immigrant who is working hard to provide for a family here and at home who is confused and intimidated about rules in a city that doesn't speak his language who can find answers at a bilingual forum put on by these 'shiftless' community organizers - what is real to him.

In a world and a country where half of the population lives in urban centers and are dealing with urban issues - like housing, crime, infrastructure, education and transportation - we need a president who has some grasp on what is going on in our cities. We need a president who is not going to ignore race and class issues simply because he knows he's going to lose the minority vote. We need a president who doesn't mock those of us who work hard to make the lives of people in our communities better, who care about the village as much as the crown. We need a president who respects us a people - all of us - and doesn't try to twist words and force a divide between us and 'those people'. We need a president who is truthful about the change he wishes to make.

As wonderful and momentous as the day is that we get to decide between a black president and a female vice-president - it is sad to realize how rampant racism continues to exist. It thrives in the open, anonymous web, it thrives in the federally-regulated, proud talk radio, it thrives in the dark, private conversations with close friends, and it thrives in the most well-meaning of hearts. It is being used in this election, and will determine the outcome. Hopefully, America will prove to be better than the politicos give us credit.


emawkc said...

You guys are taking this election waaaaay too seriously.

m.v. said...

Not in relation to a certain presidential candidate I accept usefulness if community organizers only if they are unpaid. If they are paid then it's just a job no matter how much they love it. I.e. I work for a phone company,like my job and care if your phone works, but if they stop paying me I won't. Some community organizers, or for example the president of my union are very wealthy people and not ashamed of it. The president of my union who is always "concerned" about the working man makes more money the the president of the USA. If you do it out of the goodness of your heart in your spare time, good for you, otherwise it's just another scam.

Spyder said...

Amen Sponge!

Tony said...

I like this post, I'm linking.

Chronic said...

Your post is great, but too idealistic. It doesn't matter who we vote for... it's all already set. McCain and Palin win regardless of the vote, just like Dubaya won in spite of the vote... twice.

Anonymous said...

Chronic @ 10:45 a.m. is right.

I hate to say that.

Know what I tell my kids when they ask me why the good guys always lose?

"Because the Democrats tell the truth, and no one wants to hear it. And then the Republicans lie, and the people want to believe the fairy tales."

KC Sponge said...

I certainly may be idealistic, but rose-tinted frames are better through which to see the world instead of jaded green ones that would cause me to give up and stop the good fight. I know people truly are good at heart and that humanity truly does bind us - it's our selfish nature and propensity to fear all the things we're told to fear that keep us from truly doing good.

Is it idealistic to think that everyone would have my world view if they were honest and selfless and saw each other as human beings instead of competitors in this game called life? Sure, but I don't think it's idealistic to say that if we saw this election as one between government like it has always been and government as it could be AND that there is a chance we will see positive change if we give up our preconceived notions and let go of our cynicism. There is only hope.
You have to hold on for something - and real people make real change in our politics, our national identity, our humanitarian efforts and our hearts - maybe once in a lifetime, but some we can see every day. Just because this man is seen in the same familiar suits, talking to the same familiar reporters using the same familiar lines, does not mean that he is in the same, familiar circumstance. Politics as usual gave us Lincoln and Kennedy, and Churchill and Mandela, and Reagan and Bush - not any one the usual - not all of them good, but not all of them bad. Don't underestimate America and what we can do with our power to vote, our power to overcome the ads and spin and make our own decisions, and our power to change our country for the better. It's high time we did.

Anonymous said...

Sponge...just call the Republicans for what they mainly are...sexually repressed white people, who have the occasional discriminatory tendencies. Guess there has to be a little yang with the yin.

I'm taking in all the happenings in Kansas City and saving you all the trouble . . . I'll let you know whether to soak it up or squeeze it out!!