Huffpost Politics
Jason Linkins Headshot

Shorter RNC Day Three: "Death To Community Organizers!"

Posted: Updated:

You know, one of my great fears about John McCain's approach to national security is that he shows nary a whit of interest in busting out the ol' Google Map to find out the quickest route to the Afghanistan/Pakistan border, where our terrorist enemies dwell and flourish, unharmed and unmolested. But after tonight, it appears all but certain that there is one group of people who McCain truly will chase all the way to the Gates of Hell: community organizers.

That's right. Tonight at the RNC, the McCain campaign made their feelings about community organizers abundantly clear. Defeated primary opponents spit on their name. Conventioneers loudly mocked their existence. Sarah Palin told not one, but two jokes about them, which is certainly a comedy foul, because everyone knows you are supposed to use the Rule Of Three.

Tonight, community organizers were made to feel the brunt of the Republicans' smarmy derision. And for what? You know, one overworked conservative trope from tonight was that the American people should not expect the government to solve all of their problems. You know who would agree with that? Community organizers. These men and women serve a public duty, taking care of those who do fall through the cracks of government largesse, motivating citizens to give their time and sweat to serve society's needs without making an unnecessary dip in the taxpayer till.

Community organizers mobilize volunteers that are young and old. They work from churches and community centers. They go to work in small towns and big cities. They assist people of all ages, and all walks of life. They tutor children, care for the infirm, spend time with the elderly, get food to the hungry, clothes to the needy. They expand opportunities and improve lives.

Why, if I'm not mistaken, they even make sure that voters can get to the polls on those odd Tuesdays in November.

It was a little surprising to see the good work of community organizers subjected to such jeers tonight. Was I dreaming when I saw all those people in the hall holding placards that read, "Service?" No, they were in fact carrying such signs, but they were doing so Tuesday, when there was a possibility that a hurricane in the Gulf Coast mattered, and when Hookers And Blow weren't playing the big lobbyist bacchanal. Tonight, they were carrying signs that read "Prosperity," which I suppose is shorthand for, "Don't hope for a better tomorrow, let Cindy McCain buy it for you wholesale."

Here's a little bit of delicious irony. It's been pointed out to me tonight that on September 11, Senators McCain and Obama will appear in New York City, participating in a forum for Service Nation. The topic? Community service and volunteerism. I imagine that many of you might have come out of tonight's RNC festivities with great concerns about the future welfare of our nations' community organizers. You might share your concerns with the event's organizers, by contacting them here. With any luck, this forum could get quite awkward for one of these candidates!