I've been working on algebraic equations with my daughter Kit. She kind of hates them. I kind of like them. They are so tidy. To solve for "x", you have to keep each side of the equation in balance. Maybe it's because I'm a Libra -- I like the whole tidy balance thing very much.
I find that when I can make information personal, it sticks better. So here's a series of equations I have been working on. See what you think:
The world = One Big Community
Political Process = Individuals coming together to work toward a set of common goals
Community Organizing = bringing groups of people together to take action to work toward a set of common goals focused on the betterment of those groups.
President of the United States = the highest ranking political figure in the United States. Often considered 'leader of the free world."
If the above equations are true, then the following is also true.
President of the United States = Highest Ranking Community Organizer of the World.
I can still hear Rudy Guiliani's voice in my head from the Republican convention, spitting out the phrase "community organizer" like it was dirty somehow. They worked hard to try to demonstrate that Obama's experience as a community organizer on Chicago's south side was a laughable credential.
What a delicious irony.
I would argue that he stands today as the president-elect of the United States because of this credential. What better evidence of gifted community organizing than the way in which millions of Americans came together, working together in every state in the country to work toward a common goal. And by the way, Barack is right. If done well, if done right, community organizing is not about the organizer. It's about the community.
This is what our finest presidents understand too -- that the work of the president is the work of a community organizer. Look at FDR. A man who could not stand up motivated a nation to get on its feet. Yes, he worked to create opportunities but there was more to it than that. His understanding of the national and world communities enabled him to motivate people to action on their own behalf.
So in summary:
President of the United States = Highest Ranking Community Organizer of the World
Barack Obama = Community Organizer
Barack Obama = 44th President of the United States.
I love it when things add up.
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