I was perusing the Lancaster Intelligencer Journal on Friday and was struck by a couple of the articles. One was an AP account of how community organizers are miffed at the merriment some GOP speakers enjoyed at their expense at the recent convention. The article pointed out that community organizers do good work, help poor people cope with a variety of stresses, and should not be belittled.
Well, of course they shouldn't, but that's not what was happening at the convention. What Republican speakers did was not deride people who are community organizers or the work they do, but rather deride the notion that that work is a qualification for the presidency of the United States. A community organizer is something like a secular missionary. Missionaries do wonderful work, and few would demean it, but three years in an inner city mission field is not the sort of experience that, by itself, prepares one for the Oval Office.
A second column, by an Intelligencer staffer named Jeff Hawkes, who apparently couldn't think of anything else to write about, fretted over Obama's safety during a campaign swing through Amish country last Thursday. I certainly don't wish to scoff at concern for anyone's safety, but the unspoken implication of Hawkes' overwrought essay, it seemed, was that Lancaster County is McCain territory and is therefore filled with, you know, lots of those right-wing, racist, extremist nuts. Hawkes cited a number of other fans of Barack at the Lancaster rally who harbored similar fears. One of them worried that "Every time there's somebody of promise, it's extinguished." He concluded his column by noting that "nothing bad happened" and breathed a sigh of relief as if we just missed tragedy by mere inches here in the US of KKK A.
Mr. Hawkes is perhaps unaware of the much more tangible threats against George Bush from both the rabid left and Islamic terrorists. If he is aware of them, I wonder how many anguished columns this worrywart has written about the very real risk George Bush takes every time he sets foot outside the White House, or if this is something Mr. Hawkes even thinks or cares about.
In any case, it seemed curious that Hawkes uniquely singled out senator Obama as the object of his concern. It makes one wonder if Mr. Hawkes, being a good liberal white man, may not have been exorcising the burden of his racial guilt. By going on about his profound concern for Mr. Obama's well-being, perhaps, he was assuring his minority readers and fellow liberals and perhaps himself, that, unlike so many other whites in Lancaster county, he is no racist.
That explanation may make him sound a bit pathetic, but it's a lot better than concluding that he just doesn't care about the safety of Republicans.RLC