What is Parker getting at?
Does anyone understand what Kathleen Parker is getting at in this article? Is this going back to that "Obama will begin a Gestapo-like agenda in which everyone must do community service" conspiracy theory? I was starting to have respect for Parker when she was being honest about Palin's incompetence but maybe she is trying to make up for it to the conservatives.
The incoming first lady reminds us that King lived his life in service to others and we should, too. And we should! Earnestly! Still, National Service Day has that Homeland Security feel to it. Will we soon be wearing armbands that say: "I volunteered"?
I've got a stash of virtue labels: I voted. I gave blood. Most Americans seem to own a wristband or two indicating solidarity with some victim group. Here's an idea: Why not wear a wedding band that says, "I married the parent of my child"? By helping the largest victim group in the country -- our marginalized kids -- we might not need so many third-party do-gooders.
Meanwhile, the Obamas plan to spend Monday volunteering in their new community. What about you? Not sure where to go? No worries. At USAService.org, the Renew America Together Web site, you can type in your ZIP code and find (or host) an event nearby.
Eager to be a Good American, I typed in my code and found a plethora of opportunities -- from Social Action Boot Camp to litter cleanup, to keeping vigil at the Chinese Embassy "to protest the killing, rape, torture, and displacement of civilians in the Darfur region of Sudan." Fun!
If you're beginning to itch around the collar, this is a perfectly normal reaction for those accustomed to voluntary volunteerism. Even the snark-averse might pause at "Oath of All of US," another volunteer event in which people of all ages and from all walks of life, LED BY YOUTH (their emphasis, not mine), will gather to share their pledges for social good with a personal Oath of Office.
Videos of these individual declarations of public virtue will be uploaded to the Web as part of a national campaign.
Remember last February when Michelle Obama promised during a UCLA speech that her husband would "require" us to work? That he was going to "demand that you shed your cynicism. That you put down your divisions. That you come out of your isolation, that you move out of your comfort zone. That you push yourself to be better. And that you engage"?
"Barack will never allow you to go back to your lives as usual, uninvolved, uninformed," averred America's aspiring first lady.
Apparently, she wasn't just whistling Chicago. It's all volunteer. Until it isn't. When you dare notwith us, not committed to unity -- it's not so voluntary for very long.
If you find yourself in isolation, without a comfort zone, drop by CASA where I'll be volunteering. We have stickers, too: Let's Not Hug.