You are hereForums / Future of the GOP-- How to get Our Party Back / What is Parker getting at?

What is Parker getting at?


By Kelly Thomas - Posted on 25 January 2009

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.

 I find most of what Kathleen Parker writes is crap laced with a little OxyRush BS, a few measures of June Cleaver, boiled down to a few paragraphs. For color, she garnishes it with a few drops of Reactionary Self Loathing. I find this goes nicely with Boehner Sour Kraut.

I dunno. What do you think she's getting at?

I just find it to be an interesting column, an observational one that is.

Heh --  Snark is cheap and harmful and cynicism is unpatriotic.

"For those who plan with audacity and execute with vigor,
progress is the magnificent by product." 

Well, I'm all for snark and cynicism, but that is different than being b*tchy for no other reason than to be b*tchy.

I know tons of people who don't volunteer (as a Girl Scout leader, room mom, etc, etc, etc, I feel I do more than my share), so I am all for getting more people involved.  For Parker to act as if we were all going to be required to put in a certain number of hours per year or something is ridiculous, but it would be great to encourage people.  It would be lovely for people to feel that they are a part of their community and that they are necessary and integral.

It is something that my husband and I already teach our children, so I think it is great that more people might get involved in their communities.

Well, I can probably relate more because I'm one of those who have no intention of volunteering for anything.

Oh, I've done the Boy Scout thing from time to time, and the Girl Scout thing too. But I am opposed to taking on a larger role than I already have.

But I guess that encouraging, but not forcing, others to volunteer is okay. Just leave me alone, mm-kay? 

"For those who plan with audacity and execute with vigor,
progress is the magnificent by product." 

I am not sure what the article is about either. I guess she is free to speak what she may and she is exercising that freedom, though I cannot understand why anyone would have a problem with helping others especially since no-one is forcing anyone.

Oh, I just saw a cheerios advert where the bumble says "be happy be healthy"! Heck yeah! This is America, Kathleen! You are allowed to be as long as you are not hurting anyone.

"I cannot understand why anyone would have a problem with helping others especially since no-one is forcing anyone"

That's what I don't get, either.  I guess Kathleen is just feeling a little crabby lately.  Maybe someone should point out to her that helping out our fellow man is a very Christian concept.

Just one other thing to point out:  when you help others, you reap a lot of rewards yourself.  And it never hurts when you meet others who have the same interests as yourself.

Just one other thing to point outwhen you help others, you reap a lot of rewards yourselfAnd it never hurts when you meet others who have the same interests as yourself.

Great point. It does feel really good when you do something for those less fortunate or in need of any assistance of any kind. These are things we should all strive to do when we can of course, no one is forcing any one to do anything. I feel when you do something good it comes back at ya 3-fold.   

 Maybe someone should point out to her that helping out our fellow man is a very Christian concept. 

I hadn't thought of that angle. That cracks me up that the "religious right" would be complaining about a president asking (not requiring) all of us to reach out and help our neighbors in need. Such people lose more and more credibility each day.

I don't think anyone needs to feel guilty if they choose not to volunteer for whatever reason, but I do think everyone should "try it." I find that I get more out of it than the groups I try to help. It's a great feeling.

Many high schools are now giving credit for service hours. While some  kids just want to put in their hours and maybe their hearts are not into it as much as one would hope, many realize how important it is to volunteer and keep doing it when the credit is fulfilled. The way Obama is approaching it seems to be "we are all better off when we reach out to those in need." I know he did talk about college tuition credit in exchange for service so why is this bad if students would have a choice?

Sometimes I think the extreme right just grasps at anything to complain about with regards to Obama. It's gets tired after awhile. I do think Parker is a decent writer and I'm not being critical of the style-just questioning the purpose of her editorial. Then again, I'm sure she knows it will please a big chunk of her audience.

 

 

 

 

"Sometimes I think the extreme right just grasps at anything to complain about with regards to Obama. It's gets tired after awhile. I do think Parker is a decent writer and I'm not being critical of the style-just questioning the purpose of her editorial. Then again, I'm sure she knows it will please a big chunk of her audience."

 

Yup! Yup! 

I am ok with Parker's column as a warning shot against implicit government coercion in the service initiative (i.e., a parallel to the argument that no one can object to a moment of silence at the start of the public school day since, ostensibly, no one will be forced to pray to a God).

A government sponsored call to "service" -- or anything else with a moral rather than a policy core --  can lapse into a crusading. And, frankly, if the Obama service initiative is rolling out a government-backed "voluntary" service Oath, we are already one big step further down a "red" dirt road than we ought to be.

Signs of government smugness and lack of self-criticism in the service initiative are fair game, and Parker stopped short of saying Obama and company are actually guilty of coercion...yet.

I have been pro Obama from day one, but I am delighted to have him scrutinized and cautioned ( fairly) by people who distrust him.Maybe Parker's fears will be born out, maybe not. But she is hitting above the belt.  

Sarcastic is what it sounds like to me.

Maybe Parker just wants to get invited back to those Neo-Con/National Review dinner parties after she basically called Palin stupid last year?

 

Follow RFO:

TwitterCafe PressFacebook

RSS

 

 

RFO Gear

Subscribe to General RFO Newsletter

General news and announcements for republicansforobama.org. We will never share or sell your email address.