This week Organizing for America (an arm of the DNC aimed at whipping up Obama supporters into a frothing frenzy) sent out a call for volunteers. These summer volunteers – which will operate during the summers of 2011 and 2012 – will volunteer for three months at a time, unpaid and with only minimal expense reimbursement. They’ll “embed” themselves in local communities, and work to achieve specific goals. It is likely that Organizing for America will recruit thousands, if not tens of thousands, of volunteers.
An army of community organizers
What, exactly, will these volunteers do? Well, according to a recruitment flyer, they will:
“be trained in the basic principles that have always built and powered effective grassroots movements, and will be assigned to a specific community where they’ll work to organize supporters street by street, neighborhood by neighborhood. They’ll recruit volunteers, run events, knock on doors, and do what it takes to support the President’s agenda. And, in the end, their work will take our grassroots power to an impressive new level.”
In other words, they’ll be trained in the basic ideas of community organizing. They will be taught to agitate, to prod people who otherwise wouldn’t be politically active to support President Obama, the DNC and the left-wing political agenda.
If you doubt whether or not this will have any impact on the 2012 presidential race, think again. These volunteers aren’t signing up to work at food pantries or to repair school roofs. They are being sent into communities as infiltrators with an agenda.
Spreading the word
And what’s that agenda? Well, our recruitment flyer tells us this one, too:
“Successful movements have always been built and grown by ordinary people who take responsibility for organizing their fellow citizens to make their voices heard. We’re looking for folks who are ready to work hard to support the President’s agenda and lay new groundwork to carry this movement forward for years to come.”
And here we have a cold admission by Obama’s “grassroots” organization. Their objective is a “successful movement,” one that supports the President’s agenda (whatever that may be at the time). Their objective isn’t to educate, communicate or foster dialogue. It’s to convince and agitate, and advocate for a specific agenda.
A country or a movement?
There was a time in the nation’s history when most politicians – regardless of political stripe – would work to improve the nation. They did what they did because they believed it would make America better, stronger and more successful. Some of them were horribly wrong about what would make America better, but that was at least their aim.
Organizing for America and Obama make no secret of the fact that they aren’t interested in making a better country. They want a successful movement. They want to create change via community infiltration in the guise of a “grassroots” effort.
The chink in the armor
So, how can conservatives hope to counter this movement? The defining characteristic of community organizing is power. Community organizers agitate individuals so that they can then seize power from others. The basic premise of community organizing is that groups of people should put their own interests ahead of the nation’s and advocate for change.
And that’s where we win. Conservatives (most of them, anyways) aren’t interested in seizing power. They want to build a better America. They want to help maintain the liberties for which so many have paid the ultimate price. It is here – in the nature of the message itself – that conservatives can take the wind out of the organizers’ sails.
We simply hearken back to the message of another young, popular Democratic president who suggested we “ask not” – and put ourselves in service to our nation rather than to our own movement.
Conservatives have the high ground here. Presenting our case to folks – the people we see every day, with whom we work, live, worship and do business – is true grassroots organizing. Advocating for the good of the nation instead of the good of one small group is a powerful message, and it’s one that will naturally draw people in. Simply pointing out the selfish and self-centered basis of community organizing can dramatically reduce their impact.
This article was originally posted on www.capepac.org