Attention young people of diversity! The leader has need for a youth corps. So says the leader's dear comrade and consort. Something like that is underway now. Andrew Malcolm writes in IBD:
President Obama's election campaign is recruiting an army of determined community organizers to walk the streets of the nation's cities this summer and autumn in the footsteps of a young Chicago community organizer named Barack Obama.
Recruits would gather other volunteers, register new voters, run phone banks and campaign events and knock on millions of doors to track voters' preferences and encourage supporters of the president's reelection.
The massive, cross-country organization is called Obama Fellowships. It involves many thousands of unpaid volunteers, both full- and part-time with separate fellowships for the summer and the fall leading up to the Nov. 6 presidential election.
Lest anyone think sacrifice for the leader goes unrewarded:
She assures the would-be Obama legions that they will inherit the mantle of movement leadership from her husband. "The people who take on this challenge," Obama says, "will not only help move this country forward -- they'll also become the next generation of leaders."
An attached link takes potential foot-soldiers to a lengthy application form that seeks standard location information, language, computer and online communication skills such as Facebook and Twitter.
It also asks their comfort levels with telephone and door-to-door solicitations, first, second and third choice for assignment states and a series of mini-essays on such topics as working with diverse groups, overcoming adversities in life and what the word "organizing" means to them.
This looks very much like a first step in building a personal corps of organizers located all over "urban" America, people with skills whose job entails getting to know everybody in their hood. The obvious goal is to bring massive turnout to the polls, but such a network of activists could be of tremendous utility, even power, if the fanning of racial tensions underway succeeds in provoking a summer of violence in the cities. A corps whose loyalty lies with the leader. That reminds me of something else.
The photo accompanying the blog is well worth a click all on its own. Nobody picks more astringent photos than Andrew Malcolm.