President Obama's call for people to serve their communities has led liberals to suddenly discover their civic spirit. The most notable example of this is the "I Pledge" video produced by Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher. It is 4 minutes of C- and D-list celebrities pledging to do such substantive things as to smile (Be sure to pace yourself, Demi. Wouldn't want to pull a muscle.) and laugh more.
As might be expected, the video induced a lot of eye rolling on my part.
Things came to a head for me when a friend announced on Facebook that they were answering President Obama's call to serve. I had to strongly resist the urge to ask, "What do you want? A cookie?"
I have to wonder what was stopping these people from serving before now. You see, I've been doing volunteer work for my church for years. I didn't need the President to ask me to serve. All I needed was to know that the church had a need that I could fill even though it meant stepping outside my comfort zone and doing something I really didn't want to do. I can think of other ways I'd much rather be spending my time but the need has to be met so I do what I can instead of what I want.
In six months time, I'll bet that most, if not all, of these celebrities will have forgotten their pledges and moved on to whatever the latest cause du jour is. This is not to say that all celebrities only care about the needy when the cameras are on. Just the ones in this video. Others, like Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, dedicate a lot of time and money to helping those less fortunate than themselves and, like myself, they didn't need the President to ask them to serve. Whatever else I may think of Pitt and Jolie, I have to respect the obvious dedication they have to the causes they support.
As for my friend, well, he's my friend so I'm naturally inclined to expect the best from him but we'll just have to wait and see if he sticks with it. If he was serving because he wanted to serve I would have faith that he'd keep up with it but as it is, he's just caught up in the moment so we'll see.
For many liberals this is obviously just a chance to make themselves feel good about themselves by reinforcing how much they care without actually putting themselves out. (Still smiling, Demi?) Clearly the pledge to serve didn't include policing their trash after the inauguration.
The comments on that video are rather enlightening as to the liberal mindset. Lots of people saying it was okay to litter because someone else, mainly the government, would clean the mess up. (Way to take responsibility, guys! Obama would be so proud of you.) One whines that they couldn't pick up trash because they weren't allowed to bring backpacks to carry it in. (If you were able to carry the trash in, you were able to carry the trash out.) Another notes that there's so much trash because the Washington Post told people to bring a newspaper to stand on so their feet didn't freeze. (Kudos to the Post for figuring out a way to increase their January circulation numbers but that doesn't explain why people couldn't bend over and pick up their newspapers when they were done standing on them.)
It really comes as no surprise to me that studies have found that while liberals talk a lot about helping those in need, it's actually conservatives that are the main donors of time and money to charity. Wanting the government to take care of the problem, as liberals do, is the ultimate form of passing the buck. They don't have to do anything because it's someone else's problem. Conservatives don't have that luxury. They know that if they don't do what they can to help out, no one else will either so they do what they can to get the job done.
Me? I pledge to keep on doing what I've been doing all along.