Obama, Ayers, and the latest round of GOP attacks

It appears that the GOP is getting desperate. The latest round of attacks trying to influence people to not support Obama tell us that he would not be a good President because of his "close" association with Bill Ayers, who was a founder of the Weather Underground that was a violent anti-war group in the late 60s, early 70s. I do not approve of Ayer's actions during that time, and I do not want my thoughts to be construed as an endorsement of violent actions against the government.

Does anyone actually think that an individual should not serve on the board of a useful organization because another board member has attacked our government in the past? It seems like a preposterous position to me. If I had the knowledge and opportunity to serve on a board of an organization "whose goal is to increase opportunities for less advantaged people and communities in the metropolitan area, including the opportunity to shape decisions affecting them" (Woods Fund of Chicago) or an organization whose goal was to "improve school performance," (Chicago Annenberg Challenge) would I run background checks on every board member of those organizations? Would I refuse to serve and do good even if there was a man associated with a former violent anti-war organization on the board? You could put me on a board right now with the worst people in the world if our purpose of serving together on that board was to benefit people who need help.

But Obama was not friends with Bill Ayers during period of waywardness. Ayers is now a respected member of his community and a professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Should his past also not be forgiven? It looks like he has moved on since the 60s and 70s. He is no longer organizing meetings to bomb the White House or the Pentagon. He is a man serving in his community trying to help children receive better education. He has overcome his violent tendencies of the past and is not working constructively on creating a better Chicago.

It was in Ayers' desire to help his community and Obama's desire to help the same community that these guys met one another. It was not as a result of Obama going to some covert anti-America meeting. Because Ayers and Obama shared a common interest of helping improve education and the lives of the impoverished in Chicago, it is no surprise that Bill Ayers hosted Obama and introduced him to some of the powers-that-be in the Chicago political scene when Obama ran for office. Should Obama have refused the political help from someone who shared the mutual desire to improve the life of those struggling in the city of Chicago? Obama did not have to support violent anti-American actions to receive help from Ayers thirty years after Ayers' missteps.

The other attack is that Obama wrote a good review of Ayers' book on reforming the juvenile justice system. Personally, I have not read the book, but it might have had some good thoughts in it. Maybe it was a book full of rubbish and could never be implemented. If so, we could question Obama's judgment for supporting such stupid ideas. I have not heard anyone attacking the contents of the book that Obama wrote a positive review for, nor do I know whether Ayers' book had a positive or negative impact on juvenile justice in Illinois. It was not like Obama wrote a positive review of a book supporting terrorist actions; it was a book reforming the juveile justice system. Has McCain ever read a book on juvenile justice? What did he think?

I look at Obama's service as a board member in these organizations as an asset. I have not done as much good for the community that I live in. Instead of attacking Obama through attacking the 60s and 70s actions of a fellow board member in these beneficial charity organizations, maybe McCain should point out the grassroots charity work he has been a part of. If he wants my vote, I would like to know what charity work he has participated in. I am not going to hold it against Obama that he was on the board with a person that committed some heinous actions in the 60s and 70s. I actually view his involvement on these boards as an admirable action.