Hey Joe Six-pack,
Are You Feeling Deserted Yet?
March 27, 2001
By Bradford Shaw
During the last election cycle, George W. Bush did his level
best to show himself as a plain spoken, regular guy, reaching
out to the heartland of America for his base of support. These
average American working people came to be known as Mr. and
Mrs. Joe Six-pack to both campaigns, and were to be the strong
central base for a conservative victory. He campaigned constantly
in the center and south of the country, making several promises
to change the tone in Washington, and represent the common
man and good old American values.
Reviewing the facts and figures of the outcome, we find
that his strategy seemed to have worked. The electoral map
that was used by most news agencies, with Bush in Republican
red and Gore in blue, clearly illustrated the center of the
country as pretty much solid red. Only the coasts and certain
enlightened intellectual zones were blue.
The middle and south of the country, both traditionally conservative,
did their best to stand up and support the Republican candidate
with money and votes with the sure and certain hope of having
their traditional values and lifestyles upheld and confirmed
as the status-quo for this nation. They wanted to have their
chosen representative achieve several specific goals when
in office, some of which include: Restore dignity to the White
House, instill confidence in our nation and economy, guarantee
a safe and prosperous future for our children and grandchildren,
and provide a suitable role model for all productive citizens
in the free world. They had full confidence in Shrub as one
of them: a good old boy from Texas with a simple and understated
way. A son of the south and a straight-shooting level-headed
Though I respect their right to vote for any candidate they
choose, time has already proven that their choices in this
election appear to have been wrong. If most learned scholars
in this country would have been asked two years ago who might
be the best qualified person to restore dignity to the highest
office in this land, the poor boob that even mentioned Shrub
would have been laughed out academia entirely on the spot.
His checkered past, combined with his lack of command of the
English language, along with his adopted Texas mannerisms
all add up to what some might characterize as a "dignity
So far his attempts at Presidential comportment seem to be
coming off as stiff and over-reaching. His terse attitude
toward cell phones is just the tip of the tension iceberg
that threatens his dignity restoration project. When he finally
snaps, there will likely be dignity flying in all directions.
Innocent witnesses standing by are cautioned to wear protective
Restore the dignity? All he chose to do was restore the political
careers of several of his fathers failed administrators. A
consensus of sorts is beginning to be felt in the political
opinion arena, that Bush and Cheney were doing their very
best to tank the economy in order to justify a huge tax cut
for the wealthy. They have been at this "low expectations"
game for several months, since before Christmas in fact.
Every time I see either GW or Dick on the news or at some
political function, they recite the same mantra of belt tightening
and economic slowdown. In the course of pushing for the big
tax cut, our newly selected President has invoked a case of
self-fulfilling prophecy. He has literally talked the nation
out of any confidence it may have had in what was, at the
time of the election, a robust and healthy economy. This series
of statements and actions does not instill any type of confidence
in our economy, as the last few ugly days in the market have
proven. Rather, it has the opposite result: a short or even
possibly longer recession.
Many of Shrub's supporters lost quite a lot of money during
this last massacre on Wall Street, but I am sure he isn't
worried about them right now. He knows that his biggest financial
contributors won't be affected by this little bump in the
economic road. They are well off enough to be in the market
for the long, long haul. This type of downturn will ruin many
small investors, but the deepest Republican pockets will always
be there for a good lapdog like old Shrub.
As to the question of guaranteeing a safe and secure future
for our children and grandchildren, in the first few weeks
into this Presidency, Shrub's administration has come down
hard against workplace safety, and the increase of pollution
standards, as well as a direct appeal to exploit one of our
nations greatest natural treasures, ANWR, Alaska's most pristine
and unspoiled native species habitat.
Such short-sighted planning seems to completely leave out
any thought for the future and our descendants. It seems to
favor a business plan over a values plan. Instead of standing
up for the common man and our common future, Shrub has decided
to spend his entire time in office standing up for big business,
and it's successful future.
Does all of this pro-business, anti-environment posturing
demonstrate a good role model for our children? Possibly so
in some cases, if you are planning to leave this planet soon.
But if you want to be able to breathe clean air and drink
clean water, a better role model would be a person who cared
enough about his children's future to do something about it,
regardless of the impact on the profit margin. George W Bush
is, by his own deeds and words, not that person.
So in terms of the goals previously mentioned for the heartland
of America, this new President is a disappointment on all
As his union rights are trampled on and his economy ruined,
the question for Joe Six-pack is: do you feel deserted yet?
As family values are abandoned in favor of business values,
leading to decreasing consumer protection, the next question
is: will your family be better off in the future with this
administration? When you watch Bush and his handlers jet-setting
from one country club to another attending future fundraisers,
another question that comes to mind is: are these people really
common folk, or are they rich, haughty snobs who wouldn't
even want you and your types to walk their dog? And the final
and most important question for Joe and his family: do these
people represent you, or their own interests?
It appears that so far, Shrub is more interested in paying
off his rich contributors than protecting the interests of
the average mid-country dweller. Many financial experts agree
that his tax cut, which will echo for the next ten years across
our fragile economy, won't benefit Middle America for many
years. With the economic slowdown, and recession on the horizon,
surplus revenues may not be there next year, not to mention
ten years from now, so how do you make up the shortfall to
cover the tax-cut? You borrow against your children's future.
It's a fine old Bush family tradition. Read my lips: no new
If Joe and his friends only knew a few months ago what was
in store for them in the near future, they may have changed
the way our economy and that electoral map turned out. We
would have changed the tone, to a message to business that
individuals matter more than the corporate bottom line. We
would have kept up our continued success and confidence in
our market and economy because, after all, back then it was
growing and moving forward at a pace that made business and
government happy. We would have guaranteed a safe and clean
environment for our future generations through strong environmental
legislation and executive action.
Al Gore has never given the impression that he was in politics
for personal gain. He has always been a strong and effective
candidate and office holder, often working to the point of
exhaustion, sacrificing his own peace and well being in order
to try to serve his country to the best of his ability. This
self-sacrifice and dedication without thought for personal
profit would have made him the best President and as a result
best role model in the oval office in recent history.
So, Joe Six-pack, in terms of your goals for the Presidency,
are you feeling deserted by the Republicans yet? Give it time.
We're all going to feel it.