Vice President Joe Six Pack and Renting the American Dream
Yesterday, Sarah Palin said she wants to represent “Joe Six Pack” in the vice presidency of the United States. Most an entire nation groaned in response.
“Joe Six Pack” — if you don’t know — is the beer-swilling, lower-class, American, red-neck stereotype who only cares about cars, sex and the bowling alley.
Here’s the painful Palin quote:
“It’s time that normal Joe Six-pack American is finally represented in the position of vice presidency,” the Republican vice presidential candidate told [ultra-conservative] radio talk show host Hugh Hewitt.
Palin said if she and John McCain win, they will “put government back on the side of the people of Joe Six-pack like me.”
What Palin fails to realize is she has a tin ear when it comes to hearing the vociferous voice of the nation. She only listens to her small, fundamentalist, fanatical, base. The rest of America wants nothing to do with her now because we see her for what she is: A cleaving, cruel, and condescending person who should never have any power over any citizen.
We want our presidents to be smarter than we are and we’ve suffered for eight years with a president that showed low caring and even lower intellect than the average American. We don’t want to continue to wither under another Bush and that’s why the reaction to Palin is so visceral and so surreal: We will not perpetuate our national nightmare!
Mediocrity only recognizes mediocrity and that is the danger of having people like Sarah Palin in positions of power: They do not realize what they do not know and they do not want to know anything else.
As I’ve said before, John McCain is stuck with Palin and he cannot abandon her now, and he will spend the rest of his life — win or lose — defending Sarah Palin, and no one will buy his invented mythology and convenient memory. The war hero tarnished his own medals.
The financial situation in the United States is numbing and the $700 billion bailout is bad business for everyone. A better solution is a smaller stopgap bailout of $150 billion to get us past the nasty politics of the presidential election and then solve it when a new president takes office in January. No one has a good idea how to get out of the mess that was so easy to sink into and our mediocre president led us down the rabbit hole.
In the last week, because of the financial crisis, I have friends who have had the available credit on their credit cards halved and their interest rate doubled.
Friends trying to buy cars are getting turned down for a loan unless their credit scores are above 730. The average American credit score is around 670.
The most distressing indicator of the crashing economy is, to me, something that isn’t being reported in the mainstream media: Prospective homebuyers are refusing to take out new mortgages with banks because of ridiculous interest rates.
There are good people out there with excellent credit ratings and lots of money saved to buy a first home — but instead of getting welcomed by their bank as a good risk, they are being treated like the people who are already failing in meeting their monthly mortgage bill.
For the average homebuyer, banks are now charging twice as much interest on a 30-year home loan now than they were in January — and that is a terrible indicator of the failure of the American Dream of home ownership because smart people will turn around and walk away from that punishing interest rate and continue to rent the American Dream. You can’t punish people now for the sins of other people in the past.
The entire ideal of America is built on home ownership and land control. Your tax base is connected to your home. You get tax credits for home ownership. You commit to an area and a region by planting your flag and saying, “I vote to stay here, and here’s my money to prove it!” The federal government, in the past, has had many generous loan programs to help people make a first home purchase, and that entire system of taxation, representation, and community-building is now in dire peril. Can it be fixed? Probably not. Can it be saved? Maybe.
The next three years in America will tell us a lot about our future as a free nation. We have a tremendous war bill to pay while people in Das Homeland are getting thrown out of their houses. Job losses are up. Despair and worry are up. People are losing their retirement savings in the Wall Street crash and they’ll never recover that money lost in the blizzard of bad decision-making they did not make.
We need strong and careful leadership in American to navigate us out of this Republican pit of distress.
The vice presidential debate tonight will tell us a lot about those who are right to lift us up. Will there be hope and plans? Or will there only be condescending jokes and snarky comments uttered to get a laugh? Let’s hope there’s a reasonable discussion of issues and ailments and zero mocking and throat cutting.