What about Hakim the Plumber?

October 19, 2008

Here we go again! The McCain campaign has introduced yet another tactic in its pathetic attempt to show Americans that he and Governor Sarah Palin are the most “like them.” Samuel “Joe” Wurzelbacher or “Joe the Plumber” has now emerged as the new face of the McCain campaign. His “impromptu” questioning as an independent voter at an Obama event in Holland Ohio has given the media something new to discuss (though it’s quite old now). McCain used Wurzelbacher during the debate and thereafter to showcase how Obama would hurt the average American. I wanted to first point out a few inconsistencies of the “Joe” story and then point out why it is ultimately damaging for America.

Clarence Page of the Chicago Tribune points out several of the problems with “Joe.” First of all, “Joe” does not make enough money to even be taxed under Obama’s plan. He is nowhere close to having the $250,000 needed to even buy a plumbing business. Furthermore, he is unlicensed. Third, he actually owes on his taxes. Finally, he is a republican who claimed to be independent. Senator McCain’s folks apparently did not properly vet “Joe.” Sound familiar? In the McCain campaign’s attempts to use words like “small town,” “country first,” “like us,” “patriotic,” and “Joe” to make their campaign to be the campaign of America, they have labeled the rest of us as “other” and this is a problem.

As “Joe the Plumber” rises to fame, receives book deals and reality show offers in addition to his new status as a pundit who has done more interviews than Palin with the press, I can’t help but be concerned with the continued decline of intellectualism in America. I saw “Joe” on Fox saying that the fact that he hasn’t paid his own taxes is irrelevant. This is probably in addition to the fact that he’s broke and isn’t licensed. McCain’s campaign has been reduced to slogans and catch phrases with no regard for the facts. The motto for the campaign might as well be “Vote for us White America. We look like you.”

The problem is that America no longer looks just like you Senator McCain and Governor Palin. You seem to have forgotten about Hakim the plumber, Jae Kim the teacher, Harshal the lawyer, and José the doctor. You should be mindful to know that in 2008, America is much more diverse and accepting than days past so attempts at division will backfire. Putting country first actually means putting all citizens first and not just those who look like you. While you and your supporters condemn Obama’s heritage and community organizer roots, you should be aware that Obama’s ability and attempt to organize the American community has placed him in the position he is in. You should take note.

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