2008

22 October 2002: A talk with Suzy Six Pack and Joe Soccer Dad

A talk with Suzy Six Pack and Joe Soccer Dad

“Worried? You betcha, I’m worried,” responded Suzy Six Pack when I asked her about her thinking on our current state.

It had been quite a while since we last got together, so it was great catching up with Suzy and her partner Joe Soccer Dad at a local bar over burgers, beer and Chardonnay, in Joe’s case, during the Bronco game. The game didn’t help lift her mood any.

“The whole thing sucks. Just like this game,” her voice rising. “Overthrown passes, lost fumbles, missed tackles! Playing like a bunch of kids in a pee-wee league!” she moaned.

“Look, the Republicans have essentially been the ruling party since Reagan. The conservatives have been the ones pushing these goofy ideas about laissez-faire economics. Well, guess what—our national credit card is maxed out, and we ain’t allowed to declare bankruptcy.

“I started calling John McCain ‘Lurch’ after the butler in The Adamm’s Family because he lurches from one position to another. He barks about how he was against deregulation all along when he supported every measure that came down and helped destroy the safety net in place since FDR!”

“Absolutely,” joined in Joe, more focused on his New York Times crossword puzzle than the game.

“No matter where you go or talk to, people are stressed. The guys at my barber shop the other day were talking about it. A couple of them are small business owners—a contractor and the barber—another’s a trucker.

“They were all telling about how their businesses are off up to 45 percent compared to last year.

“One fellow is an accountant, and he quipped that anyone who can’t see who this mess has been created by sinister types doesn’t know what it means to count cards in Vegas.”

“I don’t get it,” I said.

“It’s like in the movie Rain Man. The guy’s a savant. Can’t take care of himself, but has an incredible knack for numbers and memorizing the phone book.

“So his kid brother takes him to Vegas, and he cleans up, that is until security gets onto them.

“He beat the system. Now, you can’t stop people from counting cards, but in business we have laws designed to prevent nefarious types from gaming the system.”

“Hmmm…I hadn’t thought of looking at it that way,” I admitted.

“It’s a big scam,” said Suzy, taking a bite from her buffalo burger. “Just like the health-care mess.

“The issue is not about government providing health care as it is about providing people with the opportunity to access it. I find it laughable when pro-HMO advocates try to stoke fear by claiming we will have federal bureaucrats making health decisions instead of a person’s doctor. What we have right now are HMO bureaucrats standing between a patient and her doctor.

“The old world of the personal doctor went out the door with Richard Nixon when he realized enormous profits are to be made on people suffering and dying.

“The problem with McCain’s plan is that it is no plan; it simply continues the current system with minor tweeks. Obama’s does also, only with major tweeks.

“Health care is a right—at least Obama got that one right—not just a responsibility ala McCain. I think we all understand that Uncle Sam cannot save our health. Maintaining good health is each person’s responsibility, but only when we begin to use the force of government to counteract what corporate America is doing by taxing, for example, fast-food and soft drinks loaded with processed sugar, I’ll know we are serious about it.”

“I agree,” said Joe, slicing his veggie burger. “On the one hand, society promotes unhealthy lifestyles, and then it treats access to health care like a commodity to be bought and sold.

“But the attack on the middle and working classes are not just at the national level. Look at what the super rich, led by that kid Jonathan Coors who has likely never done a lick of work to earn his keep, are trying to pass with Amendments 47, 49, and 54.

“Working men and women have it tough enough to organize as it is. It really is class warfare. Their attacks on unions are really code for attacks on workers.”

“It’s a matter of free speech too,” said Suzy. “Amendment 54 could have a severe impact on Clear Creek because we are so small and have limited local contractors.”

“I have to admit,” I reflected, “that I have been really confused about a number of these amendments. Their titles seem harmless and even positive enough, but when I got to reading the Blue Book summaries, I was blown away by the misleading information being put out there in the ads and mailings.”

“That’s the reason you have the gift of reason,” Joe replied. “An ignorant voter is not one who is stupid, but one who is too lazy to do his homework and relies on the propaganda being spewed out.

“Hmm…what’s a twelve-letter word beginning with “c” that means one who defends the status quo?”

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