Column: Joe The Plumber Steals Joe Six-Pack's Thunder

This story was written by Bentley Ferraina, Daily Northwestern

Dear Joe the Plumber,

I heard a lot about you during this week's debate. Maybe you've heard of me. My name's Joe Six-Pack, and I'm the man. I was the most important guy in America until you came along with your blank gray T-shirt, blank shaved head and easily exploitable story.

I was that blank dude once. I remember when all the politicians talked about ol' Joe Six-Pack. Hell, it was just last week. Back then I was America worth fighting for. I'm that middle-class, moderate white male with a chip and a gun on his shoulder. I have a pick-up truck, 2.5 kids and apparently a drinking problem. But I also have a hard time making ends meet. I want to send those 2.5 kids to college so they don't become Junior Six-Packs. And according to Sarah Palin, I pal around with hockey moms, whatever the hell those are. Joe Six-Pack doesn't even like hockey.

But they say you're the new me now. That's great. I was really just a voiceless symbol for politicians and columnists to exploit. You're the real deal. Right now you represent every Jane Doe, John Q. Public and Joe Schmo ever mentioned, and you have something most Americans feel they lack: a voice.

I saw that video of you talking to Barack Obama and I liked what I saw-not what Obama said but what you did. You entered that conversation knowing you'd vote for McCain no matter what. Obama probably couldn't tell you anything to win your vote. But you weren't Palin-esque about it. You listened to Obama. You gave him a fair shake. Here's a man who told you something you didn't want to hear. He was honest and forthright with you, and he wanted to make sure you knew where he stood. Maybe you disagreed with him, but was he the monster the McCain-Palin campaign described?

Now you're in a unique position to ask the voters and the candidates to follow your lead and to hear each other out. You'll probably do more interviews in these next two days than Palin will do during the entire campaign. Tell them that Joe SixPack is tired of hearing all the bitching and moaning and name-calling. Before you become just another footnote in Wikipedia, remind the candidates who they're fighting for right now. We're, in fact, not just Joe Six-Packs. We're not unengaged. We're not uninformed. We're not uneducated, unsuccessful or unaware. We're unimpressed. A lot of us don't know who we're for right now because we don't know who's for us.

Well, you know who you're for. You support John McCain. You don't like taxes, and he sounds like he doesn't either. You're voting with your wallet and selling your vote to the highest bidder. That's the American dream.

Sincerely,

Joe Six-Pack