Americans have quietly shivered through the last 21 months of election coverage waiting on a voice of reason and without compromise, a voice that speaks to the issues of small town America, a beer-swilling-hot-dog-munching voice of the Masses, a voice for the Workin’ Man to help guide their choice for President. Restless voter, your compass is nigh. In the crucial final days of the election cycle, singer/songwriter/poet/sage/workingman John Mellencamp has thrown his lot in with Senator Barack Obama of Illinois prompting polls and projections to adjust accordingly to unanimous favor of an Obama win.
In the wake of the Mellencamp announcement, a landslide victory for Senator Obama is now being projected as America takes its hand out of its collective pants, flips off the boob tube, and drinks its final draught of sweet Budweiser, that bastion of All-American-All-The-Way beer excellence, before saying “Damn it, this is my country. And John, I too was born in a small town. I can relate to that. Ergo, I can relate to you and what you’re saying and it sure sounds like what you’re saying, behind all those gerunds with dropped ‘g’s’ and acrimony toward ‘George Boosh,’ is that I should vote for a good ‘ol boy like Obama. Well, you’ve got it, John. Hell, on a thirty-plus year career of balls-to-the-wall, no-compromise, Heartland music, you’ve earned it.”
The endorsement from America’s principled, concession-flaunting word weaver comes as little surprise when one considers that on key issues Mellencamp and Obama are like Siamese twins rent asunder by the proverbial band saw of hope and change to work in populist harmony for such a time as this. Take the Patriot Act, for example. This gem of American law is such a stunning example of what Constitutional government can achieve that Senator Obama not only voted for it and but proceeded to vote to extend it and to include the FISA amendment guaranteeing hard-working American telecommunications companies and President Bush the help they need for warrantless surveillance. Senator Obama works hard to keep our eavesdroppers here at home and not outsource them abroad. As Mellencamp sees it, that’s just sound judgment for a troubled economy.
On off-shore drilling, Mellencamp and Obama know what the people want. While those white-collar office-monkeys press buttons in their high rise offices and “vacation down at the Gulf of Mexico,” the “simple man, baby” needs to go down there and tap us some oil. Forget 25 years of a tired old drilling ban. Mellencamp and Obama chant in unison the old football cheer: stick it in, stick it in.
Mellencamp clearly recognizes along with Obama that the troop surge has unquestionably succeeded in Iraq so the People’s Poet has joined with the Senator from Illinois in insisting we keep blue-collar, butt-busting American soldiers in Iraq as well as expanding American efforts in Afghanistan. Terrorists, then, must undoubtedly prepare to get “R.O.C.K.ed by the USA.” We’re in this for the long haul. Clearly Mellencamp recognizes that a vote for Obama is a vote for small towns all over the world and true change in American foreign policy. It follows, then, that both Obama and Mellencamp are in agreement on military spending, which will certainly jump to a healthier $715 billion in 2009 under an Obama administration. Followers of this year’s election coverage will recognize that figure as it is close to the sum of the blank check that Senator Obama supported to “give a break” to the honest, salt-of-the-earth folks up on Wall Street making sure small towns across the country have a fighting chance. Who’s a pansy on defense and the economy now, John McSame?
On NAFTA, Obama is flexible. Sometimes he’s for it, sometimes he’s against it, depending on who he is talking to at the time. Surely Mellencamp must like that kind of tenacity and progressive leadership–a true sign of hope for the American worker. Finally, on the Farm Bill and issues for the Heartland, Senator Obama is such a keen supporter he didn’t even come to vote in most cases, assuming everyone would fall in line and do the right thing–and they sure did! And with Obama’s anti-establishment, lobby-free support for ethanol, an Obama presidency will put America well on its way to a three or four crop system on a massive scale with a fair shake guaranteed for our agri-businessmen.
In light of the issues, it comes as a shock to many pundits that these two uncompromising men of the people did not unite for the Democratic Party’s ticket. We attempted to reach Bruce Springsteen, Matt Damon, Oprah, Scarlett Johansson, Maria Shriver, Stevie Wonder, George Clooney, John Legend, Ed Norton, Forest Whitaker, Magic Johnson, and other everyday Obama supporters for comment on the pivotal Mellencamp endorsement but were unable to do so before the deadline. Current polls are projecting Obama for a 370 electoral vote victory in lieu of Mellencamp’s announcement.
This editorial was written for TTM by our political/heartland/rock-n-roll correspondant Ryan Hodgen. We felt the need to throw our collective hat into the ring of political commentary and humor on the day of Election 2008 – also known as “Thank God, I thought this election would never be over” – and Ryan proudly caught that pass and spiked it in the proverbial humor endzone. Thanks Ryan.