MoJo Online has an unusual story that may resurrect your faith in humanity again after the shocks it’s taken this past year–hell, this past 20 years:
When John Andrew got laid off this summer he could take solace in having plenty of company: Since George W. Bush took office, nearly 4 million Americans have lost their jobs.But the same day that this client-services director for a Minnesota software firm got his pink slip, he also heard that the president’s economic team was coming to the Midwest on a “Jobs and Growth” tour — a three-day, six-city publicity blitz to talk up the benefits of the Bush tax cuts.
“It pissed me off,” says Andrew, who felt the administration had no business crowing about an economy that was shedding one job every 15 seconds. “I’m 41 years old; I got two kids,” he says, “and I decided this would be a good time for dad to stand up and protest.”
So Andrew decked out the family’s blue Honda Odyssey with protest placards and hit the highway on his own “Economic Reality” tour. He shadowed the bus carrying cabinet secretaries John Snow, Donald Evans, and Elaine Chao, to give his fellow Americans “the real facts — that this economy stinks, and Bush’s tax cuts are making it worse.”
He caught up with them in at a fast-food restaurant called “Culver’s” in northern Wisconsin, and when they wouldn’t listen to him:
While the secretaries boasted of collecting, “real-time economic information from real American people,” they apparently didn’t want to hear from Andrew, who was turned away at the door by security.Undeterred, Andrew drove his minivan repeatedly into the window-lined drive thru, hoping to catch their attention. “I probably went through 20 times,” says, whose van quickly filled to overflowing with the Diet Cokes he kept buying.
On his final pass, Andrew caught a glimpse of secretary Snow walking outside the restaurant. “I rolled down my window and yelled: ‘Hey John!’,” Andrew recalls, “which was probably kind of impertinent considering he’s the Secretary of the Treasury.”
Flanked by a secret service detail, Snow came up to the passenger-side window. Andrew explained to the secretary that he’d just been laid off. “I told him that I strongly disagreed with the economic policies that this administration was pursuing, and that I felt that it was ineffective, wrong headed, and doing nothing to help the majority of American workers.”
Snow, in turn, encouraged patience, reasoning that the first tax cut (now nearly two years old) hadn’t had time to take effect, and that the benefits of the second tax cut were following close behind. He then offered two parting words of advice: “Just wait.”
“I was stunned by the response,” says Andrew. “I’d like to see those words on a PR banner behind Snow at the podium: ‘Jobs and Growth: Just Wait.’ Maybe I should call Citibank, which holds my mortgage, and tell them ‘Just Wait — I can’t pay you this month.'”
“Stunned” is probably the right word, but, let’s face it, typical for this crew. Their only concern is for making sure they sound concerned, and they’re not even much good at that. “Just wait.”
Andrew has a website: jobforjohn.com. Visit it. Congratulate him. And then email Kerry or Dean or Clark and suggest they put him to work on their campaigns. We need somebody like this speaking for us.