10/17/08 — Joe's adventure: Want to know why people stay out of the political process ...

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Joe's adventure: Want to know why people stay out of the political process ...

He didn't know he would become a celebrity when he asked Sen. Barack Obama a question about taxes on the campaign trail.

But now, just days later, Joe the Plumber -- also known as Samuel J. Wurzelbacher -- has become a debate topic and has been flooded with media attention.

And along with all that fame came the questions -- the intrusions into his private life and the inevitable criticism that comes when you take a stand or become active in a political campaign.

And in one moment, Joe the Plumber understood why no one in their right mind would really want to run for political office and why so many voters are so tired of listening to the bickering.

Becoming a public servant these days means dealing with attack dogs combing your personal and professional life for any bobble that could become campaign fodder.

And in some cases, you don't even have to make your own mistakes. All you have to do is be associated with a past politician or to have shaken the wrong person's hand at the wrong time.

And that is what is so disheartening for voters.

OK, so Joe has a small tax debt -- and he is not an official plumber -- but does that make him an appropriate subject for attacks and full-blown media investigations?

Nope, it doesn't. Back off.

The man asked a question. He did not sign up as a McCain spokesperson or as an Obama critic.

Want to know what voters are really tired of? Wasting our time -- and condemning those who are doing the questioning that many other people should be doing.

Clean up campaigns first there. Then, perhaps a few more quality people might give service a chance.

Published in Editorials on October 17, 2008 10:54 AM