Friday, September 12, 2008

Bikers for Obama Speak Their Mind

Rep. Sara Lampe takes a spin on Don Woolsey's
bike after the BIKERS FOR OBAMA rally.

Personal freedoms, health care for American workers, purchasing American products, democracy, and American business investments back into American communities were just some of the issues that BIKERS FOR OBAMA brought up at the rally today. Rep. Sara Lampe, Rep. Charlie Norr, and some local workers all spoke.

Lampe, when asked by KY3’s David Catanese why the American government should be forced to buy American products, as the free market can determine the best products and the best prices, she retorted that we should not purchase products that were made in overseas sweatshops and unknowingly support, through our tax dollars, human trafficking.

David Catanese, KY3, asks questions of Rep. Sara Lampe.

John Cook, Bryan Emory and Don Wooley – local blue collar, Harley-riding workers – also gave speeches talking about the importance of the American worker and American products. It was their speeches, really, that resonated with me. “I care who built that motorcycle,” said Emory about his Harley-Davidson.

Bryan Emory tells the crowd the importance
of his American-made motorcycle.

I think that is true about most, if not all, Harley owners. The Harley-Davidson motorcycle is a part of American iconography. It is as uniquely American as comic books. Harley riders do not ride just to save gas. The experience of the road, that deep sound of horsepower chugging along Route 66, and the pride of Harley ownership is something special, something that we treasure. It’s not a motorcycle; it is a lifestyle.

These regular Joes, if you will, these hard working, blue collar men tapped into their beliefs and pride of the American dream and the American experience. To them America is not about making as much money as possible, it is not about golden CEO parachutes or unregulated banks cashing in on consumerism, it is not about greed at the expense of the community. America is about hard-working Americans living a good life.

For John Cook, American jobs are
integral to a functioning democracy.

The message from these workers was clear and strong: We cannot support policies that ship American jobs overseas. They advocate to end the tax breaks for businesses that engage in such practices, a policy that is supported by Barack Obama and opposed by John McCain.

Rep. Charlie Norr takes pride in American workers.

Lampe pointed out the inconsistency when she asked Catanese how a group can proclaim itself as “Country First” if that same group then supports jobs being shipped overseas? These guys were especially harsh, even angry, that McCain (according to them) opposed buying Harley Davidsons for the Secret Service. They, of course, take pride when they see law enforcement riding the greatest symbol of American motorcycling. To those of us who ride a Harley, the bar and shield symbolizes freedom.

The Harley-Davidson is a lifestyle not a motorcycle.

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