Election Coverage, and the 'Real' Issue

Pols and pundits think they can judge who's an authentic American? Time for a reality check

Madalyn Ruggiero / AP

My name is James, and I am a former Real American. I grew up in Monroe, Mich. (pop. 22,076), just across the state line from Holland, Ohio, where lives Joe Wurzelbacher, a.k.a. Joe the Plumber, campaign 2008's latest shorthand for Real America. My dad--also named Joe--drove a beer and wine delivery truck and hunted deer. We went ice fishing and bowling. The first album I ever bought was Bob Seger's Live Bullet.

Today my core beliefs are pretty much the same as then. (Well, the Bob Seger ... only in moderation.) But now I am unreal because I work in the...

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