Issue October 21, 2008

Street sense

Where we give way to the ‘man on the street’ interview

It is the calling card of mainstream media: The “man on the street” (or perhaps more perfectly described as “person on the street”) interview, typically a shrewd and silly chunk of reportage meant to convey to the news consumer the sentiment of the public on a given issue but, naturally, more often giving an impression that said issue is either A) boring and insignificant; or B) utterly disconnected from current thought.  Regardless, we think that, given the proper context, the people of the street have some rather interesting points of view, so here we’ve compiled 26 of them. The questions we asked were these: 
1. Is your life better or worse than it was eight years ago? 2. Are you satisfied with your elected officials? 3. What was the biggest accomplishment or failure of the Bush administration?

Mark Lee, 45 Truck Driver — Currently Unemployed Beechmont 1. I think life was better when Clinton was in office. The economy was better, and there were more jobs and programs for lower-income people. 2. They could do better to help people. 3. President Bush’s biggest failure has been that he doesn’t look out for lower-income people at all. 

Kelly Watson, 36 Receptionist Valley Station 1. It’s actually a little better. Financially it’s better for me because I’ve gotten a lot of bills paid off. 2. Not really. 3. I think the biggest accomplishment is that they finally got Saddam. That’s important to me because I have a lot of family in the military. 

Mary Ann Day, 46 Data Entry Auburndale 1. My life is worse. Because of healthcare issues I had to file for bankruptcy. 2. No. I think they’re out for themselves and they don’t care about the common man. 3. I don’t think there is an accomplishment in the Bush administration. I think he’s an idiot. The biggest failure is the economy — it’s gotten out of hand.

Laura Hurley, 29  Licensed Veterinarian Technician at Animal ER Highlands 1. My life is better because I have accomplished goals, become more comfortable with age and experience, and because there is more to enjoy in life. 2. Yes, I am pleased with my representation. I think our downtown renovations are a great example of the good work our representatives are doing.  3. The biggest failure is that Bush is the reason we are in this financial crisis. He had no plan for how to deal with our debt and then wrongly put us into a war that created even more debt. 

Scott McCrory, 49 Car Salesman/Artist Clifton 1. My life is worse. Economics suck. There is a lack of hope. Our candidate choices are poor. The dollar does not go as far as it used to.  2. I am not pleased with our representation, but don’t know what would be better. 3. The most dubious accomplishment of Bush was his fleecing this nation.

Jason VanStraten, 30  Artist/Barista Germantown 1. My life is better. I have job security and better housing. 2. Yes, I am pleased with my representation because I think, on a federal level, the city is in line for progress and we are one of the more progressive cities in the Midwest. 3. The biggest failure is our current economy and the economic policies of the Bush administration.

Ron Walford, 49 Professor Highlands 1. Life is worse. We’ve spent eight years under Bush/Cheney, and I have to work a lot more now than I used to.  2. Overall I’m not pleased. Yarmuth is OK. Metro Council is OK.  3. Bush’s biggest failure was getting us into this war.

Becca Miller, 26 National Sales Coordinator St. Matthews 1. My life is better because I have kids and a degree. However, from the standpoint of living expenses, it’s much worse.  2. Yes, I am pleased … but not if (Anne) Northup is elected. 3. The biggest failure of Bush is the Iraq war. The biggest accomplishment was his ability to unite people against him.

Luci Morley, 49 Business Owner Highlands 1. I’m undecided about whether life is better, but I’m definitely more stressed with the economy as it is.  2. Not pleased with my representation. I think we’ve been led down a “garden path,” but they are doing one thing and saying another.   3. I could go on for days about Bush’s failures, but the most prominent ones are that our troops have been in Iraq too long and the mishandling of regulations sending banks plummeting. 

George Lehmann, 60 Insurance Sales Highlands/St. Matthews 1. My life is better. My income has risen and I have accumulated savings.  2. I’m pleased with some representation and not with others; some are good public servants, while others are taking advantage. 3. The biggest failure is that Bush was untruthful to Americans. He conjured up evidence for the Iraq war and then his entire administration fell apart. He will never live that down.

Dennis Blake, 58 911 Dispatcher/Musician Sellersburg, Ind. 1. Life is worse, in part because the prices of gas and groceries have increased.  2. I’m pretty well satisfied with state representatives.  3. President Bush’s biggest failure was plunging us into a war that we did not need to be involved in.

Ryan Eckert, 32 Business Development Highlands 1. For me, life is better. I have had the good fortune to own a house, have consistent employment and good health … three things that are big problems in our country now. 2. I am not pleased with our Republican representatives due to current fallouts.  3. His accomplishments are in the offense against terrorism to keep our freedom and rights protected, but he has also greatly failed in the duration that we’ve been in Iraq and because of the dollars we are spending there in the midst of financial problems at home. 

Kelly Estep, 33 Bookstore Manager Crescent Hill 1. Life is better. I am older and wiser now, married with kids, owner of a home with a good job and a husband with a good job. We’re lucky. 2. I’m very pleased with local reps, but only moderately pleased with national reps. I am very unhappy to have had two children under the Bush administration years. 3. The biggest failure is definitely the war.

Mike Jones, 18 West End 1. I’d say life is worse. I think it’s definitely harder to find a job these days. 2. No, I’m not convinced that they’re doing a good job. 3. The war: I think they’re fighting for no good reason and they’ve been over there way too long. 

Jonathan Kempf, 26 School Administrator Irish Hill 1. Life is worse because the economy is pretty poor and I have been unhappy about the war since it started.  2. No, I’m not satisfied, but I’m more of a third-party kind of guy. 3. Biggest failure: Going to war without the consent of the people based on unfounded evidence. 

Rahsaan Anthony, 34 School Counselor Buechel 1. It’s worse. The opportunities seem to be less and less, from home ownership to wealth accessibility. 2. Absolutely not. Let me put it like this: Any time the government does not fulfill its obligations to the people, we are within our rights to request a new one. 3. President Bush’s most dubious act? Convincing the American people of the biggest lie in history and using it to pass the PATRIOT Act, which gave the powers that be the ability to strip us of our freedoms. 

Laura Prell, 40 Dental Receptionist Middletown 1. My life has been better the last eight years … I feel safer under the Bush administration. 2. Yes. 3. In my view, the biggest accomplishment of the Bush administration is their reaction to 9/11. I feel that Bush performed to the best of his ability with the information he was given.

Lucille Qunell, 74 Retired Middletown 1. My life the past eight years has been about the same. I feel that President Bush has done a good job helping to clean up the economy … up until recently. 2. No, not really. 3. The Bush administration has done the best they could with the info they had to work with as far as the terrorist threats and our financial issues.

Annette Sweeney, 42 Certified Dental Assistant Lyndon 1. My life has improved; I am more financially secure and happily married. 2. Yes. 3. The biggest failure of the Bush administration is that they have not brought our soldiers home as soon as they could.

Judith L. Schmit, 62 Retired Nurse East End 1. My life has gotten worse because of the current financial crisis. 2. I was fairly satisfied with my representation until Yarmuth voted yes for the bailout. 3. The Bush administration’s greatest success has been that they have kept us safe from further terrorist attacks.

Lindsey Evans, 23 Manager at Paul’s Fruit Market Springhurst 1. My life has improved; I bought a condo and am happily married, and my income has increased. 2. Yes. I think they’re working really hard to make decisions that are in our best interest and I think they’ve performed well under pressure. 3. The biggest accomplishment is that his administration has kept us safe from more terrorist attacks.

Nathan Evans, 27 Executive Chef Springhurst 1. My life has improved — I just got married and my income has increased. 2. Yes. 3. The biggest failure of the Bush administration is that they didn’t change the rules of engagement sooner so that our soldiers could have been more successful.

Cortney Clarkson, 24 Student Researcher Highlands 1. My life has gotten better because I have started to make more money and I rented an apartment. 2. No, I’m not satisfied. 3. The biggest failure is the financial crisis.

Clayton Hare, 27 Construction Wireman Lyndon 1. My life has improved, I am making more money than I was eight years ago and I met a wonderful girl. 2. No. I think they’ve made decisions that benefit very few and I think they’re too greedy. 3. The biggest failure of the administration is definitely the state the economy is in as of now.

Tyler Smith, 23 Drummer Highlands 1. My life is worse because of the high gas prices, our idiot President and the so-called terrorist attacks. 2. No, they are all idiots. 3. The biggest failure is that the Bush administration bombed its own country in order to start a war with Iraq.

Jackie Reinstein, 36 Office Manager Prospect 1. My life has improved — I just bought a new house and a dog. 2. Yes. 3. The biggest failure of the Bush administration is the war in Iraq.