By Andrew Steele
Looking like a burnt-out teacher with three years left to retirement presiding over an after school detention session, Congressman Pete Stark (D-CA) took great pleasure recently in alienating his constituents at a town hall meeting by marginalizing the Mexican border issue and issuing sarcastic, belittling answers to reasonable questions that were asked of him.
When a Minuteman– part of a group that voluntarily patrols the Mexican border and reports crossings by illegal immigrants–stood to ask a question, Stark first asked him, “Who are you going to kill today?” Then in response to the question itself, which was why the federal government wasn’t doing more to seal the borders, Stark mockingly responded, “We’d like to get all the Minutemen armed so they can stop shooting people here.”
Stark then went on to make other amazingly detached and dismissive retorts which sparked outrage from various members of the audience, including a round of applause when the Minuteman asked his question again. Stark then insisted that the border was secure, which invited more jeers.
Politicians have always been accused of pandering to their constituents and offering transparently phony promises to address their concerns, feeling that a false front of sincerity was enough to placate their critics. In recent history however, politicians have reacted to voters with arrogant ridicule and outright hostility as a mass awakening has caused Americans to increasingly exercise their duties as citizens to become more politically active, challenging the dominance of the establishment that keeps career politicians in office.
Pete Stark’s performance at the town hall is the most brazen display of disdain from a politician towards ordinary Americans since Bob Etheridge assaulted a student who asked him a question on the street a few weeks ago. Such displays show that the masks are falling off the controlled authorities of the nation as the metaphorical lizards underneath them are revealed. Now, instead of rushing to put the masks back on, some political reptiles are deciding to show their true faces, baring their teeth and lashing their tongues out at their stunned constituents, whom they once at least pretended to represent.