Skip to comments.The Party of Despair
Posted on 07/26/2010 3:05:15 AM PDT by Scanian
California Congressman Fortney "Pete" Stark was caught on tape in June insulting a constituent at a town hall meeting. When the voter identified himself as a member of the Minutemen, Representative Stark asked him, "Who are you gonna kill today?" The taped exchange has gone viral.
I watched Mr. Stark with fascination and a bit of nausea, incredulous that he's been representing his district since 1979. Reading his words is disturbing, but watching the video is astonishing. A few minutes into it, I discovered that I know Pete Stark. In fact, every single one of us knows Pete Stark.
Congressman Stark is a living, breathing, textbook example of a crotchety, sour old coot. He's the codger in bed 301B who snarls at the nurse for not answering his call bell in thirty seconds. He's the crabby customer who yells at the cashier, certain he didn't get the senior discount on one item. He's the quintessential cranky old guy down the street, yelling at the neighborhood kids: "Get off my lawn!"
What is most surprising about Pete Stark is not that he's 79, or that he's been a congressman for decades, or even that he's aged so disgracefully. The surprising thing is that in today's Democratic Party, he is so typical. After reading the bios of today's liberal Democrats, it's hard to distinguish Washington, D.C. from Jurassic Park. For example, here are a few facts about some of our leading Democrat dinosaurs:
Nancy Pelosi: 70 years old, in Congress for 23 years.
Harry Reid: 71 years old, in Congress for 27 years.
Charles Rangel: 80 years old, in Congress for 39 years.
Barney Frank: 70 years old, in Congress for 28 years.
Barbara Boxer: 70 years old, in Congress for 28 years.
Steny Hoyer: 71 years old, in Congress for 29 years.
So what? you may ask. Many people in their 70s and 80s lead productive lives. My question is not why so many in the Democratic Party in Washington are elderly. Experience counts. What puzzles me is the almost universal cantankerousness among them. For example, a few weeks ago, Democrat Congressman Bob Etheridge, 69, who has represented his North Carolina district for 14 years, was caught on camera actually assaulting a student who merely asked him if he supported President Obama's agenda.
Representative Barney Frank, 70, has been fêted for decades in the mainstream media for his acerbic wit. When confronted by constituents at a health care town hall meeting last summer, however, he snapped, attacked, and snarkily told one lady, "Trying to have a conversation with you would be like trying to argue with a dining room table." Quite the sparkling wit, isn't he?
And let's not forget Senator Barbara Boxer, 70, berating a brigadier general for calling her "Ma'am" instead of "Senator." It wouldn't have been out of place if she had added, "You young whippersnapper!"
As I pondered the personalities of these elder statesmen in the Democratic Party, I tried to figure out what lies at the root of such behavior. It couldn't be merely a matter of old age. Consider Ronald Reagan. I couldn't think of an incident where President Reagan at the same age was rude and insulting to an average voter.
I decided to dust off my psychiatric nursing training and review Erik Erikson's Stages of Development. Erikson was a psychoanalyst whose theory was that every person must pass through a series of eight interrelated stages over the entire life cycle. These stages are characterized by a conflict or crisis between two opposing emotional forces. For example, Erikson's first stage (Birth to 12 to 18 Months) is known as "Trust vs. Mistrust."
All of the Democrats I've referenced fall into Erick Erikson's final stage: Late Adult, Age 55 or 65 to Death. The crisis is Integrity vs. Despair. In this stage, we look back over our lives and review our achievements and contributions to future generations. This is also the time when we inevitably face our own mortality. To explain further:
"Integrity means feeling at peace with oneself and the world. No regrets or recriminations. The linking between the stages is perhaps clearer here than anywhere: people are more likely to look back on their lives positively and happily if they have left the world a better place than they found it - in whatever way, to whatever extent. There lies Integrity and acceptance."
Despair and/or 'Disgust' (i.e., rejective denial, or 'sour grapes' feeling towards what life might have been) represent the opposite disposition: feelings of wasted opportunities, regrets, wishing to be able to turn back the clock and have a second chance.
What is it about being a liberal that seems to lead inexorably to despair in old age in the 21st century? I have been wracking my brain trying to come up with a liberal in academia or media or politics who can be described as a "Happy Warrior." Compare George H.W. Bush to Jimmy Carter. Two former presidents who perfectly illustrate Integrity vs. Despair.
The old cliché goes: Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it. Liberals have achieved their greatest ambition: power. They have passed comprehensive health care reform and massive stimulus bills. The media obediently cheer their every move. And yet it is obvious that they are leaving the world in a much, much worse condition than what they were given. Their grandchildren will never pay off the debt. We are farther from racial unity, not closer. All their education dreams have been implemented, and our children are dumber. And on and on.
Erikson's stages are unrelenting. Every one of us must pass through them. Suddenly, it makes perfect sense why our elderly Democrat politicians are so nasty. They have had the opportunity to implement everything they've devoted their entire lives to, and it's been a spectacular failure.
Erikson's final stage also explains another mystery: Why do so many politicians refuse to retire? If one reviews one's life and sees only wasted opportunities and failed programs, how could retirement be an option? So we are faced with the tragic picture of politicians like Arlen Specter refusing to leave the stage. Just one more term, just one more.
And as liberal politicians face the mess that is their agenda, they have an even greater problem. If they wish to stay in public life, to have that coveted second chance, they need the support of their constituents. Suddenly, it makes perfect sense why Pete Stark lashes out at the previously docile average voters who are now rejecting him. Without them, he's out, finished, alone with his regrets. No wonder he and his fellow senior citizen liberal comrades are so cranky.
I'm submitting a new motto for 2010:
Today's Democrats: The Party of Despair. From "Happy Days are Here Again" to "Get off my lawn!"
“Just one more term, just one more.....”
the narcissism of socialism....maybe we’ll “get it right next time..”
Is our fault We the People continue to let it go on...the resulting human misery IS avoidable and preventable...its what the Constitution is about...empowering the “little people” so they did’nt have to live within the confines of the mini-mind of the local aristocrat.
I posted this chart on a previous thread (last week) - it is astonishing!!!
***We are farther from racial unity, not closer.***
Isn’t it interesting? Blacks and Whites had achieved a much closer relationship than any time since the Civil War. Thanks to the Republicans. UNTIL OBAMA WAS ELECTED.
Interesting read, but I don’t think it’s that complicated. I think the fact of the matter is that most present-day Democrats view themselves as royalty. For a “commoner” to question them is unthinkable and highly inappropriate, hence their angry replies.
This seems the core question to the piece. The answer is, liberalism has been referred to as a mental disorder and that's not far off. Liberalism is built upon a faulty apprehension of the world as it really is coupled with a high level of willingness to ignore facts that would lead an ordinary person to slow up and question their premises. In short, liberalism is a mental illness, probably a form of dissociative disorder.
It makes sense if you live in a *retirement* community. Some old men (and old women) hate everyone; the young, their neighbors & other peoples’ grandchildren. And, if moving from the North to retire in the South; they still fight the civil war. Some relive all of their youthful accomplishments and cite their professional status. They fill their lives with *fun* activities or run for community association positions to rule other residents with an iron fist.
The point being made - bored, old, power hungry people treat everyone else as ignorant children who must be trained or punished.
Pete Stark from California has got to go now!. He thinks he is a Duke. The way he speaks to his constituents is an insult to every hard working American.
King ‘rat...(another condescending, elitist puke)...
John David Dingell, Jr. (born July 8, 1926) is a Democratic United States Representative from Michigan and is currently the Dean of the U.S. House of Representatives. He is the longest currently-serving Congressman and the third longest serving Congressman ever. Since 1955, he has represented a district that was first in western Detroit but has successively moved further into that city’s western suburbs, currently Michigan’s 15th congressional district. Dingell is the longest-serving member of the House in US history and is currently the longest-serving member of Congress. On February 20, 2010, Dingell announced that he would seek a 29th term in the November 2010 election when he will be 84 years old.
None of them should ever be in congress long enough to become well known. Serve a couple of terms at each level, then back to the real world. TERM LIMITS!
They are so old because they have been in office for decades.
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