Frankly, that's the only language most politicians understand. They may not care about America's future, but they do care about their own future. And it recently happened in Greeley, Colorado, where a mayor who publicly opposed enforcement of the law was defeated for re-election. The LA Times write-up of this victory for the people was misleadingly entitled Colorado Mayor's Sympathy for Immigrants Costs him his job. [By Nicholas Riccardi, November 27, 2007] Here's the sob story about Mayor Selders who sees himself as some sort of victim :
Tom Selders is still baffled at how quickly the city he served for years turned on him. The two-term mayor of this conservative farm town had been a political fixture for nearly two decades.So why did the voters of Greeley "turn on" the poor mayor?
A businessman who prided himself on bringing efficiency to city government, Selders infuriated his constituents after jumping into the national debate over illegal immigration. In May he spoke at an open forum in Washington about the effects of last year's immigration raid on a meatpacking plant here, which led to the detention of 262 undocumented workers.Why does Selders claim to have opposed the raid?
"Many families and children were devastated by parents being arrested and detained," Selders said. "Children—citizens of the United States—were left without parents."So how did the citizens of Greeley react?
The reaction in Greeley, whose Latino population has nearly tripled since 1980, was swift and furious. Selders, who was seeking a third term as mayor, was overwhelmed with angry calls. He became a regular target on local talk radio. A mailer linking him to illegal immigrant gang members flooded mailboxes. Earlier this month Selders was ousted from the nonpartisan post, losing to a retired police officer by a 3-2 margin.Selders, of course, is still clueless:
"I really feel betrayed by my community," said Selders, 61. "There's a big contingent of people in this community who are just full of anger and hate about illegal immigration, and that anger and hate has been transferred to me."What a bellyacher! The article continues with some analysis:
What happened to Selders, a lifelong Republican, is a cautionary tale of the politics of illegal immigration. To some, it shows how a good man trying to do the right thing was taken down by the forces of intolerance. To others, it shows what can happen to elitist politicians who dismiss voters' frustrations over unchecked illegal immigration. "A lot of people in Weld County remained silent" as people like Selders criticized the December 2006 raid, said County Dist. Atty. Kenneth R. Buck, who supported Selders' opponent. "They don't want to be called racist, they don't want their business to be boycotted. . . . There were a lot of people who were waiting to be heard in their anonymous way."Yes, and their "anonymous way" was to vote the mayor out.
The article goes on to describe the rapid demographic changes in Greeley brought about by—once again—a meatpacking plant which imported a cheaper workforce and passed on the social costs to the city's taxpayers. It's a familiar story. Yet Selders, on more than one occasion, supported the illegal invasion.
And now he's been defeated by school security guard Ed Clark, a former policeman, who specifically campaigned on the illegal alien issue. Good for Clark. Good for Greeley.
As for Selders, the Greeley mayor got the comeuppance he so richly deserved. Rather than bellyaching about his own community voting him out, he should just be glad that tarring and feathering is no longer an American custom.