Something to Think About: Public Servants vs. Politicians

October 26, 2015

Something+to+Think+About%3A+Public+Servants+vs.+Politicians

Photo I. Giovannetti

Public servants and politicians. They’re one and the same, right?

Wrong.

In fact, the difference is pretty clear.

When people hear the word politician, they generally think of someone who is greedy, corrupt and selfish.

On the other hand, people imagine public servants as generous and selfless.

Unfortunately, that perceived divide is not completely baseless.

Over the past decade and a half, our country has seen a shift in the priorities of the people in office. Obtaining reelection has become more important to politicians than focusing on the good of the people, especially on the federal level.

And this is why there is so much gridlock in Congress.

Representatives no longer have to actually do anything. As long as they answer to the ideologies of their constituents, they can basically guarantee themselves another term in office.

These so-called “career politicians” devote their lives to winning election after election.

Between the months of campaigning, public service seems to fall to the wayside.

 

This is a problem.

We cannot have elected government officials who choose not to govern.

 

However, there still may be some good ones left.

When Vice President Biden announced that he would not be entering the 2016 race last week, I was disappointed.

But, I was also impressed.

Biden had a very real chance of becoming the next president. Running would have been the politically expedient move.

And yet, feeling as though he could not serve his country to his fullest capacity, he decided against it.

Clearly, in an election season with double-digit candidates, that kind of honesty is rare. And refreshing.

 

While there only seems to be a handful of public servants at the national level, there are plenty in local government.

It is almost impossible to be a career city councilman or any other kind of municipal official. Most people elected to city government hold other jobs as well.

This means that the vast majority of people working in local government do it because they have a passion for it and want to make their community a better place.

It is time that we bring this attitude of public service back to Washington.

It is time that we vote out the politicians and let our public servants do some governing.

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