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Public servants

By Jim Killebrew

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[March 04, 2014]  Public servants ... This is a misnomer if I ever saw one. We think about our politicians who are supposed to be representatives of "We the People" in our government system referring to themselves as "public servants." This is a government "of the people, by the people and for the people," and those representatives have traditionally through the years been called "public servants." Those elected to offices throughout our land, especially to state and federal offices, have made careers out of their offices when they can. Oftentimes, however, instead of following what the framers of our government envisioned as "citizen leadership," with people stepping up to serve the electorate and all others who did not vote for them, returning to their home and profession after serving a term or two, they have found ways to be re-elected for many terms, making the office a career that even provides retirement benefits.

Those changes from citizen leadership to career politicians has yielded a process that has become a culture of political leadership that goes well beyond the representation of those whose interests matched the person elected for the first term. Having gained "seniority," the politician also gained power and position through constant re-election. Having gained power and authority, the politician begins to garner favor among the "special interest" groups that supply more tangible benefits to the politician that exceeds the "will" of those constituents who initially elected him/her to the high office. We now find representatives of our government making voting decisions based on poll results that go well beyond the local constituents. We find politicians voting on spending plans along "party" lines that benefit people in other locations other than local districts. "Favors" are exchanged for votes, with politicians voting for policies and laws that go well beyond the will of the people who first elected them.

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Now we are witnessing a corruption of power, with career bureaucrats that have been appointed or hired by the politicians who have created careers for themselves. There is a "culture of power" obtained by those in "government" who wields that power to sway politicians and impose their will on the people to gain what the culture of power is seeking. We witness that with the records from reporters and editors in the Associated Press being collected by the very government department that should be upholding the laws for "We the People." Instead, we witness the erosion of privacy and a bit of the Constitution the representatives are obliged to uphold and protect. We are witnessing the Internal Revenue Service wielding power to target conservative groups whose ideology does not agree with the power brokers in the government agency. Now we are being told the IRS is going to be the oversight government agency that will implement the healthcare for every American. Will they really be true public servants, or will they make servants out of the public?

Is it any wonder the American people are losing trust in those politicians who are supposed to protect the rights of "We the People"? They are no longer public servants; they are overlords in control of the people, who have been made the "servants" to an overreaching government.


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