Peter Heck over at Disrn wrote an opinion piece titled, “Pelosi’s hair stunt is about more than just hypocrisy,” and I have to agree. It’s the elitism of those who tout themselves as our “public servants” that really sticks in my craw. It bugged me so much that here I am, blogging for the first time in a year and a half.
Have you ever noticed that politicians rarely call themselves just “servants”? Don’t get me wrong, I’m thrilled that the word is even used in reference to politicians; it’s almost unheard of outside of the West. Servants are the hired help, the errand runners. They work for us. That’s why we include the word. But over time “public servant” has attained a more rarified air, as if the servant were more noble than the employers. “So-and-so performed a public service.” How wonderful. “So-and-so is a public servant.” After all, the six-figure salary and prestige and possibilities for money making are terrible sacrifices made to help one’s fellow man.
It reminds me of a story I heard recently about a church planting. When the time came to choose deacons, a number of men immediately stepped forward…and began electioneering. We’re talking all-out vote getting here. The planters had to remind them that the word deacon literally means servant. They had to remind the men what the job description entailed. Suddenly the field dropped to two.
Did the others wish to serve others or to wield power over them? Did they want to help or to gain prestige? The answer is obvious.
In the same way, certain of our own public servants-—definitely Pelosi—need to be reminded what their role is in our country. They don’t give orders and then not obey those rules themselves. We’ve allowed their job descriptions to become too broad, too powerful. The hired help have settled in, put their feet on the table, and chosen the best foods from the kitchen.
Ideally, we’d start by mandating that all state and federal politicians must actually live under the laws they pass, but we’re living in the Crazy Years right now so I don’t see that happening soon.
But until then, perhaps we should drop the word public and just call them servants.