Putting the Servant Back in Public Servant

EPIGRAPH: “His life is no sinecure; and a methodical arrangement of his time will be necessary, in order to perform his many duties with any satisfaction to himself or his master.”– from “The Book of Household Management” by Mrs. Isabella Beeton

My friends, it occurs to me that when it comes to our so-called public servants, we’ve got the master-servant relationship exactly backwards.

After yet another spate of ethical scandals among our political class, we must admit that the sort of philandering and corruption rampant in their ranks reflects poorly on our ability to act as proper masters and certainly does not speak well to our ability to judge character and hire acceptable help. If the butler, stable-hand or charwoman in your own home behaved in such a manner, you would have sent him or her packing immediately.

What kind of servants are these, after all, who come and go as they please, who respond to neither phone calls nor letters, who hire their own family and friends and then exempt themselves from the very laws they’d have us observe? This is to say nothing of the awkward fact that they live in homes more lavish than our own and are ferried about in government vehicles as if they were to the manor born.
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