A letter from a reader about Elected officials and public servants

July 22, 2007:

Thank you, thank you, thank you for abandoning the misnomer "public service/servant." In your March 21 Notebook article, "Top alumni honors go to Sarbanes '54, Coles *66," you wrote about Sarbanes: "enabled him to pursue a 40-year career as an elected official" and "Sarbanes ... reflected on his government career."

It is so refreshing to see a media outlet refer to a politician as a politician, rather than as some noble life form committed to "serving the public."

In general, politicians and bureaucrats seek and use government office to exercise coercive power over others. Public servants, in contrast, do their serving by joining non-profits and other do-good outfits.

I welcome your use of "elected official" and "government career" instead of "public servant" and "career in public service." I hope that outlets with larger readerships than PAW's will follow your example.

Mountain City, Tenn


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