Once upon a time---public service in America was understood by all to reflect a decision by those in government to put civic duties ahead of personal gain. Unfortunately, our elected members of Congress, in word and deed, are showing Americans how the system really works as they rush for personal gain.
Public service is morphing into crass expediency in which some of the members of congress expect to be rewarded with great personal wealth by exploiting information received in closed-door sessions or hearings, dodgy links to businesses run by relatives and family members, and skillful sleight-of-hand with campaign donations.
This group of elected members of Congress and senior Administration officials expect to get rich from their period of public service. What a pity.
It was not always like that.When Americans think of patriots, we think of our Founding Fathers (and Mothers) whose sacrifices made this country the greatest nation on the face of the earth. Both my husband's family and mine have long lines of ancestors who served and shaped the history of this country-- Pilgrims, Free Men of Color, Revolutionary War soldiers--all who seemed to think that this country was worth shaping, sowing and saving with their sweat and blood. Countless other Americans have ancestors, with similar pasts, who contributed much.
What we seem to have now are folks in positions of power with little interest in the longevity of our republic, but are only interested in how much they can squeeze out of public service for their personal gain.Compared to the early days of our country where public servants were the leaders in sacrifice of personal gain, we have fallen far.
The Paymaster's registers in the National Archives are immensely interesting, for they tell not only the names, ranks, salaries and locations of those who served in the Revolutionary Way--from Private to General, now long dead, but they also tell who paid for what.
While much of the Revolutionary War was paid with borrowed funds, it also becomes clear that a large part of the war effort was paid for by private citizens.Whether supported by little-known patriots such as Haym Solomon or the most famous, documented and arguably the most generous, patriot, George Washington,;who advanced the money needed to fight the war and accepted no salary for his War service.