Minot, N.D. — On our patriotic national holidays – the Fourth of July being the most preeminent – we celebrate the men and women currently serving in our various branches of the military. We celebrate the veterans of military service and first responders like firefighters and police officers.
But we don’t spend much time on these holidays honoring the most important form of public service. The one at the heart of America’s great experiment with representative democracy. In fact, many would find it uncouth to venerate this type of service. It’s more fashionable to be cynical and dismissive of it.
I’m referring to service in elected office if you haven’t guessed by now, and while I understand the reticence to celebrate politicians, I’m not sure that attitude is doing our republic any good.
I’m thankful our nation has a proud tradition of honorable military service, and I am delighted that we go out of our way to appreciate the service of first responders, but these are not the types of service that make America great. In other parts of the world, people have as much to fear from their soldiers and their cops as they do their nation’s enemies.
Military juntas and police states are not typically happy regimes under which to live.