Public Servants Deserve Our Respect

Prior to this past legislative session, Virginia was one of just three states that bans public sector collective bargaining.

By Michael Spragins, Stafford County Democratic Committee Issues Committee Chair

One thing that the Coronavirus pandemic has brought to the fore is the essential nature of public service. A highlight of Republican rhetoric, particularly in the Trump era, has been the denigration of government and public servants. However, it will be the actions of dedicated workers at all levels of government that will help us overcome this devastating illness.

It was the intelligence community who first informed us about the outbreak of a new illness in China. Their warnings were not heeded by the president. It has been Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, who has corrected the dangerous misinformation being voiced by the president. It has been the Army Corps of Engineers who have been building temporary hospitals in New York City and around the country. It has been informed governors, such as Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York, Gov. Gavin Newsome of California, Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington and others, mostly Democratic, who have led the way in beginning social distancing that has, hopefully, started flattening the curve of virus infections. It has been the National Guard who have been used in many varied functions to help local and state officials meet this crisis.

I remember a past president who said, “Government is not the solution to our problem, government is the problem.” And so began the systematic destruction of respect for civil servants and the institutions of government at all levels. I also remember a president who said, “Ask not what your country can do for you-ask what you can do for your country.” Public servants have believed that and have come to work for all of us. It’s past time to give them the respect they are due; our lives may depend on them.

This is a post by a member of the Stafford County Democratic Committee. This post does not necessarily reflect the views of the Stafford County Democratic Committee, the Democratic Party of Virginia, or the Democratic Party of America.