The Self Aggrandizement of Public Officials

One of the more frustrating parts of the COVID-19 pandemic has been all of the misinformation and the constant changes of opinions and rules. The bar keeps moving as we continue through this episode of human over-dramatization, and those who come up with the rules for the rest of us are content to find ways to place restrictions on the population while ignoring those same rules themselves. To say that the last year has been crazy is an understatement.

Perhaps the biggest culprit of this is the infamous Dr. Fauci. Hailed as the foremost expert on this particular subject, the United States and most of the world has waited with baited breath for every word expelled from his lips. In the history of America, there are few doctors who can claim such a celebrity status. He is a household name that every American recognizes, and your opinion of him varies wildly depending on your values.

Regardless of whether you trust him or not, it cannot be denied that there now exists a conflict of interest when it comes to this expert. It is no longer beneficial for him to provide accurate information. He needs to continue fueling the fear of the public to remain relevant. If the pandemic were over tomorrow, he becomes just another doctor. How painful would that be for him after so much time at the forefront of global policy?

This is the problem with our national fixation on needing to put a face to things. If this pandemic were being handled solely by a solid group of professional doctors whom no one really knew, the entire thing would have been over in weeks. Instead, it has been artificially extended for more than a year with no real end in sight. Other, far more deadly diseases have spread around the globe in the past, but we never accepted such measures. It is because we placed our trust in this figurehead who enjoys basking in the public spotlight that we were disarmed enough to follow.

Our modern politics is rife with this sort of thing. We have always been intended to be a republic; a form of democracy where the people are represented by elected officials who speak for us in government. The unfortunate truth is that, much like it is told in the Star Wars prequels, we are all too ready to allow our fears to prompt us to give up that life for the perceived safety that giving over our power to authority figures seems to give us. It won’t be until those people finally do what every person in power does that we see the truth, and by then it will be too late.

We need to take a serious look as a nation at what kind of government we want to live with. Do we want the government to work for us, or do we want to work for the government? We used to believe in the idea that all people are created equal, and while we haven’t always lived up to that ideal with things like slavery and expulsion of native peoples, we have continued slowly grinding our way ever closer to making that dream a reality. Why then are we sacrificing those ideals to prop up these individuals?

There will always be people we look up to for the things they accomplish, but we must learn how to see them as regular people who can do amazing things, and they aren’t perfect. America needs to return to its default position of skepticism, because it is only then that we are able to get closer to the truth. Questioning authority is completely American, and we need to stop sitting in our cozy little blanket of unawareness and start objecting to the things that our government is imposing on us. And push aside the public figures who can’t get enough of our attention.

What do you think about the attention craving of our public officials? How does their need for the spotlight hurt our country, and the world? What can we do to reverse this trend and get back to a place where we come up with reasonable responses to the important issues? It is well past time to start fixing our society. While never perfect, we can get it back on the path towards the ideals that our nation was founded on.

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