Please stop and think about who the government is before your next anti-government rant

COVID-19 lockdown protestors in Frankfort, Kentucky, April 15, 2020. (Image Credit: Bryan Woolston, REUTERS)

The government is not some outside force trying to destroy real America – it’s our family, friends, and neighbors.

I have a request of everyone who hates the government and thinks it’s some kind of corrupt tentacled beast threatening to destroy America: before you attack “the government,” please think about what the phrase “government of the people, by the people, for the people” means.

Every time you rail against the government, you’re attacking some of your family, friends, and neighbors. Every time you call the government corrupt, you’re accusing some of your family, friends, and neighbors of corruption.

In reality, “the government” is composed of people just like you – people who are trying to do their job as well as they can.

The government is people like a friend of mine who writes and maintains software used to issue and track sporting licenses (fishing and hunting).

It’s people like my other buddy’s girlfriend who works in federal law enforcement bringing drug kingpins to justice.

It’s people like my other buddy who works for the CDC and who put his life on the line a few years back working in west Africa for a month to understand the spread of the ebola epidemic.

It’s people like my buddy’s wife who works for a county public school district administration trying to balance the needs of students, parents, and teachers during the pandemic.

It’s people like my wife and sisters-in-law who are public school teachers who have accepted that they might have to sacrifice their own lives to save their students in the event of a school shooting.

It’s people like my brother-in-law, the detective turned investigator for a District Attorney’s office who helps prosecute sex crimes.

It’s people like my other brother-in-law who works for the county to ensure that people with disabilities have access to the resources they need to live on their own.

It’s people like my cousin the fireman who puts his life on the line every time he goes into a burning building.

It’s people like my Facebook friend who works for the Joint Chiefs of Staff as a citizen contractor.

It’s people like my other cousin who retired a Major from the Army and then started working his same job in the Pentagon as a civilian contractor.

The government is paramedics, smoke jumpers, wildland search and rescue, farm agents, water treatment, sewage treatment, social workers, public health workers, public defenders, law enforcement, judges, building inspectors, bridge inspector, dam inspectors, food inspectors, soldiers and sailors and airmen and marines, spies, and so, so many more.

The government may have even included you at some point. Would you have been OK with being called corrupt when you were part of the government?

So the next time you want to rant against “the government,” perhaps you should pause for a moment and think of everyone you’re lumping into that entity you hate so much. And then maybe temper your anger accordingly.

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