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Frederick Becklo: Save the US government from ‘vulgar careerists’

To the editor:

On Feb. 26, 1945, six U.S. Marines, including a Navy corpsman, raised the flag on Mount Suribachi.

Of the 70,000 Marines who landed on the beaches of Iwo Jima, almost 7,000 were killed in action and nearly 20,000 were wounded during a month of combat. James Forrestal, former Secretary of Defense, said of the Marines: “Uncommon valor was a common virture.”

Today, we continue to fight the enemy in foreign lands and do so ever so valiantly, but a domestic threat eviscerates us from within and continues its advance unchecked. Ad­miral Michael Mullen, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said, for instance, that our national debt is greatest threat to our security and to the general welfare. Yet statesmanship in any recognizable form has been sequestered and replaced with the studied self-interest of vulgar careerists.

It is high time we demythologize elective government “service” as a selfless calling and see it for what it has been for too long now — a single-minded pursuit of winning the next election, accumulating political power and the cheap thrill of notoriety.

It is troubling and disheartening to realize that the majority of voters are incapable of distinguishing the statesman with an impartial concern for the public good from those who are in it for themselves.

Frederick Becklo


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