The difference between 'public rulers' and public servants

Legendary Baltimore radio talk show host Ron Smith referred to our politicians as "public rulers."  He refused to use their preferred term "public servants" because they rarely if ever act as servants, and if they did, it was most certainly not in the public's interests.  Smith was keenly aware that our politicians, national, state and local were a ruling class that invariably thinks they know better than the public they ostensibly serve.

Case in point: Baltimore City Solicitor George Nilson, who, according to the Baltimore Business Journal, questioned the public debate over the controversial Harbor Point boondoggle.  Nilson asked "whether the public debate might be harmful and counterproductive."


Public rulers don't like it when the public i.e., taxpayers, question the propriety of their government giving $107 million of their money to politically connected developers.

Don't the lumpen proles know they aren't supposed to question their public rulers?


That Nilson felt comfortable admitting to a reporter he believes public debate over such an issue is "harmful" belies arrogance bred from a sclerotic political environment bereft of competition, and a culture of entitlement among elected and appointed officials.

We see it in Mayor Rawlings-Blake's flippant dismissal of criticism of her precious Baltimore Grand Prix, or anytime Gov. Martin O'Malley is asked an uncomfortable question.  Even the insignificant chieftains of the Maryland Republican Party don't like it when bloggers question their feckless leadership.

So keep on asking questions … they hate it.

--Mark Newgent

Red Maryland has strived to be the premier blog and radio network of conservative and Republican politics and ideas in the free state since 2007. Its posts appear regularly on