The Politics of Government
When one looks at government today, it is very easy to see the role that politics play. From the shift of calling government officials public servants to the much more common and accurate term of politician, we can see the evolution of the public’s view of the practice over the years. However, looking back to before this shift occurred, we can see the that this idea was discussed and it was in Paul Appleby’s article, “Government is Different.” Written in 1945, this article follows the end of World War II and preceded what was to become known as the Postwar Era. The article was also written during the The New Deal to Mid-Century period of Public Administration, which took place from the 1930’s-1950’s.
Paul Appleby was interested in the proper qualifications one needed in order to be a competent public servant. He also described the differences in one would have in selecting an executive for a non-government business as opposed to picking a candidate to hold a government position. He also made the distinction between high level government positions and low level positions, stating that the qualifications for both were varied greatly. He started the article off with a general analogy that greatly clarifies the arguments he intended to make. The main point of this analogy was that when selecting a judge, one may not just necessarily select the most prominent lawyer, on the contrary, the qualifications that define a great lawyer do not necessarily describe a great judge. This is the basis to the arguments made throughout the remainder of the article.
Appleby stated that when choosing government personnel the very basic qualification would be that the candidate for said positions actually have a deep rooted interest in gaining one of these positions. He says that there may be times one it is more desirable for people to hold a government position and that during these times more...