Why in the world would anyone enter public service in 2021?

After all, the scenes have become familiar: someone shaking with rage approaches the lectern. They start by berating the local school board or town council for following public health advice. Then, the conspiracy theories begin. Ordinary citizens serving their communities are accused of being part of a deep state plot, or being in the service of dark, unseen paymasters. And then, after the microphones and the lights are switched off, some come home to death threats in their email inboxes or on their voicemails. They fear for their safety.