Ed Driscoll

Ebola: Better Dead Than Rude?

“The Case for Panic,” as calculated by Matthew Continetti of the Washington Free Beacon, who notes the theorem is simple one. “Incompetent government + corrupt elite = disaster:”

Over the last few years the divergence between what the government promises and what it delivers, between what it says is happening or will happen and what actually is happening and does happen, between what it determines to be important and what the public wishes to be important—this gap has become abysmal, unavoidable, inescapable. We hear of “lone-wolf” terrorism, of “workplace violence,” that if you like your plan you can keep your plan. We are told that Benghazi was a spontaneous demonstration, that al Qaeda is on the run, that the border is secure as it has ever been, that Assad must go, that I didn’t draw a red line, the world drew a red line, that the IRS targeting of Tea Party groups involved not a smidgen of corruption, that the Islamic State is not Islamic. We see the government spend billions on websites that do not function, and the VA consign patients to death by waiting list and then cover it up. We are assured that Putin won’t invade; that the Islamic State is the jayvee team of terrorism; that Bowe Bergdahl served with honor and distinction; that there is a ceasefire between Ukraine and Russia.

While the public remains pro-Israel, our government negotiates with Israel’s enemies. While the public wants to reduce immigration, the preeminent legislative objective of both parties is a bill that would increase it. While the public is uninterested in global warming, while costly regulations could not pass a filibuster-proof Democratic Senate, while the scientific consensus behind the green agenda is, at the very least, fraying, the president says that climate change is the greatest threat to the United States. While Americans tell pollsters their economic situation has not improved, and that things are headed in the wrong direction—while even Democratic economists acknowledge the despondent state of the middle class—the president travels to Chicago to celebrate his economic recovery.

These disjunctions and confusions, these missteps, scandals, and miscalculations, have hurt Obama’s approval numbers. They endanger the Democratic Senate majority, contribute to the widespread sense of disorder and decay, shatter trust in government and in public institutions. They have put into stark relief a political class dominated by liberal partisans, captured by ideas and interests removed from those of ordinary Americans. The stories of ineptitude or malfeasance that appear in the daily newspaper are more than examples of high ideals executed poorly. They are examples of the pursuit of ideas—of equality and diversity and progress and centralization and environmentalism and globalization—to absurd and self-destructive limits.

It is precisely the intersection of Ebola and globalization that worries me. The only response to a virus this deadly is to quarantine it. Stop flights, suspend visas, and beef up customs and security. It can be done. If the FAA can cancel flights to Israel, why can’t it cancel flights to and from the West African countries whence the outbreak originated?

Because — wait for it…wait for itracism!*

RUSH LIMBAUGH: Last night Anderson Cooper 24 spoke with author David Quammen about the book Ebola: The Natural and Human History of a Deadly Virus and How America Should Respond to It. 

Anderson Cooper said, “There are those who say that there should not be flights allowed from Liberia to US, even flights that have connected through Europe.  That’s not even really possible.  First of all, I don’t think there are many flights that directly connect from Monrovia to the US.  Most of them are connection flights, so it’s virtual impossible in real time like that to track somebody, I would think.”

QUAMMEN:  You can’t isolate neighborhoods; you can’t isolate nations.  It doesn’t work.  And people talk about, “Well, we shouldn’t allow any flights from Liberia.”  I mean, we in America, how dare we turn our backs on Liberia? Given the fact that this is a country that was founded in the 1820s, 1830s because of American slavery, we have a responsibility to stay connected with them and help them see this through.

RUSH:  There. Have you doubted anything about this that I have been attributing to political correctness all week? There you have it.  How dare we turn our backs on Liberia? How dare we ban flights!  How dare we?  Liberia only exists because of American slavery.  We owe them by sharing the burden.

A few months after 9/11, John Derbyshire summed up the existential threat of political correctness as “Better Dead Than Rude.” Even more so than how PC diminished the War on Terror (which owes its very name to political correctness, of course), we may see that theorem out tested out far too literally in the coming weeks and months.

* And its tony friend in academia, Black Armband History.

Flashback: “Senator Obama rips Bush for being unprepared for avian flu epidemic.”