A Quarantine of Empathy

It’s getting close to election time. Because this year’s election is very important for America and will directly affect American’s lives, I will be posting some of my feelings about how political decisions permeate every aspect of the American lifestyle, and how America’s, and American’s, perceptions of reality affect the world.

Today’s commentary is about some of the societal and political reactions to the current viral (both meanings) issue of Ebola. It is my contention that while we were aware of a real and significant outbreak of Ebola in West Africa, this, to a majority of Americans, was a problem for Africa and not for us. Yes, it was bad, but since it wasn’t hurting any Americans, except for those martyrs who went there to help, it wasn’t that big a deal, compared to the Secret Service, their prostitutes and their being asleep at the White House wheel. That is, it wasn’t until Ebola came to America. Then a whole lot of Americans suddenly totally and completely freaked out and went ballistic about this perceived existential threat to the entire nation. This mania was all over one case (now two cases.) Of course there have been nearly 9,000 cases and nearly 5,000 deaths in Africa, but our two cases now made this a serious issue for the entire US, when it was previously just a sad situation for West Africans alone. Selective concern and a shamefully tardy response.

It pains me to see widespread panic among Americans of all stripes. It reveals the sad truth that we only accept the version of the truth we think is true, rather than the truth that actually is true. It shows that neither government nor science is no longer respected or believed in by so many of us. It highlights the unfortunate circumstance that propaganda driven paranoia is the new norm in our society. It tells us our veneer of confidence in the power of technology is more precarious than we think. But I digress.

The reaction from certain of our political leaders has been to complain vociferously about how there is no leadership at the top, guiding our efforts to stop the spread of this deadly disease here in America. What does it say about these people when so many of them have purposely, for purely political reasons, obstructed and refused to approve our President’s appointee for the position of Surgeon General? How could most of these so called public servants gut the budgets of the very organizations that have the expertise and resources to keep us safe from these threats? What colossal hypocrisy they display. And how can we continue to give countenance to the continued acceptance of this kind of duplicitous and devious people as our political leaders? If we continue to be so egoistic as to only really care about our own safety, and not that of others, and keep manning the bridge of the ship of state with these heartless cowards, then perhaps we deserve to be hated by animals such as ISIS, as barbaric as they are.

Thank God for sunsets. They save me from the void of permanent depression.

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