- - Monday, October 20, 2014

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

There are a few things in the world that we know for sure, including the existence of Ebola, what those infected go through, and the fact that, as of now, there is no cure or official universal treatment that mitigate its fatality rate said to be around 70 percent.

There is something else, however, that has also captured the headlines that doesn’t actually seem to exist: panic and hysteria about Ebola. If you Google the phrase “Ebola panic” you get 124,000 results. At this rate, many Americans are likely looking out their windows waiting for this storied panic thing to arrive. So far, it hasn’t.

There is, however, a method to the madness in the panicked reporting by some liberal media and hysterical comments by the Obama administration demanding that Americans stop doing something they’re not — they want Americans to equate asking questions and making judgments with panic and hysteria.

This is not a new approach. Historically, women have been marginalized by being assessed as panicky when we engage in debate, or challenge leadership and the status quo. The Obama regime is now applying that infantilizing meme to the American people as a whole. They’ve enjoyed not being questioned for too long, and they know their incompetence can only be hidden if question and judgment cease.

Those in charge are irritated that Americans don’t like what they see and are not impressed with the smug, clueless incompetence exhibited by virtually everyone at the federal level. After years of being misled on a number of important national security issues such as Benghazi we now simply do not trust the people whose first inclination is to mislead us about serious issues.

That’s not panic. It’s called judgment.

This knee-jerk effort to patronize the American people fits the approach of the current administration perfectly. In bringing up failures of those in charge and demanding answers, we are accused of being hysterics. This should, in their mind, shut us up. Liberal and socialist states never fare well when people peek behind the curtain and ask questions. In European and Latin American socialist utopias, those sorts of people tend to go missing. Here, the attempt is to bully and attack people into silence.

At Fox News, a network with which I am proud to work, news anchor Shepard Smith is being praised for a segment he did on Ebola. Over at Roll Call, their headline reflects the general reaction: “Fox News Gets It Right About Ebola Hysteria.” In his segment, Mr. Smith does a great job detailing the situation, reminding people that only two health care workers are infected and that Ebola is not raging through the United States.

“Do not listen to the hysterical voices on the radio or television or read the fear provoking words online. The people who write and say hysterical things are being irresponsible …” urged Mr. Smith. I agree, and while there may be a person or two in the media being conspiratorial, the fact is, the rest of America is not.

Yet, every day we are faced with additional evidence that the federal government, including the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), is winging its response to Ebola. At first, we are told any hospital could handle the virus. Now, the two afflicted nurses have been moved to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta and the National Institutes of Health near Washington, D.C. for treatment. Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the CDC, conveyed just last week, according to CNSNews.com, that “you cannot get Ebola by sitting next to someone on a bus, but that infected or exposed persons should not ride public transportation because they could transmit the disease to someone else.”

Nonsensical arguments about why they won’t implement a travel ban to a nurses’ union executive director stating that the White House and the CDC have “lied” to and “ignored” them and their concerns, shock the conscience during such a serious time.

These are the reasons why Americans are asking questions and making judgments. A story in The New York Times used the phrase “panicked overreactions” to describe the choices some parents were making when faculty or students at schools had been passengers on the flight one of the nurses took. One father took his child out of school for a time and was quoted saying, “Everybody is concerned and wondering how it will affect their children.”

This was labeled “panic” in The New York Times story. It’s not. It’s a reasonable reaction from a parent, especially when the federal government seems to have no grip on the situation.

This attempt to conflate decision-making and judgment with hysteria is not only wrong, it’s insulting. We are a nation with a dramatic history, including wars, disease and economic meltdowns. Despite the incompetence of politicians, not once have the people been undone by some sort of hysterical breakdown.

The world wars, a civil war, the Cold War, missile crises, AIDS and, of course, September 11. We’ve seen it all and emerged victorious, with our dignity intact. Politicians, however, can’t always say the same.

Yet, the so-called elite point fingers, accusing the irritating and noisy masses of panicked hysteria for daring to look, and ask, and judge. They better get used to it, because someone has got to be in charge, and the future is something we will not abandon to a system that prefers to hide its incompetence.

Tammy Bruce is a radio talk-show host, author and Fox News contributor.

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