At a joint Senate hearing on Sept 16, Dr. Beth Bell, director of CDC, said with regard to the ebola outbreak, "It's a disaster when it's declared a disaster".
Dr. Bell made a very revealing statement. Except for her apparent belief that reality is a thing to be managed and defined exclusively by federal bureaucrats, her calm, rational presentation might lead one to mistake her for a conservative. But, the issue she addresses seems not to be one of 'what is the nature of the threat, and what do we need to do about it?' , rather her statement seems more to say, 'the government will decide when it's a problem, and until we do, it isn't a problem.' For progressives, a group which may or may not include Dr. Bell, reality isn't a concrete fact to be dealt with, it's a much more pliable substance that can be defined and molded to suit one's needs. Like some kind of ideological silly putty.
The federal government has a very high opinion of itself. People like Dr. Bell are charged with the responsibility of directing resources that are needed to respond to a "disaster", but, like other bureaucrats in this administration, while she is aware of the existence of a problem, she appears to be preoccupied with the need to protect her agency's autonomy. According to the CDC mission statement, part of their job is directing activities by USAID, which acts as the "umbrella organization" for US efforts in the ebola matter at this time. But apparently the CDC has yet to "declare a disaster". By this kind of thinking, if your house was on fire, your observations about the matter would be merely anecdotal until somebody in authority issued an official finding that that was actually the case. Until then, nothing would be done. The threat to life and property would therefore be subordinate to the government's right of control. If a threat only exists when the government says it does, the people it supposedly serves, and their interests, are reduced to secondary issues.
This government has redefined itself not as pubic servants, but as the sole source of authority that defines reality. I suppose we deserve this for having passively allowed this kind of mission creep. The government's decision process is driven, not by what best serves the people, but by the ever changing political needs of those in power. Thus, we are at war with ISIS, or we are not at war, illegal aliens are flooding the country with drugs and disease, or they're not, depending on how it plays politically; and we're all going to drown from global warming, or freeze to death from a new ice age, depending on the latest polls. The only thing that appears to motivate this rudderless, self absorbed administration is it's concern for the next election.
Here's a suggestion, Dr. Bell…Acknowledge that the management of a bureaucratic machine is secondary to the interests of the people it serves. Decide whether you're a doctor or a government bureaucrat. Decide whether to respond with common sense to what you yourself identify as a threat, or continue to make statements that serve only to reinforce your authority.
The federal government was vested by the people with the authority to regulate interstate commerce, make treaties, establish and print currency, declare and prosecute wars, the authority to impose taxes to fund it all, and precious little else. The people are sovereign, and only our vigilance can keep it that way. Ebola and ISIS notwithstanding, the biggest threat we face as a nation right now is a runaway government.