Ebola and Politics

I think many of us are breathing a sigh of relief as we turn on our TVs and radios today.  No more political ads that skirt around the actual issues.

I heard this ad on my way into work a few days ago and had to laugh out loud.

Ads like this one drive me absolutely insane.  All that this ad is doing is instilling fear in an already undereducated public about a virus that we still haven’t seen in this part of the country and are not likely to see.  Ebola – if you do the research – is not exactly easy to contract in your daily 1st world, developed country dwelling lives.  You aren’t going to get it because someone at the supermarket sneezed 5 feet away from you.

Personally, I have a little concern about the virus steaming from the fact that we don’t know a ton about it and with the outbreak being as large as it is in other parts of the world, I have to believe that there must be some other way to contract it beyond bodily fluids – but so far that is the only confirmed way to spread the infection.

I don’t want to down play the suffering this is causing or the severity of the illness for those infected but it is important to realize that we are fortunate enough to live in a country where supportive care is available and we can do things like blood transfusions from someone who has recovered from the infection – so if we do see it here, we are likely among the most capable to handle it.

The ad complains that we are a huge international airport hub and we don’t have a travel ban – If I recall correctly, our location makes it hard to have flights from the affected regions flying directly into our airport.  In fact, I don’t think we have any flights from the impacted regions of the world that come directly to us.  So a travel ban would be rather pointless since we wouldn’t be banning travel from places like NY which are more than likely connecting to the flights coming to the Midwest.

I am most certainly not as well educated on the issues as I could be and I am not really interested in debating the politics but this ad did nothing to support any particular party’s stance – all it did was show how desperate these campaigns become.  Seriously, Mark Dayton was beat up in this ad over what is A.) a non issue at the moment B.) largely not understood and C.) offered no solutions or proof that someone else knows better.

Our government has gotten so convoluted that a common tactic is to scare people, break down someone’s character, and win not by convincing the public that they are the best person for the job but by showing that someone else is not.  I would gladly throw support behind an election year free of brow bashing that sticks to the facts and doesn’t take cheap shots using scare tactics like this ad did.

Wouldn’t it be amazing to have an election year where you saw ads that offered solutions instead of saying how someone else screwed up?  Wouldn’t it feel good to know that the person you elected into office spent his or her time and energy developing a plan instead of digging up dirt on ‘the other guy’?  And wouldn’t it be great to know that the person we elected into office spent the time and energy figuring out how to protect us from the real threats in our society instead of thinking about the really terrifying, unlikely, once in a life time out breaks that none of us know exactly how to handle?

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