The administration officials opposed to a travel ban to and from West Africa are beginning to sound about as believable as the old land shark in the Saturday Night Live skits.
They tell us that we can’t do a travel ban because, because, because … well it would be mean! Meanwhile, 30 other countries have seen the wisdom of it and prohibited people who are from countries where ebola is rampant from gracing their shores.
They tell us that it isn’t enforceable. Why? Because we can’t check passports? Haven’t they heard of quarantines? When most of our ancestors came over here, anyone whom they wanted to detain was kept from entering the country for as long as they deemed possible.
They tell us that we can’t stop it here until we stop it in West Africa. How does it benefit the world if the most problem solving, generous nation gets it? Does that help anyone in Africa? No, of course not. How do we protect our troops from getting it and bringing it back here?
And how will we stop it in Africa? If it’s impossible to monitor our airports, how impossible is it to make sure they round up everyone in remote areas of a country we don’t even know? How is it feasible to impose our will on another country and its culture? We don’t want to do that in the Middle East, but we can do it in these countries? What about the people who cried “nation building” when Bush wanted to help Iraq? If this isn’t nation building, what is?
Yesterday Dr. Tom Friedan of the CDC complained to Congress that a travel ban would hurt the economies of these poor countries. What a ridiculous argument. What about our economy? How soon will things shut down here if more outbreaks occur? That affects everything from schools to grocery stores to restaurants to movie theaters. People would be shut in for long periods of time and economic activity would slide.
It’s time for Speaker John Boehner to call Congress back in session and pass a travel ban. Republicans have nothing to lose and everything to gain in such an action. We are in sync with the mood of the country. It points out the recklessness of the Obama administration and puts Democrats on the mat to see if they will support Obama or support the people.
I hope he does it quickly. Most importantly, it’s the right thing to do.