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David Brooks on Ebola: A Lot Of People Have No Contact With People Like Us Giving Them Expert Opinions

DAVID BROOKS, NEW YORK TIMES: I think it’s a respectable position to say we should not allow flights from West Africa. I don’t think it’s probably very effective, because don’t just fly here from direct to Africa. They fly around the world and then come here. So, I just don’t think it’s effective, but it’s a respectable position.

But I don’t think it’s below the belt to have a feeling that the establishment or the ruling class in this country is not particularly competent. And you wouldn’t look at the way Ebola has been handled, at least so far, and say it’s been a testimony to the competence of the establishment.

And there are a lot of people who are just — we have a great social segmentation going on. And so there are a lot of people just with no contact with the people like us they see on TV giving them expert opinion about Ebola or anything else, and they just want to wave it away and they just want to pull in and trust the people they trust and that’s local.

And when the national borders seem porous and uncontrolled, they are going to react. And I think that’s a completely legitimate reaction.

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