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Note to Progressives: Stop Trying to Save Me!

Note to Progressives: Stop Trying to Save Me!

Many years ago, I postulated a theory as a joke – well, at least mostly as a joke.  I theorized that the fundamental difference between conservatives and progressives is fear of death.  We conservatives are risk takers.  We do not see all public policy as predicated on using extreme measures to keep us insulated from everything that may threaten our security, our income, our health or even our lives.

That is why bikers tend to be on the conservative side – especially those who hate helmet laws.  Conservatives tend to live with our home and car doors unlocked.  Conservatives do not like reductions in highways speed laws.  We love NASCAR even though it kills on occasion.

We tend to understand that quality of life – personal freedom, maximum opportunities and more choices – are what make life worth living.  We are more likely to eat red meats – preferably rare to raw. (Personally, I love steak tartar).  We are more likely to jump out of airplanes for no other reason than the thrill of it all.

Being chance takers, we also accept those rare negative outcomes of our pursuit of a joyful life.  I knew I had a chance of dying when I first jumped out of that airplane about a year ago.  I did it anyway – and wow, what a thrill it was.  I know that my lifelong love of hot dogs – between 10 to 15 a month – will likely shorten my life.  Probably has already.  But we conservatives generally measure our lives on the quality scale – not just by the days on the calendar.

Of course, we also accept responsibility for our actions.  We are less likely to file suits against everyone we can conceivably blame for any misfortunes in our life.  Sh*t happens – and we understand that.

Those on the left seem to have safety and security as their number one concern.  They tend to suffocate society with endless laws to “protect people” – as if they can take the fatal risk out of being human.  They see death avoidance as a number one human priority.

Conservatives tend to be on the patriotic – America first – side of the equation because our nation is – or maybe once was – a conservative culture.  We believe in rugged individualism – personal freedom balanced with personal responsibility.  We resist being regulated by elitist leftists in Washington.  We live by the saying, “Don’t make a federal case about it.”

Surveys have shown that conservatives are more charitable than left-wingers.  We donate more to good causes and to churches.  We adopt more children. (Three times in my case.)  We are more likely to come to the rescue of our neighbor – even at risk to ourselves.

For generations, the political left has sought to care for their own security and wellbeing by making government their protective womb – feathering their own nest with handouts instead of earnings  – even if that meant sticking their grandkids and great grandkids with the bill.  They will spend any amount of money – and anyone else’s money – on a vain attempt to enhance their own sense of safety, security and wellbeing.

In the initial stages of the Covid-19 pandemic, you could spot the liberals.  They were the first to wear masks, rubber gloves and wipe off every surface they touched with alcohol wipes.  Some of them were doing that even before the outbreak.  They often showed public disdain to others who were not following the fear-driven lifestyle.  And as is their habit, they passed laws that required the rest of us to live by their narrow rules.

While conservatives are willing to face life-threatening risks, progressive snowflakes demand government protection from even an unkind word.  And Covid-19 has brought out the worst in them.

I wear a mask to enter the grocery store – not because I choose to, but because I am not allowed to enter without one.  If that were not the law or requirement, I would not be wearing one.  In fact, before it was mandatory, most folks in the store were not wearing masks.

Our Publix has instituted one-way aisles.  Of course, that is more symbolic than a safety measure.  The theory is that you do not have to pass people going in opposite directions – but you still must pass people who stop to check out a shelf.  Most people seem to be ignoring the one-way signs on the floor (including me)-  and no one is complaining, as far as I can tell.  I see that as a positive sign.

For the modern liberals, government is their doctor, their police officer, their soldier (even if they will not do the fighting) and … yes … their surrogate parent.  “Please, please, please make me safe and secure,” is their mantra.  “Take my money.  Take my freedom.  Just make me safe.”  “Just DO NOT make me responsible.”

If that sounds like I am trying to make the case that we have gone – and are going – too far in combating the Covid-19 virus, that is exactly what I think.

The latest news stories carry the scaremongering to new heights.  We are heading into the worst depression in American history, they say – with 25 to 40 million on unemployment.  If that is what happens, the Covid-19 pandemic will look like a pop stand human crisis by comparison.

They act as if every death is a tragedy.  I was there to watch my mother suffer from cancer – and I considered her eventual death a blessing.  And I have heard that sentiment many times.

I honestly believe that future generations will look at the decision to shut down the world economy as one of the worst public policy decisions of all time.  I do not mean the admonitions to wash hands, stay home when sick or avoiding the most vulnerable when sick.  That is always good advice at any time — and had been the common practice anyway.

I mean shutting down all those businesses that are frequented by all those folks who were always unlikely to get the disease – and get only a mild case if they did.  All those folks who now face desperation in their ability to pay the bills, feed the kids and plan for an optimistic future.  So … what about their sense of security and wellbeing?

So, as an old guy with all those underlying conditions, let me tell you that my life is not worth the cost we are imposing on the greater society.  So … I say please, please, please stop trying to save me at such a high cost to so many.

So, there ’tis.

About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.


  1. Boris

    Larry, in general I enjoy reading your pieces, and I consider myself conservative, but in this case I disagree with you. When a person is not wearing a mask in supermarket, he is endangering not only himself, but dozens of other people, many of whom might not have a choice, and have to go to the store. Not to mention people who work there.

    • Larry Horist

      You are only POTENTIALLY endangering others IF you have the virus — and the chance of having the virus even without symptoms is exceeding small. Keep in mind that most Americans will not even personally know a person who has or had Covid-19 — much less someone who died from it. I follow science and statistics — and reality — and not panic and politically motivated sensationalism. Where I live — western edge of Palm Beach County there are no known cases of Covid-19. At last report, our local hospital was less than 60 percent occupied and no known Covid -19 cases. I was out yesterday and saw a lot of cyclists, joggers, strollers — and not one wearing a mask. Before they lockdown the parks, our tennis courts and playgrounds will filled with folks … and no masks. I have an 89-year-old friend confined to her room in a senior center — and she begs me to sneak her out so she can enjoy her her limited time on earth.
      The real world is not at all like what you see on television. Just follow the facts and the science and NOT the politicians OR the reporters..

    • Knock Knock

      We don’t have a clue what we’re doing – there’s no real research to depend on for any of this stuff even now after months of staring at it. Some newer research suggests that the masks do almost nothing, especially in closed spaces where volumes equalize and fill and everybody gets a taste of everything everybody else has. We’re just fumbling around in the dark and the marketers are profiting, the powerful are power mongering, while the most important news is ignored. It’s like wearing a seatbelt in a plane crash.

      • Larry Horist

        you are right. Despite all the claims of getting to the facts, our national media has spread disinformation and conflicting information. Even the doctors do not agree on anything. But I would not way that the “marketers” are profiting. Even the hospitals are losing money. The only winners are Democrat politicians who are using the crisis for political benefit — aided and abetted by their media allies.

  2. Dale Brown

    This is one of the best and right on articles I’ve read in a long time! Correct in every sense. Faith, love and real hope will never fail! In life or in death. Stay safe and thanks for this article.

    • Jeff Byers

      Great article. I agree with you, not just the US, but most of the world went too far on this one.
      I hope the US will be able to bounce back over the next few months, and will be better prepared for future viruses.
      From what I’ve seen, it was the lack of preparation that caused the over reaction.
      God Bless America and help us to learn from this and be better prepared for the next one.

  3. Michael

    I agree 100%n with all you said except for one phrase. “Conservatives tend to live with our home and car doors unlocked” I lock my home, cars, garages for the reason to prevent all those liberal crooks and thieves from helping themselves to what I have worked my whole life to obtain. The liberals think they can take what they want from us conservatives and I prefer not to have to exercise my second amendment right to protect my life and property against a dumb liberal.

    Otherwise you make perfect sense.

    • Larry Horist

      LOL You may be correct about locking doors, but I have to tell you. I have rules about my car. I do not keep anything in the car a thief would want or I would miss — and I drive an 11-year-old Chevy Impala that is low on the list of stolen cars. Very low. One evening, robbers went through several cars on my street. They dumped my glove compartment, but nothing seemed missing. The only difference between me and my neighbors was I did not have a broken window. Also, did you ever hear of a home buglary that was stopped by a locked door?

  4. Common Sense

    Couldn’t agree with you more! Conservatives I know are charitable, team players and have a “let’s make things work” attitude.This is in contrast to those who always behave to protect their #1 self and want the rules posted so everything is “fair”, when the reality is that they want to ensure some kind of advantage for themselves.

  5. Russell Bateman

    I think your early attitude about the Left was very charitable. In truth, the Left hides behind safety and security because it’s their best, seemingly most compelling and favorite way to coax people to kneel and surrender to tyranny. I cannot plumb the depths of their dark plan for the world by using this pandemic to quarantine the well instead of the sick or at risk with the result of destroying the economy. It’s like a dark science fiction script in which the invading bugs bring devastation so that they can feed off the remains.

  6. Thomas

    As a 70+ year old with underlying conditions who is an essential worker working out in the public 5 or 6 days a week I think the time is now end the shut down if someone gets sick put them in a hyperbaric chamber to keep their oxygen levels don’t waste time on a ventilator.

  7. Phillip D Freer

    As a (newly-minted) 70 year old long-ago diagnosed as having a compromised immune system, and therefore considered high-risk, I have to agree with most of what you said. For years my auto-immune reactions to viruses and bacteria assaulted my body leaving me in great pain and exhausted, but I fear the socio-economic damage being done to our populace far more than me contracting CV-19. There is no doubt in my mind that the emotional scars left from this ideological assault on my fellow inhabitants will be deep and linger for multiple lifetimes. The assault is political and evil, and somehow must be stopped. Now!