Safety First, Liberty Last

I hadn’t seen this article until it was brought up in the comments. The poll is devastating for truthers and conspiracy theorists.

Are stay-at-home orders infringing on constitutional rights?

Libertarians are unanimous.

Conservatives are divided on the issue.

The rest of the country is as united as it has ever been on any issue. The consensus spans race, sex, class, education, income and region.

Total: 64% say no and 23% say yes.

Men: 59% say no, 27% say yes.

Women: 69% say no, 18% say yes.

Whites: 64% say no, 25% say yes.

Region: Northeast (65% say no, 25% say yes), South (66% say no, 22% say yes), Midwest (63% say no, 21% say yes), West (62% say no, 23% say yes).

Party: Democrats (86% say no, 6% say yes), Independents (59% say no, 23% say yes), Republicans (46% say no, 42% say yes).

Ideology: Liberal (86% say no, 7% say yes), Moderate (68% say no, 19% say yes), Conservative (42% say no, 45% say yes).

Income: Under $50K (69% say no, 18% say yes), $50K-100K (64% say no, 23% say yes), $100K or more (61% say no, 33% say yes).

Trust Fauci: Trust a lot (31%), Trust Somewhat (25%), Distrust Somewhat (7%), Distrust a lot (9%).

Trust Fauci By Ideology: Liberals Trust a lot (57%), Moderates Trust a lot (33%), Conservatives Trust a lot (14%), Liberals Trust Somewhat (21%), Moderates Trust Somewhat (25%), Conservatives Trust Somewhat (31%), Liberals Distrust Somewhat (4%), Moderates Distrust Somewhat (8%), Conservatives Distrust Somewhat (11%), Liberals Distrust a lot (2%), Moderates Distrust a lot (5%), Conservatives Distrust a lot (19%).

This is an excellent comment and no it isn’t me:

“When American conservatives say “liberty”, what they really mean is “freedom from responsibility.” Whatever else they may say, they are really just interested in their own personal comfort first and foremost – the freedom to go out to a bar, eat, and get drunk with their friends during a pandemic; the freedom to go to the beach and grill as grandma keels over*. In the end, that’s all this country exists for. Their outlook on life is an inversion of John Kennedy’s famous exhortation to consider what you can do for your country over yourself. For American conservatives, it’s “ask not what you can do for your country, but ask what your country can do for you.”

Because conservatives think they’ll be immune from consequence, they’ve shown absolutely zero concern for their wider community during this pandemic. These rootless conservatives conserve only their own creature comforts. Unless something negatively impacts them, they don’t care. Thus, every cultural disaster of the last 60 years.

The liberal left progressively stacks up victories in the culture wars because they can almost always appeal to a conservative’s sense of greed and self-entitlement. The great questions of the age either go unanswered or they are answered by the left on behalf of the right. Mass immigration? Answer: it increases the GDP; conservatives are fine with that because they think it benefits their pocketbooks (“they’ll pay for our Social Security” – remember that one from the 90s?). Abolition of association rights? Answer: corporations need the widest possible customer base for profit; conservatives either tolerate that loss or hedge, moving the goalposts closer to the left in the process (“it’s not that we have a problem with you inserting strong women characters into our fiction and offensively gender-swapping all of our male movie and book characters, we just want well-written strong women characters”). Corporate monopolies censoring speech? Answer: private industry needs monopolies to compete with China; government bad; socialism bad; muh private company. Deindustrialization and outsourcing? Answer: it makes products cheaper, allowing some conservatives who’ve made it in life to stuff their buggies with more useless junk. Hate speech-codes? Answer: bad speech makes some people feel bad, which increases tensions and lowers a conservative’s ability to get on “living his life, grilling and chilling.”

Conservatives lose because their philosophy is based on a premise that ensures their defeat. A worldview built on selfishness is one prone to contradiction and defeat at the hands of groups with more cohesion and perhaps less greed (or perhaps an ability to delay gratification for a future end).

My point about American conservatives was proved recently in Wisconsin. The republican-controlled Supreme Court there voided stay-at-home mitigation efforts. Within 45 minutes, crowds were gathered at bars getting drunk and eating out. So, let’s not phrase this as poor little small businesses wanting to feed their families because patrons greatly outnumbered proprietors. Sure, the “feed my family” angle is certainly true for many, but it’s not true for most. Even before the stay-at-home orders were enacted, conservatives were busy embracing every imaginable conspiracy theory as justification for doing nothing. It’s the same reason why they hate social spending and taxes: they don’t want to contribute; it’s as simple as that, regardless of whatever convoluted justification they may give to the contrary. For libertarian conservatives, this is mostly about the maintenance of their creature comforts. A lost grilling season might as well be an apocalypse.

I’m much younger than many who post here. I’m also quite healthy. So, I’m not really concerned with Covid-19 personally affecting me … assuming I haven’t already contracted it. I can’t speak for others, but for me, this is not an issue of safety over liberty. Of course, that’s how many libertarian conservatives want to phrase this, but that’s just a strawman (“you’re not against liberty, are you?”). I support liberty in general, but my specific concern is with my community and my fellow man.

I’m no hypocrite, either.

In my personal life, I have occasionally interacted with Chinese. Earlier in January, after being in close contact with several Chinese, I came down with a mysterious ailment unlike anything I’ve experienced before; it wasn’t the flu, and it wasn’t quite like any common cold either. For well over a week, I had a dry cough and difficulty breathing, among other symptoms. There is a good chance I have already had Covid-19. At the time, I remember hearing about a strange virus moving through China and thinking that the Chinese I had interacted with are natives of China, the kind of people who might have conceivably moved back and forth from the country at around the same time this virus was spreading.

A test wasn’t available then, and I was concerned that if I left my apartment and went out to the hospital, I might end up inadvertently spreading the ailment around. So what did I do? Go out and get drunk because I’m young? Storm a capitol building with an AR-15? Call Rush Limbaugh and claim I had “just the flu, bro?”

No. I took some time off and stayed in my apartment, completely isolated from the outside world for about a week. There is a good chance I prevented an even larger, earlier outbreak in my area (this was very early in the seeding process). At the very least, I didn’t make it any worse by going around infecting other people. I was willing to do that even without confirmation that I had it. I made an assumption and put in just a little consideration for others. In my personal life, I am the kind of person American conservatives always claimed to be but never were.”

About Hunter Wallace 12366 Articles
Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Occidental Dissent


  1. Stay at home in South Africa, Arian

    Less than 300 Deaths of The AIDS Ebola Covid


    I’m in Pennsylvania and the Jewish protecting transgender secretary of Health wants all off you to close your small business and stay Home!

    Stay Clam

    Stay safe

    Stay home

    Brad lost serious respect


    • Shameful indeed but the transgender political choice is a separate issue, distinct from the necessity for a public health system to take measures to control the pandemic.

  2. So, the south is the region most supportive of stay-at-home orders? Interesting. I didn’t expect that.

  3. On the matter of Safety vs. Liberty, I think folks are quite split.

    You can see this at Lowe’s Garden Center, where the Safety People are all masked up and quietly grim, and the Liberty People are without and talking with each other.

    • Exactly. Let businesses cater to the divergent views of their customers on the safety vs. liberty issue. Some businesses will specialize in full protection mode (only customers wearing PPE can enter), some in freedom (business as usual, pre-March 2020), some a combination (masks and gloves to enter, any amount in store at any one time). The materialist instinct will provide the incentive to give different people different shopping and entertainment experiences. Win-Win. And if that is not good enough for the Safety First crowd, Stay at Home people. Been nice knowing you.

      • BTW, that Unz comment is clearly you. The claim about being younger then the average Unz poster does not erase the topics and language identifiers. People have writing styles that give them away ( the Trump administration resistance mole was outed as a national security council employee via word sleuthing). Embrace your newfound Establishment persona. Nothing inherently wrong with that-following the rules is normally best. Rules potentially restrain the selfish. But, on the merits, see commenters 66 and 72 to the Unz article. Trust but verify is one thing Reagan got right. It identifies the problem-following the rules is usually best, but humans enforce the rules, and they have personal interests that can counteract the public interest, and the humans use their control of the coercive apparatus to take more then they are entitled to (authority redundancy, as my old political science professor Annoush Khoshkish called the concept). That is what us OD and Unz dissenters are telling you-stop being gullible. You were never trusting of power before. Hence, the theory you have went to the dark side due to the feds threatening your family, like Michael Flynn.

        • No, it is not me.

          If that was me, I would have posted it here and over there under my own name. I was unaware of it until you brought it to my attention. I haven’t been back over to Unz except to scan over the main page since the debate with Andrew Anglin. BTW, 2/3rds of the public has a similar view, so why are you surprised that someone else sounds like me? Finally, I don’t live in an apartment.

  4. “Earlier in January, after being in close contact with several Chinese, I came down with a mysterious ailment unlike anything I’ve experienced before; it wasn’t the flu, and it wasn’t quite like any common cold either. For well over a week, I had a dry cough and difficulty breathing, among other symptoms. There is a good chance I have already had Covid-19. ”

    In the middle of February, something happened to me that had not happened in years – I got sick.

    Though, unlike those times long ago, when I had suffered with the flu, the weight in my lungs was so heavy, it felt like soggy and heavyweights bags of mud which, when i tried to hack them up, i nearly choked.

    I was about two days bad like this, to the point where I told my wife I was going to double up on my Garlic, Vitamin C, Oregon Grape,and Elderberry, but, if that did not work, off to the hospital we would go.

    The doubling up worked and I soon began to improve, though it would take me three weeks to fully recover my energy, which is a long while, when we consider that I am fit, thin, sassy, and on no prescription drugs, whatsoever.

    • I had Type A flu in January into February. I was as sick as I have EVER been. I was much worse than anything any of you have ever described. I NEVER CONSIDERED DEMANDING THAT EVERYTHING BE SHUT DOWN. I had the Type A flu. EVERY one around here had it. The shut down is causing infinitely more damage than the GOD DAMNED FLU. You had a FLU. Period. The END.

  5. “Are stay-at-home orders infringing on constitutional rights? ”

    Wildly unconstitutional are stay at home orders.

    Yet, in times of emergence, such as war or plague, it stands to reason we will diminish or suspend certain rights – to be resumed after the storm has passed.

  6. I always self isolate except for work. Why? Because I genuinely hate people. I’m perfectly happy with my wife and dogs.

  7. When American conservatives say “liberty”, what they really mean is “freedom from responsibility.”

    Perhaps this attitude helps explain the attraction so many of them have to libertarian economics, whose central thrust is that if you just get government out of the way, everything else will virtually automatically fall into place. It absolves you from the responsibility to think about your society. You can just sit back secure in the knowledge that the free market is providing the “optimal outcomes” for everybody.

  8. Folks are getting far too angry over this. On all sides of theses issues. Nevermind that we all are trusting organisations that have repeated proven to lie to us. Again, on all sides. Nevermind the Imperial government decided millions of jobs are “non-essential” which made how many men question to go back to work..

    I hope Hunter writes a few books under a pseudonym about this and maybe the end of the malls.

    Forget how China did it. Forget Sweden. Ignore the rest of world. Is Dixie making its own plans? Or bowing down to what the Yankee Empire wants?

    And I think all of this has made more folks go “eff this” and just try to enjoy the decline. The Imperial won this round.

  9. Conspiracy theories aside our anti-White overlords couldn’t have had a better crisis handed to them on a golden platter. Whether the crisis is real or not what better way to control people than by keeping them constantly frightened? What better way to keep us distracted from the “essential business” of Diversity? Do the crisis gods hate White people?

  10. Polls for public consumption should always be suspected of being propaganda lies. It wouldn’t surprise me if this were wrong and the majority wants re-opening. Of course, what the majority wants is irrelevant when it comes to imminent danger as well as when it comes to freedoms. The “lock-down” measures can’t be terribly popular because they’re ham-fisted closing the gate when the horse is out of the barn maneuvers, and I’m convinced most people do not believe there is much potential for the disease to get a lot worse (it could get a lot worse).

  11. Open the damn country and let Darwin do his job. The strong shall survive and the dumb stupid ones will die off.

    • Malthus would agree. He counseled the ruling class not to take any ublic health measures against a pandemic but to “court the plague,” just let it rip and even encourage it, to reduce the numbers, strength and confidence of the expendable workers.

    • You are a typical Yankee bastard, the only thing you understand and care about is money…truly a sickening country.

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