Risk takers vs the risk averse: Dan Crenshaw on great divide nation now faces

by WorldTribune Staff, May 20, 2020

“The debate over reopening the economy has a peculiar characteristic: It breaks down almost entirely along political lines,” Rep. Dan Crenshaw wrote in a May 18 op-ed for the Wall Street Journal.

Rep. Dan Crenshaw. / C-SPAN

“Liberals emphasize the dangers of an open society, shaming those who want to go back to work. Conservatives argue the opposite. Red states are steadily reopening, while most blue states lag. House Democrats believe it isn’t safe for lawmakers to go back to work, while the Republican-controlled Senate is back in session,” the Texas Republican wrote.

Those intent on driving the United States toward socialism are taking full advantage of the opportunities the coronavirus pandemic have presented them, Crenshaw noted.

The far Left “is treating the lockdowns and the consequent economic devastation as an opportunity to ‘restructure’ America into a socialist utopia. So they’re in no rush” to reopen the economy, Crenshaw wrote.

A “complete account” of the current situation “would take us deeper, into the realm of psychology and morality,” Crenshaw wrote. “Liberal and conservative brain function has been shown to differ considerably during exercises in risk-taking.”

Conservatives in the year 2020 “are the ones ready to confront risk head-on,” Crenshaw wrote.

“That’s consistent with my experience in the military, where the overwhelming majority of special operators identify as conservatives. Recent data confirm my experiences, indicating that high-risk civilian occupations tend to be filled by those who lean right. If conservatives show more brain activity when processing fear, they also seem better at overcoming it.”

Conservatives, Crenshaw noted, “understand basic morality differently, too. Research shows that among the five moral foundations — care, fairness, authority and tradition, in-group loyalty, and purity — liberals prioritize care and fairness, while conservatives engage all five about equally. The liberal weighting means that far more emphasis is placed on a single consideration — ‘If it saves even one life …’ — to the exclusion of others, such as the costs to society. Liberals equate those costs with simple monetary hardship, easily replaced by a government check. Conservatives realize economic devastation may affect lives for years, altering their entire trajectories.”

The American people “are responsible enough to live free and confront risk,” and politicians and their media allies who are intent on keeping them locked down should “let them do so,” Crenshaw concluded.

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