The clear choice for conservatives: Hypocrisy or personal responsibility

A woman holds a sign as she attends a rally outside the Missouri Capitol to protests stay-at-home orders put into place due to the COVID-19 outbreak Tuesday, April 21, 2020, in Jefferson City, Mo. Several hundred people attended the rally to protest the restrictions and urge the reopening of businesses closed in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus . (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

There are few certainties in life and politics, but one thing is consistent. The proposed solution to problems big or small can be summed up in 2 words for each party:

Democrats: Big government
Republicans: Personal responsibility

Every problem. Every time.

Which is why it’s so infuriating and perplexing to see so many conservatives gleefully blowing what should be a game-changing opportunity for us to take personal responsibility.

Instead of demonstrating personal responsibility and leading by example, many within the movement are proving themselves to be hypocrites. Encouraging others to go about life as though COVID doesn’t exist and the only enemy is the government itself and their response to the crisis.

I get it. We as conservatives are used to fighting big government.

I’ve stood outside five state capitols, 3 federal agencies, and on every side of the building at the U.S. Capitol demanding fewer government interventions or regulations.

At each and every single event and in every fight I’ve fought with my fellow conservatives, our collective message was the same, “We don’t need the government to tell us what the right thing to do is. We can and will do what’s in the public’s best interest without more laws and regulations. Why? Because we’re the party of personal responsibility.”

What we face today is the fact that like a broken clock is right twice a day, so the government may be right about the need to appropriately respond to the pandemic.

This is not to say that everything that has been done was done correctly. Our nation will argue about the first phase of response for decades to come.

Here in this moment, as reopening begins in many places, we are given the opportunity to demonstrate that we can adapt our own behavior to what’s in the best interest of our nation. Some conservative leaders just aren’t showing up. They’re letting their hatred of government blind them to their love of our nation and their freedom.

Conservative activists, leaders, and influencers around the nation are publicly trafficking in the dangerous message that it is somehow un-American to take the reasonable and responsible precautions being advocated by experts in the healthcare community such as using masks, social distancing or avoiding large crowds.

What’s worse is they’re stepping up to the mic and calling on others to join them in with the literal opposite response to what we have spent decades fighting for.

Make no mistake, this message is dangerous and no leader discounting COVID in the name of “freedom” should be celebrated.

Some in the party that values each life has suddenly found a price too high to pay for saving lives; their comfort, their convenience, and their ego. They’ve gone from “we need to get back to work” to “we need to get back to work, sporting events, concerts, our hobbies and our vacations on our terms regardless of consequences”.

“I will not voluntarily follow an ordinance, rule, or law to wear a mask.” While there are conflicting studies on the efficiency of masks, currently the CDC is still recommending them. Last week, the White House announced it will be requiring staff to wear them.

While masks may not block 100% of the virus, they may be the difference between an asymptomatic carrier spreading it or not spreading it to those they come in contact with. So wear the mask. It’s not that hard. It’s not that complicated. It is but one way we can demonstrate personal responsibility.

“I will go to my crowded church the minute the doors open.” There are well-documented cases of COVID being spread at religious events across the world and throughout our nation. The Bible tells us in Matthew 18:20, “when we gather in His name He is there.” No large auditoriums or corner church necessary. I hear you, “But my religious freedom!” No one is taking away your freedom to worship. We are asking you to do so responsibly.

As businesses begin starting to reopen this is where we as conservatives really have the opportunity to shine.

Conservatives have always said that businesses can and will do all the right things without the strong arm of regulatory boards, restrictive policing and bureaucrats looking over our shoulder. Now is your chance to show them.

Let’s rebuild our economy together and let’s do it safely.

There is no doubt that yes, we will have to fight the tyrants but first we have to show them and the world that we didn’t need to be ruled with an iron fist.

Don’t wear a mask, avoid large crowds or change your behavior for yourself personally or your business because it’s mandated. Do it because we have an obligation to one another.

There is so much uncertainty around this virus but one thing I know to be true. We will get past this, and we will live to fight another day. We will stand side-by-side, not 6 ft apart, telling lawmakers that government regulations and interventions are unnecessary, and let’s do so with credibility.

COVID isn’t partisan, but it is predictable. We are learning more and more each day but what we know now is that we all have a role in slowing the spread. Defiance of safety measures in this case is not heroic nor is it conservative.