I have met Congressman Trey Hollingsworth several times and I voted for him in 2016 and 2018. People were angry with him after his remarks last week about opening up the American economy, but he recognizes reality: Opening the economy or keeping the lock downs in place is not a matter of saving lives against earning money. This is a question of lives against lives. People will die as a result of the lock downs.
We are going to see more deaths of despair: Suicide, alcoholism and addiction. If this gets much worse, people will go hungry and become homeless. Crime will go up. Everyone knows that this has a real human cost, which is why the vicious attacks on Hollingsworth, his faith and his character are fundamentally dishonest. Hollingsworth is a Congressman, so his financial future is secure. Hundreds of millions of people do not enjoy the security he has, so he is speaking for them.
If we truly believed in the “if it only saves one life” mantra that has been thrown around defending the lock downs, we would have banned the automobile over 100 years ago. Do you know how many people have died because we allow teenagers to pilot 2,000 pound masses of steel at high speeds? Banning the automobile would save hundreds of thousands of lives!
I could say that the people who support keeping the lock downs in place indefinitely do not care about people going hungry or dying deaths of despair. I could say they have no humanity and only want to be comforted in their fear of the Communist Virus, and that they are willing to let people die, go without food and become financially destitute so that they feel safe. But that would be a lie. People disagree about public policy, and people want to pursue the policy that will cause the least harm and fewest lives lost.
Look, these are hard policy choices. No one truly knows what the perfect policy is to deal with “flattening the curve” and protecting our economic well-being and our way of life. Every policy decision ever made has positive and negative consequences, and we weigh lives against lives every single day. Knock it off with the hate and the phony moral outrage against Congressman Hollingsworth, and have a little humility about the limits of your own knowledge and policy analysis.