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Here's How Stories Like Tyre Nichols' Murder Pushed Me To Leave the Conservative Movement
Nobody should defend the government when it abuses its citizens.
You have probably already heard about the killing of a 29-year-old man named Tyre Nichols by police officers who mercilessly beat him to death after a traffic stop in Memphis, Tennessee. It was the latest in a series of high-profile police brutality cases that have occurred throughout the history of the United States.
We have seen this movie play out time and time again. A black man is unjusty killed or abused by members of law enforcement and Team Red and Team Blue go into their typical narratives.
On the left, they focus on the race issue instead of focusing on the statism issue. They exploit these deaths to further their progressive agenda without actually doing anything to address the problems that lead to these atrocities.
But on the right, people seem more concerned with deflecting from the officers’ actions in an effort to defend the state. As a former conservative-turned-liberty activist, the way conservatives and Republicans have responded to these matters is one of many reasons why I decided to leave the conservative movement and focus on liberty.
To put it simply: Conservatives typically don’t handle police brutality issues well.
Note: I am not talking about all conservatives and Republicans. I’ve conversed with many who see these stories as examples of government abuse. But over the past decade, I have noticed a distinct authoritarian streak on the right among people who claim they advocate for limited government.
In the case of Nichols, I saw how conservative influencers worked to deflect from the crime these officers committed. Over the past week, they have decried how the activist media was hyping up the release of the footage showing the incident, accusing them of trying to start a riot.
After the video went viral on social media, I saw conservatives focusing more on the fact that Nichols appeared to resist arrest than on what the officers did to him. Many criticized him for running away while giving little attention to the fact that five men with badges and guns beat him to death.
Right-leaning pundits and regular folks excoriated members of the activist media for promoting a racism narrative even though the officers who beat Nichols to death were all black.
I agree that progressives and members of the activist media should be criticized for how they exploit these tragedies. But these people are more angry at these things than they are at the infuriating reality that agents of the state murdered an American citizen who was posing no threat to him. People who claim to oppose tyranny were more incensed at the media and Nichols than the officers who brutally took his life.
This is how these stories play out every single time. Conservatives are far too quick to defend officers even when they display blatant corruption and disregard for the people they are supposed to protect and serve. In these situations, Republicans fail to see the humanity in the victim.
Instead of considering the plight of the families of the victims, these folks eagerly dig up the criminal records of the person who died from state-sponsored violence in order to lessen any sympathy people might feel for him. In Nichols’ case, this strategy was not employed only becaues he had no criminal record.
The reality that these “limited government” conservatives are every bit as statist as the progressives they claim to despise was never lost on me, and it was yet another reason why I knew this was not the movement that will bring about an America focused on liberty.
One cannot claim to value liberty while cheerleading for, and defending state officials who abuse their authority. Yes, I am aware that most police officers are decent folks trying to do their job. But there are far too many who use their badges as a cover for committing some of the most malevolent acts imaginable, and they should never be defended.
In my upcoming book, “Chasing Liberty: My Journey from Partisan Politics to the Fight for Freedom,” I will go more in depth on this issue and lay out liberty-focused solutions can lead to less oppression from the government and make fore a freer society.
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It’s been a long journey and there is more work to be done. I hope you will join me in chasing liberty together as we work to save our great nation.