Why I Am No Longer A Conservative

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By John Paluska, Founder of The Washington Gazette

True Conservativism is the belief in equal rights, empowerment, and education.

Equal rights, because, under a conservative world view, one believes we all have the same unalienable rights that make us all equal, and that nobody, not even government officials, nor police, nor your neighbors, nor anyone with a weapon, nor a bigger bank account, nor a better lawyer, nor a bigger corporation is allowed to violate your rights. They are yours forever, no matter what, and NOBODY can tell you differently.

Empowerment, because the purpose of Conservatism is empowerment. It's making your own destiny, and choosing what YOU want to do. It puts YOU in the driver's seat, and says nothing but your own imagination and your two hands can stop you. In encourages you to try new things. It empowers you by giving you the tools necessary to forge your own tomorrow, and it not only says you can DO, but also encourages you to TRY. It lifts the systems of oppression and control off your back so you are free to do whatever you want as long as it does not violate equal rights. Conservatism, therefore, empowers everyone, no matter their background, their way of life, their religion, or their skin color, to make their dreams come true, so long as equal rights are not violated.

Education, because Conservatives believe lies and propaganda are best for the trash can, and that a good person is an educated person who is always growing in knowledge and wisdom. An educated person is a free thinker, who can learn whatever they want, in whatever way they want, from whatever teachers they want, and therefore allowed to believe whatever they see fit so long as it does not initiate harm to others or violate others' equal rights.

These tenets form the basis of what is being conserved by true Conservatives in America. In 1776, our Declaration of Independence established a radical form of government. It established one by which the people are ultimately the final governor and have every right to abolish any government that revokes our equal rights. 

It established that all men, no matter their creed, culture, color, or religious group, have certain unalienable equal rights that NOBODY, no matter their status, their position of power, their strength, their bank account, or any other level by which men selfishly try to control and manipulate others, have a right to take away. THIS is the heart of America. THIS was the noble experiment. This is what our Founders bled and died for. This was the justification for the abolitionist movement in the north in the late 1700s, and, today, it is being threatened.

To be perfectly honest, most Conservatives do not want the above listed things. In fact, Conservatives regularly, and some unknowingly, fight them. If you ask a Conservative what their justification is for any new-fangled policy the party with an R at the beginning of their name came up with that decides just how much access the government should allow people to their rights, they'll invariably bring up some horse manure talking point made up by the news media about how some people group is about to kill them and take everything they own. In the 00s it was the Muslims. It the 10s it was the Mexicans. And now, in 2020, it's black people.

Just think about that for a second. Every year Conservatives want a bigger military, bigger police force, and bigger NSA because they irrationally believe that somebody, somewhere, is about to kill them and everyone they love unless they immediately give up all their weapons, their privacy, their freedom of speech, their choice in friends, their freedom to go where they want when they want at any time they want with their car, the hours of the day they can be out doing things, and more. Does this sound sane or rational to you?

In truth, you're more likely to die falling off a ladder than from a terrorist attack. But what drives this petrified fear? Helplessness, ultimately. The Conservative believes he is too helpless to take care of himself and others and therefore needs somebody else to do it. As a response, he will forfeit whatever the "somebody else" says is necessary, even if it makes no sense at all, to get this "help."

I ask the reader to think about what is fundamentally different about the human beings with guns in government and the human being at his home watching Fox News scared that he needs more human beings with guns in the government. Nothing. They're both human beings. They both have the ability to become soldiers, protectors, fighters, and peace keepers. There's no special DNA sequence or breeding process necessary to become a soldier or a policeman. Therefore, nothing fundamentally separates the two.

In truth, just a few weeks or months of training are what make our soldiers soldiers and our police police. In fact, there is absolutely NOTHING stopping anyone from learning these tactics of self defense, learning how to shoot, learning how to detain someone without hurting them, learning the survival skills necessary to protect people in a crisis, etc. etc. In fact, there's likely classes on all these things just minutes away from where most of these scared, helpless Conservatives happen to live.

So, rationally, knowing the odds of dying at the hands of a terrorist is really slim to none, that a man is more likely to drown in his bathtub or fall off a ladder or die in a car crash before a terrorist kills him, and knowing that just a few crisis training courses and self defense classes and firearm instruction and civilian police training courses can significantly increase the chance he will be able to save his life and others' lives, what reason is there for such irrational fear? In truth, nothing. Just a little bit of self empowerment and a framework that centers on equal rights will make all these Conservatives into better, more well-adjusted, and prepared citizens, which helps all of society as a whole. They'd go out and learn the responsible way to use a gun, they'd take the crisis preparedness classes, they'd learn self defense, and they'd likely fortify their homes. No need to completely give up everything they have, love, and do just to prevent the astronomically impossible chance they will die in a terrorist attack.

But it's not just Conservatives who think like this. Liberals fall snare to the same thinking as the Conservative, and both "conservatives" and "liberals," as a response, are just engorging the Federal Government while whittling away at everyone's rights, empowerment, and education, including themselves. This is especially true for the Liberal opinion on firearms.

Nobody should own an automatic firearm, the average liberal may say. Nobody, I suppose, except for policemen, criminals, the military, covert spies, FBI agents, etc. etc. So, in reality, what Liberals REALLY believe is that the government and criminals should be armed to the teeth and the law-abiding population should be left with sticks and stones. 

I ask the liberal reader right now to take stock in the news reports over the past two years of people being killed, beaten, attacked, and hospitalized by these armed police. I ask liberals to recall the disturbing reports of former and current military officials present at the Capitol Riots who were attacking people. Are these government gun owners safe? Do these sound like the type of people who should own a gun and simultaneously take yours? I should think not.

But let's go back to those odds again. Liberals, rightly, worry about mass shootings. But, realistically, one has a higher chance of being killed by the police than by a mass shooter. The chance of dying at the hands of police is 1 in 7,703. But the odds of dying in a mass shooting are 1 in 11,125. If we follow the rationale, if we disarm citizens because we're worried about mass shootings, then we should disarm the police for being more dangerous than the mass shooters. But I sincerely doubt you want to do this.

In fact you're likely thinking the odds of dying via assault by a firearm is 1 in 315, which is more dangerous than either category. Yes, this is much higher than either category for sure. But it's also leaving out the rest of the information. The gross majority of all gun deaths are from homicides, not mass shootings, not road rage, not some psychopath getting his jollies, not robberies, not gun accidents, not a guy with a gun just going to town in a Walmart

Despite what CNN says, the data shows that most homicides are not from people who carry a gun in public and then frantically unload on people in the moment. The overwhelming majority of murder victims for which the cause was known died to their friends or family. Just 9.9% of all murders were done by a complete stranger. And a cause of almost half (43.2%) of the murders were arguments. Just 1 in 4 deaths for which the cause was known was the result of another felony in conjunction (like a robbery, or a rape, or a burglary, etc). So, as long as you aren't pissing off your friends and family and they have no intent to rape or rob you, then you'll die of alcohol poisoning long before you get murdered or assaulted with a firearm.

Now, note that these firearm deaths had nothing to do with a person's mental health, their ownership of a weapon in general, or their location. But it had everything to do with their relationships with their friends and family and whether they were home or not or in the process of getting raped. In other words, there is absolutely zero data to believe most gun deaths are the result of freak, horrific attacks on random people by a mass shooter or random dude who was carrying a gun in Walmart. The reality is most gun deaths are from people who knew their killer and had ongoing relationships with them, especially of the marital kind.

Why is this important? Because if someone cannot defend themselves from a policeman, then they do not have equal rights. If the police are allowed to go unchecked and unaccounted for when they kill more people than mass shooters each year, then their victims do not have equal rights. If criminals can get guns, yet law-abiding citizens cannot, then this is not equal rights. 

In short, if one person has access to special things that are not allowed for someone else, and they then proceed to abuse their power with said things, this is not equal rights. 

So, both Liberals and Conservatives, together, have a real problem. They have left equal rights, empowerment, and education in the dust. They have traded equal rights for an illusion of safety. Our police are unaccountable and they're more dangerous than terrorists. Our government kills its own citizens. Our military officials participated in a riot on the Capitol Building on June 6th. These are the people liberals deem "safe" to own whatever weapon they want, but not Sarah the sexual assault victim who bought a gun so she wouldn't be helpless next time, or Tim who bought his new shotgun after he was robbed and almost murdered at gunpoint at 3 in the morning when his friend or neighbor decided he shouldn't own his nice, new TV.

But it isn't just gun rights. It's also race relations. Black Liberals have given up on empowerment and equal rights just as much as Black Conservatives (more on this in a minute) have. Every year Black Liberals vote for the party that endorsed slavery, Jim Crow, and government welfare that was designed to "have those n****** voting democrat for years to come." These are not my opinions. These are facts. 

The Democrat Party has a 100+ year history of subjugating, attacking, marginalizing, and assassinating black people. It was Democrats who assassinated MLK (J. Edgar Hoover may have been an independent, but his right hand man and chief enabler in Congress was a Democrat). It was Democrats who instituted extra burdens of proof to prevent black people from voting. It was Democrats who founded the KKK. It was Democrats who fought for slavery in Congress. It was Democrats who voted against MLK's equal rights proposals. It was Democrats who wanted Jim Crow. And, no, this isn't some propaganda ad for the Republican Party. The "Grand" Ole Party tanked immediately in race relations following their success at ending Jim Crow in the 1960-70s. You can thank Ronald Reagan and his black people are druggies, criminals, and welfare leeches domestic policy that the press repeated non-stop for the modern Conservative's understanding of black people.

Many black liberals, however, also do not realize welfare itself is a tool of oppression. Now, before you close out this article and begin thinking I'm just some crazy racist (I'm not. I agree with the black lives matter movement, I want to reform the police, I am for equal rights for all, and I want nothing to do with those racist conservatives and the neo-Nazi wackjobs and white supremacist terrorists whom you likely hate as much as I do), I ask that you at least give me the benefit of the doubt as someone who wakes up each morning disturbed at the lack of equal rights in this country and working hard each week to improve the situation. 

I ask you, black liberal reader, to think of all of America's "poorest" black cities. One will likely think of Chicago, Baltimore, and Detroit. Here's a real eye-opener. These cities also have the most generous welfare programs in existence. Now, if welfare works to end poverty and get people employed, with all the trillions of dollars in free money, with all the trillions of dollars spent on welfare programs, one would think these cities would have some of the richest, best-employed black people in the country. But we instead see the opposite.

Every year the black people living in Baltimore, Chicago, and Detroit end up poorer and more destitute than the year before, despite non-stop increases in welfare programs and welfare funding. However, white people and Hispanics and Asians do not have this problem, in fact, they have become wealthier. Clearly, this welfare system does not work to empower black people. Surely trillions of dollars in welfare should rise a community out of poverty, right? Not unless it's merely a system of control, like prison slavery and stop and frisk were and are used together to reinstitute black slavery.

Maybe Democrat Lyndon Johnson was right, that welfare was simply used to get black people to vote Democrat for years to come, making them endless dependents. Many economists certainly think welfare has destroyed black communities. So do many black policy analysts

But the Black Conservative is not really better off. He may have read all the above before and gone "it's for these reasons I have left the party of oppression and joined the party of freedom," but this is wrong. Now, I ask the very same from you, Black Conservative reader, that I have asked from the liberal reader above. Just hear me out before thinking I'm out to destroy you and freedom and liberty for all.

To boot, the honest truth is the "party of freedom" thinks you, black conservative reader, are a dangerous druggie who will rape his daughter and/or murder and steal from him. The "party of freedom" regularly uses you as a scapegoat to arm police to the teeth and defend the police at all costs, even when the police are beating the [explicative] out of an unarmed man on camera. You are used as an excuse for every time an innocent black person is shot and killed by an officer as the reason we need police in the first place. The Republican party uses you, black conservative, as a reason to further violate your rights and everyone else's. They use you, Black Conservative as a tool of fear to keep increasing the militarizing of the police who then go out and beat and murder you. They use you as an excuse to defend civil asset forfeiture, where police just take your belongings without any legal standard or court hearing. They use you to defend no-knock raids that kill you, and even promote the red flag laws and "mental health" checks that, as proven above, simply make your more defenseless by making it more difficult for you to defend yourself.

Now, Conservatives will endlessly quote the FBI crime database as their "proof" that black people are dangerous. In fact, you, Black Conservative, may very well believe, like Candace Owens does, that these arrests are, in fact, the "proof" of the completely false narrative that most black people don't have their lives together and need to start being good citizens again, but you likely forget that these crime databases are simply the combined total of police arrests and have not been normed for false arrests (which happen to black people more), exonerations (of which black people are at least half of all exonerations to date), racist cops or prosecutors with vendettas, and police profiling training courses leading to racist policing, and other things. The FBI doesn't track confirmed, committed crimes. They only track arrests, which are heavily skewered by the above and lead to an inflated number of black people being arrested.

The truth is, people like Candace Owens push a narrative that black people are horrible human beings, and if you believe the lies she espouses concerning black people being criminals or druggies or whatever else is en vogue right now for Conservatism so they can pass more oppressive laws, then you are participating in your own oppression.

Moving out of race relations, we come to "public safety." Despite what anyone over at the CDC says, the lockdowns did not work. In fact, what researchers have found was the polar opposite. It turns out, cramming people into their homes with other human beings increased the speed at which the virus spread. Additionally, from a complete, holistic, data-driven approach that recorded every death from the pandemic response measures, one realizes the "collateral damage" (which is the dehumanizing and highly dismissive term for what liberal media outlets and government sources are calling flesh and blood people who died from anything related to lockdowns) was massive. More alcoholism deaths, more deaths from car accidents, more deaths from domestic abuse, more rape, more domestic assault, more cancer deaths, more deaths from despair. The lockdowns were a horribly oppressive, anti-equal-rights policy that killed millions of people.

Now, both Liberals and Conservatives, together, cheered the CDC and Trump on every step of the way while this dangerous, mass-murdering lockdown policy just steamrolled over the understanding we had with our government as drawn out in 1776. You know, the one that says all people have equal rights and nobody, not even the government, can say differently? 

Liberals and Conservatives, together, decided in unison: Forget equal rights. Forget that the government doesn't have some sort of special status as human beings that allows them to trample on people they don't like or disagree with endlessly and without any sort of check or balance on said trampling. Forget that education was stopped, schools were shuttered, whole institutions and educational non-profits censored, self-education through choice of college degree completely shut down for millions upon millions by the government's forced unemployment of American citizens until they thought it fit to allow people to have their rights back. Forget ANYTHING in an ordered, rights-based society where people can be empowered to do what they want so long as they do not violate the rights of others. None of that matters. What mattered was listening to the government overlords and deferring all rights, empowerment, and education to them and them alone.

Conservatives and Liberals together opted for oppression. They opted for being told when they could leave their homes, when they can see their friends and family, when they could go to the store, when they could be outside, when they needed to be locked away with other people who likely had the virus and thus infected them much more quickly due to the increased viral load present in such situations. 

They opted for telling rape victims to live with their rapists, for domestic abuse victims to live with their abusers, for cancer patients to simply die off rather than fight for their lives in cancer treatments, all in the name of a completely untried, untested policy of locking away the ALL THE sick with ALL THE the healthy together in small spaces for an indefinite amount of time.

Any time you give up equal rights, any time you give up education, any time you give up empowerment, you kill people. And Conservatives and Liberals have both given up these things.

So, I have largely abandoned Conservatism because it abandoned me. It no longer is concerned with the government of 1776. Of equal rights, of empowerment, of education, of believing people are all equal, deserve to be at the helm of their destiny, and should teach themselves or get their own teachers and learn whatever it is they wish to learn. 

However, I cannot be a liberal for the very same reasons. 

I will never stop being a defender of equal rights, empowerment, and education, but I have stopped being a member of the Conservative Party.

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