#WalkAway’s threat to Democrats’ base: A movement launched just weeks ago is crippling the Left

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The grassroots #WalkAway movement aimed at getting disaffected Democrats to publicly and conspicuously abandon their increasingly radical, intolerant party is rapidly gaining steam.

The movement, founded in late May by gay hairstylist Brandon Straka, encourages Americans to share their personal stories of disillusionment with the Democratic Party and abandon, or “walk away,” from the party. #WalkAway primarily encourages the rejection of Democrat radicalism, as opposed to proselytizing on behalf of the Republican Party or Donald Trump.

“We want people on the right to use their voices and tell the world the truth about whom they are by making videos telling everyone what it means to be a conservative in America and what your values really are,” states the campaign’s website. “Tell minorities on the left, who have been told their whole lives that they are not welcome on the right because of the bigotry and hatred, that they are welcome. Tell them there is a seat at the table on the right for everybody.”

“This is a movement of Patriots from all walks of life – men, women, black, brown, white, straight, LGBTQ, religious, and non-believers – who share something very important in common. WE ARE ALL AMERICANS and we will not surrender our country.”

Democrats had been sliding left in the Obama era as the party embraced Black Lives Matter, traitor Chelsea Manning, and Antifa, but the slide has been accelerating in recent months as Trump Derangement Syndrome paralyzes their intellectual capacities. Small-c communist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s shocking upset victory in a Democrat New York primary race over House Democratic Caucus chairman Joe Crowley on an extreme-left utopian fantasy platform of abolishing the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency, providing Medicare for All, and guaranteeing jobs for all, hasn’t encountered much pushback from the party establishment. Instead of the revulsion this Marxist ought to inspire, she has been welcomed with open arms. DNC Chairman Tom Perez describes the soon-to-be-congresswoman as the “future of our party.”

It is against this disturbing backdrop that the #WalkAway movement was founded.

The movement is largely Facebook-based. It was launched when Straka posted a powerful self-narrated video on Facebook weeks ago. (I have produced a full transcript of Straka’s remarks at the bottom of this article.) The #WalkAway Campaign on Facebook now has close to 100,000 members.

WATCH:

Echoing Ronald Reagan’s powerful 1962 denunciation of his former party – the famous “I didn’t leave the Democratic Party, the Democratic Party left me” comments, Straka now asks, “What do these people stand for? What is their platform? All I can figure out so far is ‘We hate Trump’ and ‘We love illegal immigrants.’”

It wasn’t that long ago that Straka was a left-wing Democrat. He was “devastated” in November 2016 by President Trump’s election, but walked away from Democrats after he realized how dishonest Democrats and their allies in the left-leaning media were.

In his dramatic video, Straka explains:

For years now, I have watched as the left has devolved into intolerant, inflexible, illogical, hateful, misguided, ill-informed, un-American, hypocritical, menacing, callous, ignorant, narrow-minded, and at times, blatantly fascistic behavior and rhetoric.

The Democratic Party, he says, “and the liberal media has embraced, affirmed, aided, and abetted this cult ideology. In an effort to gain voters and maintain power, the Democratic Party that I once loved has joined forces with the extremist left.”

Straka continues:

I staunchly reject racism of any kind, I reject the marginalization of any human being based off of their gender or sexual orientation. I reject tyrannical group think, I reject a system which allows an ambitious, misinformed, and dogmatic mob to suppress free speech, create false narratives, and apathetically steamroll over the truth. I reject the acceptance of junk science and superstition to advance ideological agendas. I reject hate. These are the reasons why I became a liberal and these are the same reasons why I am now walking away.

Those who have posted #WalkAway testimonials have done so for a multitude of reasons.

Some speak of overcoming indoctrination in college, liberal stereotypes about minorities, and the Left’s worsening radicalism problem.

#WalkAway has been aided by a black awakening or sorts. Black ex-Democrats like Brandon Tatum have been truth-bombing about the Democrats’ traditional hatred of and persecution of black Americans. His “Democrats Hate Black People #walkaway” video posted on YouTube on July 2 now has close to a quarter million views.

Turning Point USA’s communications director Candace Owens is optimistic about #WalkAway’s prospects.

We’re seeing a major shift happen. And black supporters are leaving the left and going over to the right. You need to pay attention to the underground movement. And look, you’re correct to say that just because a poll says something, it isn’t right. The polls told us that Hillary Clinton was going to win and she didn’t. I wasn’t fooled by the polls. I thought that Hillary Clinton was going to lose, in the same way that I am also saying that I believe black voters are going to exit the left completely by 2020.

Quantifying the success of #WalkAway is difficult. It is too early to say if #WalkAway represents a major cultural shift but it certainly is generating plenty of bad ink for Democrats who would prefer that it disappear lest it spoil their plans for the midterm elections.

Naturally, more than a few Democrats claim the movement is a hoax.

The paranoid leftists at hate site Salon.com claim #WalkAway is a Russian-operated misinformation campaign. Bob Cesca writes that #WalkAway “is a likely Kremlin operation” that is fueled by “online trolls.” It is a myth that “real-life Democrats [are] leaving the party in disgust[.]”

Another farfetched article over at the Huffington Post, this time by Mary Papenfuss, glosses over the intensifying incivility and violence of the Left by claiming all of this leftist misbehavior is invented by Russians.

In what may be an early onslaught of Kremlin-linked Twitter attacks ahead of the U.S. midterm elections, Russia bots appear to be fueling a wave of criticism targeting Democrats over alleged intimidation in political confrontations and a lack of “civility,” according to bot trackers.

Attacks with the hashtag #WalkAway purport to be from a “grassroots” wave of one-time Democrats who have left the party in part because they say they are so incensed by the hateful and divisive behavior of party members. The message is to “walk away” from ugly confrontations, “intolerance” and hate — and from the Democratic Party.

Papenfuss accuses Fox News of conspiring with these mysterious allegedly Russian troublemakers by merely reporting on the #WalkAway phenomenon. Fox “and other conservative outlets in turn have helped amplify the message by reporting on the #WalkAway ‘movement.’”

This is what we can expect more of. All criticism of Democrats and left-wingers will be labeled illegitimate, even treasonous, no matter how many Democrats end up walking away.

Meanwhile, Straka is taking heat in his personal life for his politics.

Straka was discriminated against at camera supply store Adorama on West 18th St. in Manhattan because of his political beliefs.

After spending what he described as a considerable amount of time selecting equipment on July 5 a salesman refused to process his purchases.

“He stared at me with this kind of deadpan expression,” Straka said. The salesman asked him: “Are you planning to use this equipment for alt-right purposes?’” The clerk refused to sell to him.

“It kind of took my breath away,” Straka said.

“I said to him, ‘Listen, if you can’t sell to me, that’s fine, but, you know, person to person, I’d like to talk to you, because I don’t think you know what Walk Away is about. And he said, ‘Well, you know, I’m done. I’m not comfortable selling to you. You’re welcome to talk to someone else in the store but I’m not going to sell to you.’”

Eventually another salesman processed the purchases but the incident left Straka upset.

“I was shaking. I was hurt. I had this huge adrenaline rush. I felt embarrassed and I also felt nervous.”

Knowing the Left, that probably won’t be the end of the harassment Straka will suffer.

 

FULL TRANSCRIPT OF BRANDON STRAKA’S VIDEO

Once upon a time, I was a liberal.

Well, to be honest, less than a year ago, I was still a liberal.

I became a liberal because I felt I’d found a tribe whose values aligned with my own.

I staunchly reject racism of any kind, I reject the marginalization of any human being based off of their gender or sexual orientation. I reject tyrannical group think, I reject a system which allows an ambitious, misinformed, and dogmatic mob to suppress free speech, create false narratives, and apathetically steamroll over the truth.

I reject the acceptance of junk science and superstition to advance ideological agendas.

I reject hate.

These are the reasons why I became a liberal and these are the same reasons why I am now walking away.

For years now, I have watched as the left has devolved into intolerant, inflexible, illogical, hateful, misguided, ill-informed, un-American, hypocritical, menacing, callous, ignorant, narrow-minded, and at times, blatantly fascistic behavior and rhetoric.

Liberalism has been co-opted and absorbed by the very characteristics it claims to fight against. For years now, I’ve watched as people on the left have become anesthetized to their own prejudices and bigotry and the prejudices and bigotry of those around them who echo their values. I have watched these formerly-sensible people, who claim to reject racism, have come to embrace the principles of universally hating and blaming all of society’s problems on all people who have white skin. I have witnessed the irony of advocacy for gender equality morph into blatant hatred and intolerance of men and masculinity. I have seen the once-earnest fight for equality for the LGBT community mutate into an illogical demonization of heteronormativity and the push to vilify and attack our conventional concepts of gender.

These same self-proclaimed victims of intolerance [are] now turning on the gay community that they once attached themselves to advance their agenda, [are] now calling gay people ‘privileged’ and themselves ‘victims’ of injustice. I have watched as the left has allowed themselves to become hypnotized by false narratives and conclusions, perpetuated by social justice warriors who misrepresent and misconstrue facts and evidence and events to confirm their own biases that everyone who does not comply with their prejudicial conclusions and follow their orders is a racist, a bigot, a Nazi, a white supremacist, homophobic, Islamophobic, xenophobic, misogynist, and alt-right extremist. And I’ve watched as they’ve used these heartless and carelessly-assigned labels to intimidate, threaten, bully, silence, attack, un-employ, blacklist, and destroy anybody who dares to fight back.

They’ll come for me and then they’ll come for you.

And worst of all, the Democratic Party and the liberal media has embraced, affirmed, aided, and abetted this cult ideology. In an effort to gain voters and maintain power, the Democratic Party that I once loved has joined forces with the extremist left. The Democratic Party and the liberal media now believe their own ill-gotten conclusions and have ominously decided that they –and only they – know the remedy for society’s ills.

The Left has decided that the solution to problems with race relations in America is more racism. The Left believes that attacking, insulting, and dehumanizing one group of people elevates another. The Left now believes that there are no boundaries when telling lies, omitting the truth, or misrepresenting the facts when telling the news because their end justifies their means. The Left has now decided that its point of view is the only acceptable one and that suppressing, censoring, and banning open debate is virtuous and progressive. The Democratic Party has adopted a deleterious belief system, happily and without skepticism, separating people into groups based off of identity and then organizing them into camps of ‘victims’ and ‘oppressors.’

If you are a person of color, an LGBT person, a woman, or an American immigrant, the Democratic Party wants you to know that you are a victim and destined to stay that way. They will insist that you are a victim doomed to exist within a system that is rigged against you, that you are a victim of systemic oppression, that you are a victim of your circumstances, and that no amount of hard work or motivational action will ever allow you to overcome your victimhood or the privilege of those around you.

This is perhaps the Democratic Party’s greatest and most insidious lie.

But if you are a minority in America today, the left-wing politicians and the liberal media don’t ever want you to ever discover this lie. So they bombard us with stories designed to reinforce this narrative that you are in danger, that you cannot succeed. They manipulate your fears and concerns by telling you that you are disadvantaged, disempowered, and disposable to everyone – except to them. They will tell you that you need them. They will tell you that you are only safe under their supervision. They will promise to liberate you from all that chains you.

And then, they will do absolutely nothing for you.

Once upon a time I was a liberal. But liberalism has changed. And I will no longer be a part of an ideology or political party that represents everything that contradicts my values of unity, equal opportunity, personal empowerment, compassion, and love.

So I am walking away.

And I encourage all of you to do the same.

Walk away.

(end of transcript)

This article by Matthew Vadum originally appeared July 12, 2018, at FrontPageMag.