Interview: #WalkAway Campaign Founder Wants to ‘Give Voice Back to American Right’
The founder of a campaign focused on building a community for those who feel left behind by the Democrat party and returning a voice to the American political right spoke exclusively with Big League Politics today.
“As somebody on the right, I don’t want to be part of the ‘silent majority,'” said Brandon Straka of New York City. “It’s time for the people on the right to get in touch with their voice, and it’s time for you to take the narrative back about who and what you actually are. I want to give a voice back to the people on the right.”
Straka is a former lifelong Democrat turned Republican after what he called his “red pill moment” after the 2016 election, when he discovered that the mainstream media creates false narratives and is intentionally duplicitous.
“I thought that the media was honest,” he said. “I thought that Rachel Maddow told the truth. I didn’t think that they withheld things from us and just told us what they wanted us to believe.”
Then he began to realize that Democrats were not a tolerant, open-minded bunch as they so often claim to be.
“I just watched for several years as the party, the ideology has gone further and further extremist left, and how the Democratic party has embraced that instead of trying to reject that,” he said. “For me, the election of Donald Trump and the behavior of people in the aftermath of that really became intolerable, and at this point are incredibly intolerable.”
Straka began to dig for himself, with the express goal of learning whether the mainstream press was portraying President Trump in a fair light. What he discovered was just the opposite. He began listening to the other side – conservative pundits like Candace Owens, Milo Yiannopoulos, Dave Rubin and Tucker Carlson – and was amazed by what he found.
“I’m watching this all of a sudden and I’m going ‘God, I used to absolutely hate these people,'” he said, “but now I’m actually listening for the first time and I’m understanding that what they’re saying makes so much sense. I mean it makes so much more sense than the alternative.”
Straka struggled to connect with people who shared his newfound views, so he took to Youtube and made a video describing his transformation, which went viral in short order.
“Once I made that discovery I sort of tried to talk to people about it, and I got really sort hostile and contemptuous reactions from friends and people around me,” he said. “I live in New York City. The common group think here is ‘Trump sucks,’ ‘we hate Trump.'”
Straka then launched a campaign allowing former Democrats to tell their #WalkAway stories on Facebook. There are around 40 videos on the page, with more being uploaded daily. When actor James Woods shared his own #WalkAway story, the hashtag exploded. But Straka stressed that the movement is much more than just a hashtag. Instead, he is building a community.
“I wanted to be a part of this walk away campaign,” said Susan Mahan in her video. “I was raised a devout Democrat. My father was. My mother is. My whole family was Democrat. I voted for Obama, I voted for Clinton – all the past ones that were Democrats – because that was the thing to do. Now Donald Trump came around, and thanks to my son-in-law, made me turn my head around, made me look at the truth, made me do some investigating about this man and what he’s all about.”
In most of the videos, the campaigners, whom Straka calls “the patriots” make it very clear that they are not bigots, racists, sexists, or any other pejoratives that the mainstream left would normally label Republicans. According to Straka, that is another goal of the campaign.
“I would like to grow the common-sense [political] center so large that what is now considered an acceptable leftists position becomes fringe,” he said. “I want to get to a point where rather than an auditorium of people leaping to their feet and applauding at a comment like [Robert de Niro’s at the Tony Awards] that those comments are met with boos and jeers.”