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#Walkaway: With Identity Politics Taking Center Stage, Some Decide to Leave it Behind Entirely.

      On October 27 I was a part of a march in Washington D.C. I was surrounded by Americans holding signs denouncing racism, bigotry and hate. I heard from speakers of different ethnicities, economic statuses and minority groups. I saw someone proudly waving a transgender pride flag and a “Trump 2020” flag. We all gathered to walk away from liberalism. This is a glimpse of the WalkAway campaign’s first public march.

      The WalkAway campaign’s founder is Brandon Straka, a gay man born into a lower class family. “Once upon a time, I was a liberal,” Straka says before cheering walkers gathered in Freedom Plaza. He wears a shirt stating “Not a racist. Not a bigot. Not a homophobe. Not a democrat.” In this plaza he sees the people culminating his “true grassroots movement…a Facebook video campaign movement, dedicated to sharing the stories of people who can no longer accept the current ideology of liberalism and what the democratic party has become.”

      Straka proudly denounces liberalism, stating that people are falsely believing “that their failures in life are not lessons from which they can grow, but are the results from a rigged system.” Straka, like many of those in his movement, only took his first steps away from the democratic party after Trump’s election. “I saw clearly how the left has tried to intimidate and quiet those on the right with harmful labels…to silence us and force us into a conservative closet. Well I’ve done the ‘closet’ before, and I’m not going back in there. And I’m not going to allow any other person to be shoved into a ‘closet’ again either.”

      Straka says, “WalkAway was never about hatred of democrats…it has always been about love.” During my march, I experienced this love. Though I was in a crowd of more than 5,000 people, we felt like a small group. Every person I met was welcoming and loving, even if we disagreed. When we would chant,  and it always came organically, without prompting.

      Though we are loving, we will stand for our beliefs. When Protestors jeered at us, we just chanted back, “USA! USA!” Pastor Mark Burns, a speaker at the march, says, “People think that just because I’m pastor, and we are the conservatives, and we are the supposed solid majority that you can just step on any of us, and we won’t do anything about it. The devil is a liar!” Burns went on to say, “I don’t care about the liberal media….We don’t belong to them, we belong to God almighty, and this is a Christian nation….This nation belongs to God!”

       Accompanying Straka and Burns were other speakers, such as Will Witt of Prager University. Witt spoke about his disagreements with victimization stemming from identity politics. “There is a war on men….I thought feminism was about equality, not putting one gender over the other. And by the way; two genders. That’s how many we got.”

      While I was listening to these speakers, I looked out and saw walkers taking pictures of each other, amazed to see so many people believing in something other than liberalism. Our group, as speaker Tonia Roberts describes, is built of people “standing together for unity, civility and for love…we love over evil, and there is no compromising that.” Roberts believes civility leads to unity. She also claims, “I am not a nasty woman! I’m a lady!”

      Amongst our unified group was an immigrant with a sign stating “I voted Trump,” a former feminist who tore apart her pink pussy hat, a rape survivor who supports judge Kavanaugh, and many diverse people wearing “Make America Great Again” hats. We do not fit a mold, however we all have one commonality. Pastor Burns says our commonality does not come from our identity, because it doesn’t matter. Burns says, “If you’re declaring ‘I love America,’ then you are part of the WalkAway movement!”

     Sources: WalkAwaycampaign.com

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