The #WalkAway movement was started by Brandon Straka, whose viral video explaining why he was "walking away" from the Democrat party inspired thousands of others to share their own "walkaway" stories. In a few short weeks the #WalkAway campaign has grown in popularity and public awareness, as Mr. Straka has been seen on several news and radio programs talking about his journey to leave the Democratic plantation.
The following is my #WalkAway story...
I didn't #WalkAway from the Democrat Party. The Democrats walked away from me.
I didn't walk toward the Republican Party. The Republican party got dragged towards me by Donald Trump.
As a lifelong registered Independent, I never considered myself attached to either party. I've voted for both Democrats and Republicans. I've voted third party. In fact, in 2nd grade I voted for Jon Andersen in our school's mock election, and was told by the other kids that I was "just wasting my vote". Voting for the person, or the policies, over the party has always been my political style. I voted for the candidate who would best follow the Constitution, protect our liberties, secure our nation, and work to shrink government back to it's enumerated powers. I'm basically a Constitutional libertarian with a belief in a strong national defense and have been my whole life.
Neither party has ever fit that definition. Both the Democrats and Republicans have struggled to live within the confines of the Constitution, both have used government to limit freedom not protect it, and both have grown government and it's power, while weakening us with our enemies. In a simple word, both parties sucked. But they sucked on different issues, so you could still plug your nose and vote based on the issues you felt strongest about at the time.
2008 was the last time I voted Democrat. Tired of the big govt Republicans we had under G. W. Bush, I voted in the Democratic primary. For Hillary Clinton. At the time I thought she was the better choice over Barack Obama, a Chicago machine style politician, ie, crooked. However, much like the Democrats did to Bernie Sanders, the DNC stole the primary election from the Hillary Clinton voters. By manipulating caucus voting, Obama won the primary instead Hillary. After the primary, the DNC called for party unity, but disgruntled Hillary voters weren't buying it, and a movement called PUMA (Party Unity My A**) was started in protest against the DNC. PUMAs vowed to never vote for the Democrats again, as we felt the DNC had abandoned us and no longer was honoring the voice of the voters. I spent the rest of the 2008 election cycle studying the voting record of John McCain in order to knowledgeably cast my vote for him in the general election.
Lets just say 2008 wasn't my proudest political moment.
However, after 2008 it became more and more clear that my decision to swear off the Democrat party for good was a sound one. Under the leadership of Obama, the Democrats became more and more socialist, advocating for bigger and bigger government, ignoring Constitutional limits, and using social and emotional manipulation instead of sound policies to try to earn votes. The racial and political divide got wider, and the criminal politics of Chicago infiltrated the White House, as I had feared they would if Obama got elected.
I started attending Tea Party meetings in Chicago, where we had quite an active group. I'm still friends today with many of those guys, and many support Trump as I do. In those days the Democrats weren't as dangerous as they are today. Sure, they falsely accused us Tea Partiers of being racist (despite my group being very ethnically diverse) and they would get their feelings hurt in online debates, but they hadn't yet taken up completely with the violent communist and so called "anti-fascist" or "anti-racist" radical left.
In 2015, that all changed with the candidacy of Donald Trump. The Democrats lost that last connection to sanity and not only embraced the open socialism of Bernie Sanders, but embraced the TACTICS of the radical left as well. It now became acceptable the Democrats to insult, bully, smear, attack, threatened and assault people if they supported Donald Trump.
This became quite clear to me when I attended the Chicago Trump Rally in March of 2016. The rally was turned into a riot by organized Leftist protestors that attacked police and civilians, forcing Trump to cancel his appearance. Unwilling to accept the theft of my right to assembly by Leftist thugs, I stood proudly with my Trump flag outside the UIC Pavillion where the rally was being held for 3 hours after the event was shut down. I faced hundreds of screaming college students, gang members, and angry leftist "revolutionaries" who insulted me, berated me and threatened me for hours until the riot finally ended.
It was a pretty traumatizing night. It took several weeks to feel calm and normal again. Unfortunately, my life would not ever return to normal. In the days following the Chicago Trump riot, I was shocked and saddened to see people celebrating the actions of the rioters. On the news and on social media, Chicagoans were PROUD of instigating violence on innocent rally goers and of shutting down the free speech of a candidate for President.
Friends that I had known for decades and I thought were good people spoke with glee about bloodied cops, damaged property, scared children all because they had "silenced Trump". Many claimed that the rally goers "deserved" the violence, because of their support for Trump. I was watching true fascism begin right before my eyes, and I was watching it spring up in the hearts of people I had thought I knew. Suddenly, Nazi Germany made sense, how a whole nation of people could be led to do evil political things if manipulated by statist government propaganda. I was watching good people turn evil right before my very eyes, as they gave up their belief in liberty and free speech in a second to join in the fascist glee of shutting down your opponent with violence.
After the riot, I became more outspoken about my Trump support. I started a podcast called Trump Talk US, to try and educate people more about Trump and to help defeat all the fake news being released about the campaign. My husband and I ran a small business at the time, and as I started to speak out about Trump, I pulled back from my business in order to "keep politics out" of my business. However, the radical Left will not allow you to have personal politics outside of your business, and so our music store was targeted and attacked online, boycotts, threats, smear campaigns.
So began a months long seige of attacks and slander by members of the Chicago communist community, Antifa, a Chicago Tribune columnist, left wing activists and many others against our store and against me and my husband personally. We were forced to contact the police multiple times due to the harassment. But it was not only us that were threatened. Musicians who would frequent our shop were sought out and warned that if they continued to do business with us, they too would be boycotted, smeared and attacked online. Months went by with friends coming in telling us what was being said about us and about the threats to others. Countless hours were spent dealing with hate reviews and ratings wars, monitoring the business social media for smears, slander and attacks. Harassment on our phones and private accounts was frequent. It was a constant battle with Leftist fascist hate that was designed to punish me for talking about Trump, and punish my husband for "letting me" talk about Trump.
All of the attacks made me more adamant to support my President. The more they pushed against me, the more they tried to frighten me into silence, the more I would speak out. I wasn't willing to accept that we live in a world where fascists were succeeding at silencing their opponents. And, I figured, once Trump won, they'd all get over it and go back to ignoring politics.
Then Trump won.
They didn't get over it.
In fact, the night after the election, we stood in front of Trump Tower in Chicago celebrating our victory with 10-20 other Trump supporters while 3,000 angry protestors with preprinted signs screamed at us from across the police barricade. As the winter wore on, the Left just kept getting worse. We attended the inauguration in DC, and then headed home to Chicago filled with hope for our country.
When we returned, we found a note in our shop door threatening to burn down our business. It was the last straw, as I knew that it would only take one looney to actually act on the threat, and the lives of the tenants who shared the building, and their new born baby would be put at risk. I couldn't accept that, and we decided to shut down our shop. And we began to plan to move OUT of Chicago, after living there for decades. I was no longer comfortable living in a town that tolerated, even celebrated political violence.
I wrote a letter to Crain's Chicago Business explaining why I was leaving Chicago. I explained how it wasn't the crime, corruption, or taxes, but that I was leaving because I did not feel safe in my political views in a town that tolerated neo-fascism. That letter started a firestorm of media, with 40 different media outlets worldwide covering my story.
Being out about my story didn't make the Left any nicer, and not one day has gone by since that day at the Chicago riot where I have not been in some way insulted, slandered, or attacked by a Leftist, either online or in person. I've had to let go of countless friends who have either formed sympathies for my Leftist attackers, or joined them.
But I succeeded in moving out of Chicago. I now live in Washington, DC. I still host my show, Trump Talk US. I have written 3 books about supporting Trump and I am now chairman of Stand With POTUS PAC, a DC SuperPAC that supports the grassroots groups that stand with President Trump and helped to get him elected. We are working on the Midterms currently, trying to help ensure Trump gets the votes he needs to enact his agenda. OUR agenda.
My entire life has been changed by the Democrats and the radical Left. Where I once was a professional comedian, actress and small business owner I am now a writer, pundit and political activist. I've changed homes, lifestyles, even time zones.
The one thing I haven't changed is my politics. I still am a Constitutional libertarian with support for a strong national defense. I didn't "walk away" from the Democrat party, because I haven't moved. They've walked away from me, and they did so quite a while ago. With the election of Donald J. Trump, it seems they have also walked away from sanity and civility. And they didn't just walk away from me, they walked away from America.
Trump is the only presidential candidate I have ever seen that comes close to meeting my positions on policy. His regulation cutting, tax cutting, agency trimming efforts are shrinking the size of government, something I was starting to think could not be done. His strong stance on serving the American worker is bringing back jobs and growing free markets. His willingness to address the need for a strong military and border defense without worrying about the political fallout is nearly unbelievable. His stances on schools, states rights, healthcare and so much more are exactly the kind of liberty loving policies I've supported for decades. Trump is the only Presidential candidate I have ever really wanted to support, and have come out in support for, even in the primaries. It is only because of Trump that I have come to register as a Republican. Trump has walked towards me while dragging the GOP with him.
Our country is truly at a crossroads. The two parties we once knew no longer exist. The Democrats have become the party of communism, socialism, Marxism, and fascism, despite their claims otherwise. The Republicans have become the party of Trump, whether they have wanted to or not. As a Trump supporter thru and thru, I've hence become a Republican. As an lifelong independent, I never thought I'd say such a thing, but I've walked entirely away from the Democrats and Leftists, walked away in disgust at what they have become. Their hate and vitriol have cost me my business, my home, and my way of life. I can never again support a democrat and not remember what their party did to me personally.
I encourage all Americans to see the truth about the Democrats. The Republicans aren't saints, but they aren't fascists or socialists either. It's time we all #Walkaway from the Democrats until they renounce political violence and statism/communism and embrace liberty and the Constitution.
I just wouldn't hold my breath on that one though.......
Note^^ On Saturday, August 4th, Overpasses for America will have patriots from across the nation sporting #WalkAway signs on street corners and overpasses everywhere in support of the #WalkAway campaign.