#WalkAway: A Timely Moral Imperative
by Jonathon Kneeland
Christopher Hitchens once said something about George Orwell that I'll never forget. He had studied Orwell in great detail and also wrote an excellent book called Why Orwell Matters. Initially, Hitchens had wanted to title his book A Power of Facing because of Orwell's ability to face and state unpleasant facts but the publisher recommended against it. Anyway, Hitchens made the following unforgettable statement about Orwell: Orwell was not a genius, and that's the encouraging thing about him. He shows what an average person can do with a little courage and a little intellectual honesty. He went on to say that this fact about Orwell undermines the various excuses that people make for themselves for not acting when they know they should.
We could all take Hitchens' advice and show a little courage now and then, and many of us could probably even handle being honest for a day or two. We might live up to Orwell's ideal and face the unpleasant fact that our side is no good anymore. There'd still be something missing though. What would be missing is the instinctive genius that's required to transform honesty, courage, and the ability to face unpleasant facts, into a useful tool. This is where Brandon Straka comes in.
The amazing thing, or the encouraging thing if you follow Hitchens' line, is that Brandon Straka was relatively unknown before the explosion of his #WalkAway movement. He had been a lifelong Liberal and had only begun to revaluate his political beliefs just over a year ago. He is a hairdresser from New York City, and previous to the creation of his movement, there was nothing to indicate that he would be the one to craft a handy tool for a mass exodus from the Democratic Party.
I've been following and listening very carefully to many writers and intellectuals for decades now. There are a lot of very high quality people who are painfully aware of the rot, corruption, and insanity that the Left now finds itself submerged in. And almost all thinking people can now see that identity-politics is long past the point of diminishing returns. There's been a lot of good writing and commentary on the topic. But no matter how good the writing or the commentary, there was no real coherent and easily identifiable movement that would capture the whole zeitgeist, until Brandon Straka came along. Straka has captured the whole thing, compressed it, and forged it into a razor sharp implement. He's created the component that had been missing. Straka has filled this void by taking a vague, timid, and somewhat apologetic movement that had been brewing for years and almost instantaneously turned it into a powerful and unifying machine. He has done this with an impressive efficiency that must be the envy of many.
If you support Straka's movement, like I do, an important question arises: what now? This is a logical question and one that deserves an answer. When you walk away from the Left, you don't need to discard your values. Straka shares much in common with most people who are leaving the Left. He supports environmental protections, human rights, gay marriage, and equality for all people. These values don't belong to the Left – they belong to the people who were supporting the Left. They are universal values and the Left doesn't own them. I don't think the current Left even knows what these things are anymore. They used to pretend to care about these things, but instead used their power to create division and a cult of victimhood. So go ahead, walk away, and take your values with you – they're yours. You're likely going to find that the Conservatives are much more in line with your values than you think, and you're going to find that they are much more decent in general than the current Left. That's definitely been my experience.
To walk away from the Left is to take a stand against division, violence, hatred, censorship, and the wish for the destruction of our economy and our way of life. If #WalkAway is half as successful as it should be, all that will remain of the Left is Antifa, men in women's clothes attacking lesbians and feminists, and Maxine Waters, who recently foamed at the mouth while yelling that Conservatives should be attacked everywhere they go, even if they're just trying to get gas or groceries. When we get to that point, maybe #RunAway might be employed with success.
In my very brief communications with Straka, it became apparent that he and I agree on a lot and share many positions in common. There is one position that I'm not sure he shares with me, and I'd like to know. It's my opinion, and I've written it elsewhere, that the Left must be completely destroyed in order for it to rebuild and be of any use in the future. It has to be crushed at the polls and it has to know why. #WalkAway has the potential to achieve both of these things, and to do it peacefully. If Straka's movement plays a part in this, then we all owe him a great deal. We could at least buy a shirt or a mug.