On February 19, 2009, CNBC journalist, Rick Santelli exploded on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange in an epic rant that was the catalyst for a transformative political movement. Santelli’s rant was unleashed in response to President Obama’s housing bailout plan, and many thousands of Americans who heard the rant agreed with Santelli. Within a month, hundreds of thousands of Americans had heard the rant, and many began to pay attention to what was going on in Washington, DC, for the first time in their lives. They realized that previous presidents had done very little to bring government spending under control and that President Bush—supposedly a conservative—was one of the biggest offenders. However, President Obama had promised even higher spending and deficits as far as the eye could see.
The day following Santelli’s comments, 50 national conservative leaders, including Michael Johns, Amy Kremer, and Jenny Beth Martin, participated in a conference call that gave birth to the national Tea Party movement.
Within a month, thousands of people across the nation had come together in various locales to form the first local Tea Party groups. These groups were all started by concerned citizens who had become fed up with the out-of-control spending in DC and wanted to do something about it. The “First Coast Tea Party” (Jacksonville, Florida) was one of the first groups to become organized. Billie Tucker and Carole McManus founded and organized the group, and they had their first meeting in late March and a huge rally on April 15, 2009 at the Jacksonville Landing where more than 5,000 people showed up. Around the country, other groups also held rallies. Amazingly, virtually none of these group organizers had ever been active in politics before.
News of the rallies and the existence of the Tea Party groups spread rapidly, and by early summer, larger rallies were being organized. Over the next few years, the Tea Party membership continued to grow: we held meetings in people’s homes, held many more large and small rallies, sent letters and made calls to congressional representatives, visited representatives in their offices, and established a means of educating the membership.
Of course, the local and national media first ignored the Tea Party. Then, when they could no longer ignore us, they resorted to driving a narrative that we were not real…we were called, “AstroTurf “ by Nancy Pelosi and referred to as an “angry mob” by others on the left. Virtually every media outlet in the country actively sought to marginalize the Tea Party, despite clear evidence that the movement was real, it was peaceful, and it was growing.
To drive home the point that we were real, we were many, and we were serious, Tea Party groups from almost every state in the Union organized a huge rally (The March on DC) on September 12, 2009. The number of attendees may never be accurately known, but reports from leftist media sources range from, “thousands” to “in excess of 75,000.” Conservative sources and the local DC police put the number closer to 1.5 million. And, here is something the media has never acknowledged: Since many patriots were not able to travel to Washington, DC, local rallies were held across the nation IN ADDITION to the number who traveled to DC. Combining all those rallies nationwide on that one day pushed the number to more than two million+! Other huge rallies would follow.
WHAT DOES THE TEA PARTY HAVE TO DO WITH #WALKAWAY?
Nothing and Everything! It’s a different movement altogether…that’s certain. However, there are some intriguing similarities and lessons learned from the Tea Party that can help this new movement to be the overwhelming success that it has the potential to be.
NINE YEARS LATER, on May 26, 2018, another individual who had grown dissatisfied with the status quo also went on a rant…this time, on social media. Brandon Straka (pronounced “strak”), a gay, white, male hairdresser, who had always been a leftist Democrat, posted a video “manifesto” detailing his reasons for LEAVING liberalism [LEFTISM] and the Democratic Party.
Almost mimicking the Tea Party movement, Straka’s rant became the catalyst for another transformative political movement. He called it his #WalkAway message, and he pulled no punches. In the video, Straka encouraged other Democrats who had also become fed up with the abhorrent behavior of Democratic leftists to post their own walkaway stories. He knew there had to be others, and as his video went viral, thousands of #WalkAway stories and videos came flooding in.
The Tea Party taught us that most Americans are ignorant when it comes to political matters. Thus, education became one of the main functions of most Tea Party groups. With #WalkAway, education seems to be the “first-cause” of almost every walkaway story. As individuals learn about and become aware of the disrespectful, often violent, and obnoxious behavior of the left, it pushes them farther and farther to the point of “NO RETURN,” which, by the way, is a common refrain by many #WalkAways.
There are striking parallels between the Tea Party and #WalkAway movements!
- Both sprang into existence after a rant by one individual who had had enough!
- Despite protests by the left, both movements are truly grassroots.
- Both movements transformed the political landscape in America.
- Both movements caught the ire of the media, which sought to marginalize them.
- Both movements required huge rallies in the nation’s capital just to prove their existence and their numbers.
MY WALKAWAY STORY
I learned of this phenomenon within a week or so of its beginnings and posted my own story. I walked away from the Democrat Party when I was about 22 years of age after I realized that my values did not mesh with Democratic Party values. However, I did not immediately join any other political party. I believed the rhetoric about the Republican Party… the party of old, white racists, and so I kept my distance from them. Other, minor parties left much to be desired. Thus, I was without a political party for over three decades.
When the First Coast Tea Party (FCTP) got started, I decided to join and soon found myself interacting with scores of patriotic, kind, and selfless individuals from every ethnicity and station in life…Whites, Blacks, Latinos, LGBT, and more. The thing that bound us all together was our love of country and our concern for what was being done to her by errant politicians. I, a black man, even became a regular speaker at some of the rallies and other events hosted by the FCTP. Founder, Billie Tucker had invited me to speak at the July 3rd Tea Party event at the Landing in Jacksonville. Not long after that came one of the biggest shocks of my entire life: I discovered that the vast majority of these Tea Party people were REPUBLICANS!
Something was very wrong here! Why would a bunch of “racist whites” allow me to speak at their rallies? Why allow other blacks and me to even join? As I came to really know these people, I realized that my perception of them was completely wrong. That’s when I decided to find out as much as I could about the political realm; especially regarding the (true) history of the two major parties, the Democrats and the Republicans.
What I learned sent chills up my spine…I had accepted so many lies from Democrats that it actually frightened me. HOW COULD I HAVE BEEN SO GULLIBLE AND STUPID?! Further study uncovered more truth, and I soon began to do what I could to get that truth out to the masses as I am able. Of course, this was all before the #WalkAway Campaign officially started.
#WALKAWAY OFFICIAL CAMPAIGN: Reason, Purpose, and Scope
From the Founder, Brandon Straka:
“The #WalkAway Campaign, founded by former liberal Brandon Straka, is a true grassroots movement. It is 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. Some of us left long ago, while many have recently been “red-pilled”. Some have wanted to leave for some time but have feared the consequences they might suffer from friends or family if they were to walk away.
The group is here to encourage and support those on the left to walk away from the divisive tenets by allowing people to share their stories, watch the video testimonies, and read the posts of others who have walked away.
The campaign also serves another very important purpose. For far too long, the left has controlled the narrative in this country within the news media, while the “silent majority” on the right have done what they always do – remain silent. The left has been allowed to reinforce the narrative that everybody on the right is a bigot, a racist, a homophobe, a misogynist, etc. The left has become so extreme and hateful that it is now time to fight back! 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. 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.”
In practice, those who have walked away fairly recently (generally during and since Obama), are known as “WalkAways.” Those who used to be Democrats and walked away earlier and those who never were Democrats but actively support the cause are known as “WalkWiths.”
Today, the #WalkAway Campaign has almost 190,000 members on its main site, but “real” estimates are much higher because of a few “realities of life.”
- Some walkaways have signed up on other social media sites, and many of those numbers are not registered on the main site.
- Many Democrats who have “walked away in their hearts” have chosen not to reveal that fact, even to loved ones, for fear of retribution from other Democrats.
- Recent events, particularly the “circus” surrounding the confirmation hearings for Brett Kavanaugh have resulted in a surge of new members; the admins have difficulty keeping up. One admin talked about having processed “thousands of new admissions in only three days” (just after Kavenaugh).
The founder has estimated the true number of members to be over 300,000 at the end of September. Whatever the true number, the movement is growing rapidly, and the efforts by Democrats to “explain it all way” only seem to act as a catalyst for further growth.
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
I believe the potential for the #WalkAway movement is absolutely off the charts! Predictably, Democrats who are aware of #WalkAway are downplaying its impact, but they are clearly scared! Consider:
- Most Democrats are still reeling from the 2016 election…still haven’t recovered.
- Although Democrats still claim that Hillary won the popular vote, they know that a percentage of those votes were illegal, and that Trump really won if only counting legal votes.
- In the 2008 election, Obama garnered 95% of black support; McCain 4%.
- In 2012, Obama garnered 93% of black support; Romney 6%.
- In 2016, Clinton garnered 89% of black support; Trump 8%.
- One year ago, summer of 2017, black support for Trump was at 19% (Rasmussen).
- Today, various polls are all over the map on black support for Trump. Rasmussen puts it at about 36%. CNN claims it is only at about 12%. Certainly, it is somewhere between the two.
- TENS OF THOUSANDS have departed the Democrat Party since May 2018 via #WalkAway.
Here’s the bottom line …No matter how you slice it, Trump’s poll numbers among blacks ARE improving; a lot of it happening because of the #WalkAway Campaign, and it’s only getting worse.
How all this will play out for the midterms in November is not clear, but it doesn’t look good for the Democratic Party. However, this does explain one aspect of Democratic Party values. We often wonder how the Democrats could possibly think open borders is a good idea. The answer, of course, is NEW VOTERS! They are going to need a massive influx of new Democrats to offset the massive numbers leaving their ranks. We already know that some illegals have voted in our elections in the past. How many is anybody’s guess, but even one is too many, by my reckoning!
THE MARCH ON WASHINGTON DC AND BEYOND
October 26th through 28th will tell the tale of how potent this movement is and whether it will be the force that I think it can be. I don’t expect the number of participants to even come close to Tea Party numbers, but the sight of even a few thousand people who were Democrats literally MARCHING AWAY FROM Democratic Party Headquarters in Washington, DC should be a sight to behold. Democrats will still claim that it means nothing, but you can be assured that they will take notice!
A little over a week following the MARCH, we go to the polls to vote. Typically, midterm elections tend to favor the party that does NOT hold the White House. The exception has only occurred twice in our history. Will this November be number three? It had better be because if the Democrats retake the House or Senate, there is nothing but trouble ahead. Impeachment and no timely judicial confirmations are just the beginning.
The Tea Party made its presence known, and although we had to fight both the leftists from the Democratic Party and the scoundrels in our own party (establishment types), we were very successful in identifying candidates to run against them. We also helped to raise funds for these candidates, and we held them accountable.
The #WalkAway Campaign is still new and has yet to make a real impact. I believe it will, but the next few weeks are critical to its success. Membership numbers are increasing daily…that’s encouraging. Donations are on the rise and are stabilizing…that’s also encouraging.
Members are full of hope; many experiencing a sense of freedom they have never felt before. It’s ironic that so many of these people fell for Obama’s false claim of “HOPE and CHANGE” with the Democratic Party and never found it there. Now, after leaving their shackles and prison cells of abject despair, hate, and violence behind, they find real HOPE and CHANGE with the Republican Party, the Party of FREEDOM.
By the way…#WalkAway has now gone international as we have members in other countries who have walked away from their own left-leaning political parties.
#WalkAway is real, it’s growing, and it’s seemingly contagious. But, it’s a good contagion that needs to be spread far and wide.
I’m glad I finally found my place in the political spectrum. #AmericanwholovesAmerica