My “Me Too” Is a “Walk Away”

 | 

Social media places a priority on joining. Not merely a particular platform, such as Twitter or Facebook, but the movements generated on them. Most of them, I prefer not to get behind. I’m really not much of a joiner. But every once in a while, there rises a tide so irresistible that I get swept along.

As I stated earlier on these pages, I have chosen to sit out the #MeToo craze. Though it had some validity, it has quickly become exactly that: crazy. Instead of providing a forum for women to stand up for themselves against lecherous brutes, it’s degenerated into a man-hating witch (or wizard) hunt. When it stopped making sense, I had to disassociate myself from it.

Then I discovered #WalkAway, the brainchild of a gay New York City hairdresser named Brandon Straka. This young man has become the unlikeliest of conservative heroes. Having been a liberal Democrat most of his adult life, he grew disillusioned with being treated like a slave on the “progressive” plantation. And in his exodus to freedom, he’s determined to bring as many other former slaves as possible along with him.

We’re tired of being told what to think and how to feel. Of being pandered to, then taken for granted.

Having listened to his YouTube video and read several of his interviews, I find myself agreeing with nearly everything Straka says. Actually, much of what he says, I have already been saying for a long time. No longer do I feel as if I were shouting into a vacuum. Though I’m a very libertarian conservative — actually more of a classical liberal — I have found a kindred spirit. And in the movement Straka has begun, I’ve joined a growing army of thousands more.

We’re tired of being told what to think and how to feel. Of being pandered to, then taken for granted. Of voting for people who do nothing for us. In fact, of being expected to support a political faction that — far worse than merely doing nothing — works against every cause it claims to support. As many in our ranks have observed, it isn’t so much that we have left the Left as that the Left has left us.

Like most of the others who have walked away from the regressive Left, I have values and core convictions that really haven’t changed. I still believe in equality — though I now realize that only equality of opportunity is achievable, whereas equality of outcome is impossible. As a lesbian, I still hold dear the principle of equal treatment for all under the law — though I reject identity politics and special favoritism. My conception of religious freedom is not narrower than that of social conservatives, but broader still. Both as a gay conservative and as a gay Christian, I refuse to leave unchallenged the lie — perpetuated by many on both Left and Right — that I do not exist, or that my conservatism or Christianity are any less real than anyone else’s.

It isn’t so much that we have left the Left as that the Left has left us.

This is not, it seems to me, a simple matter of “Left bad, Right good.” The seeds of both salvation and destruction can be found on both sides. What makes both sides dangerous — particularly in their big league political party forms — is their insatiable lust for power. Taken to its inevitable conclusion, that drive leads to totalitarian government and to enslavement of the human spirit.

I have changed my party affiliation from Democratic not to Republican, but to Libertarian. The fact that all the GOP has figured out for certain is how to win elections isn’t nearly enough to make me want to join that party. As a matter of fact, it’s one of the reasons why I don’t want to join them. Regardless of party label, however, I believe that when the best and brightest defect from Left to Right, it will only improve both conservatism and libertarianism.

Leaving the statist Left behind means departing from a narrow perspective into a broader universe of ideas. I’ve found, from others’ experience as well as my own, that it seldom means hopping from one tiny rock to another. The Left’s loss is a gain for the rest of the spectrum.

What makes both sides dangerous — particularly in their big league political party forms — is their insatiable lust for power.

If the only way to fight statist leftism is to totally defeat everyone who supports it, the political Right will fall (to an even wore degree than it already has) into corruption and decay. A struggle for power inevitably turns into a race to the bottom. Those who dream of total conquest wish to rule unchecked and unopposed. If, on the other hand, the Right is replenished with defectors from the other side, it will become stronger. It will also be improved in ways that, despite their necessity for its long-term survival, it would otherwise be disinclined to approve.

Any political movement that abandons its own principles deserves to die. Both liberals and conservatives — the genuine sort — are necessary to a healthy society, so we can’t afford to let either die. Those who walk away from modern liberalism are its only hope. And because we will hold the Right to actual standards, we may also be its best hope of survival.




Share This

Comments

Visitor

While there must be a handful of people who have been moved by the #WalkAway video, there seem to be very few new converts, mostly people like the author of this piece who actually "walked away" a good while back. The vast majority of accounts using that hashtag online now are bots copy-pasting the exact same messages on social media. Many of the posts that circulated used stock-photo images, especially of black people, to pretend like the movement was diverse.

Straka may be genuine in what he says. It's hard to tell, since he deleted a lot of his older videos, some of which apparently tried to position him as a member of the anti-Trump "Resistance". He's also in the process of setting up a branding and marketing campaign. But the "movement" he started has gotten its biggest push from the same online message boards that spawned the wild conspiracy theories presently animating much of the pro-Trump Right, as well as anti-gay disinformation campaigns trying to make it look like the queer community supported pedophiles, among other things. They're not friends of gay people, Christians, libertarians, or really much of anyone.

Lori Heine

Will the #WalkAway movement be compromised at some point (if it hasn’t been already)? Every popular political movement is, sooner or later. It’s how power treats challenges to its rule. Nothing of value would ever be accomplished if its supporters abandoned it for being less than Ivory soap pure. Nor can any political movement control who might latch onto it, for whatever nefarious purpose.

I don’t regard that as any reason to dismiss #Walk Away in its entirety. The bathwater may get dirty, but the baby should not be tossed out. Ideas are bigger than the individuals or groups that may claim credit for them--and whether Mr. Straka is real or a fake, he’s on to something.

The “bot” allegations may have substance, but they can’t totally define what’s going on. The mainstream media will never confer legitimacy on anything that might loosen its grip on power. Brandon Straka has certainly struck a chord with a lot of folks, which is why we keep hearing about him. As I made clear in my essay, he was far from the first person to think the things he’s saying.

Neither will he be the last. I suspect a large swath of the Right also finds #WalkAway troublesome. Conservatism is changing. Indeed, it’s growing, but that inevitably means a transfusion of fresh blood. I place my hopes not merely in one social media movement, but in what I truly believe is a turning tide--and perhaps even a tidal wave.

Progressives are against progress

The libertarian and anti-statist movements need more of the bright, educated people who happen to be gay.

I don't think that identity politics reduced to sexual preferences is very flattering. Yet the left insists on it. Are you personally defining yourself by your bedroom behavior? Or are you foremost a writer and a Christian?

The Left constantly find new categories of victims. It digs up particularities and quirks of new victims, and attempts to erect these quirks into dividing factors by making them into irreducible basis of the individuals. Thus marked, the victims are extirpated from normal society and forcefully put in a walled garden owned by the Left. Complicit media carefully maintain the paranoia and alienation of the victims.

Indeed, it's time they walk away.

Scott Robinson

Dear Lori,

I'm glad that you mentioned the "progressive plantation", because that is the impression I get when I hear progressives preaching their cause. When here in California, I hear of our great kluckers, sorry Democrats, in their campaign ads talking about Medicare for all, college education for all, and guaranteed employment. The master of the plantation provided housing, daily food, health care, and 24 hour security to his (sexist prejudice, I know) slaves. When government provides you your needs, this means that government owns your needs. How would it be able to provide something that it doesn't own? When they own all of your needs, by extension, they own you, just like the master of the plantation owned all of the slaves of the plantation.

Good point in your article that it is complicated to find a party which will represent you well and fight for your cause. I think this is why independence is what's important. To develop our soul, we can't be clones of a party stepping and fetching their wishes. Walk Away means not stepping and fetching.

Good Article,
Scott

© Copyright 2018 Liberty Foundation. All rights reserved.



Opinions expressed in Liberty are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the Liberty Foundation.

All letters to the editor are assumed to be for publication unless otherwise indicated.