by Rachel del Guidice
The founder of the #WalkAway Campaign, a movement showcasing stories of why Americans walk away from leftist ideology and the Democratic Party, says he is pleased with an organized march last weekend in the nation’s capital and plans to take the idea on the road.
“I thought it was spectacular. I am so proud of the entire weekend from beginning to end,” Brandon Straka said in an interview with The Daily Signal.
“I have very high expectations, which is why I usually feel let down all the time, but it was one of the rare moments in life where you have the highest possible hopes and expectations and it goes so far beyond,” Straka said.
Straka, 41, a former liberal who voted for Hillary Clinton in the past but now calls himself a gay conservative, said he estimates that 3,000 to 3,500 attended.
The #WalkAway events started Oct. 26 with a gala dinner at Trump International Hotel, a march Oct. 27 from John Marshall Park to Freedom Plaza, and a closing brunch Oct. 28.
“Everybody was really energetic and participating, despite the fact that the weather sucked and it was cold,” Straka said, adding:
I was at the head of the line for the march, so I wasn’t able to see until we arrived in Freedom Plaza, which is where the main rally was, and the whole event was being filmed and livestreamed by our production team. So once I arrived there, I was able to get backstage into the speakers’ tent and watch on the livestream. And I saw just block after block after block, we filled seven full city blocks of people marching.
It was beautiful, even with all the rain! Met ppl from all over. MN was farthest one I met. pic.twitter.com/caVyR6iVUe
— Sigh1961 (@Sigh98610400) October 28, 2018
Straka, who launched the #Walkaway Campaign on June 29, said his hope is to turn the march into a roadshow to draw disaffected liberals who couldn’t make the trip to Washington, D.C.
“One comment that we got over and over again in the weeks leading up to the march was how much people wanted to come, but because of their jobs or maybe health problems, or this or that, they weren’t able to travel,” Straka said, saying his goal is to shorten the march and rally program so it can be mobile.
Straka said he was frustrated with media coverage of the march, calling it “nonexistent … including on the right.”
The march itself occurred the same day that a man shot and killed 11 inside a synagogue in Pittsburgh.
Straka said he was disappointed that a headline by Breitbart News indicated that the march drew only hundreds, and that Fox News Channel picked up that headline although the network didn’t appear to cover the event itself.
— Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) October 27, 2018
“Someone from The New York Times who did come contacted me and he said, I don’t understand why all these publications are saying that hundreds of people were at your event,” Straka said.
“He said, I think you had at least 2,000-4,000, and that’s The New York Times, and I was like, Yeah, tell me about it.”
I am having so much fun, I can't even describe it!
— #ThePersistence (@ScottPresler) October 27, 2018
Same as tea party, they can’t depend on left leaning media to
show this. Must report their own activities RT @BreakingNLive: WATCH: More than 1,000 people are currently marching down Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington D.C.:#WalkAway #WalkAwayMarch pic.twitter.com/KWcjO7jUNZ
— NotTheMob (@Twin66) October 27, 2018
— Eddie (@JN31621) October 27, 2018
Straka said he looks forward to taking #WalkAway on the road to involve more disaffected liberals and Democrats.
“Let’s do a roadshow,” he said, and if the people can’t fly to D.C. for the weekend, which I understand, let’s go to where they are and get the message out. So that’s something that we’re looking at.”
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Rachel del Guidice is a reporter for The Daily Signal. She is a graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville, Forge Leadership Network, and The Heritage Foundation’s Young Leaders Program. Donate now.