What is the WalkAway campaign

Democracy in the times of feminism

An interesting story is brewing in the USA, which starts with a gay hairdresser and has since reached international politics. Currently in the lead role: the Russian secret service.

Brandon Straka coming out

Everything starts on May 26th, 2018. Brandon Straka, a gay hairdresser and budding actor in New York who is on Facebook and Youtube under the username "The Unsilent Minority", posted the video #WalkAway Campaign - WHY I LEFT LIBERALISM & THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY. The video is a flaming indictment against the Democrats and a rationale for why he is leaving the party and moves away from her. Some excerpts from the text:
The Democratic Party has adopted a deleterious belief system, happily and without skepticism, separating people into groups based of off identity and organizing them into camps of victims and oppressors
(The Democratic Party has adopted, happily and without any skepticism, a harmful belief system, dividing people into groups based on their identity and organizing them into camps of victims and oppressors)
... social justice warriors who intentionally misrepresent and misconstrue facts, evidence, and events to confirm their own biases that everybody who does not comply with their prejudicial conclusions and follow their orders is a racist, a bigot, a nazi, a white supremacist, homophobic, islamophobic, xenophobic, misogynistic - an "alt-right extremist".

(... social justice warriors who deliberately misrepresent and misunderstand facts, evidence and events to confirm their own prejudices, so that anyone who disobeys their biased findings and obeys their orders will be a racist, a fanatic , a Nazi, a white racist, homophobic, Islamophobic, xenophobic, misogynistic - an "old-right-extremist" is.)
The left has decided that the solution to problems with race relations in America ... is MORE racism.

(The left has decided that the solution to racial problems in America ... MORE is racism.)
Straka later published a full transcript of the video on June 17, 2018. It should be noted that the name Clinton is not mentioned and that factual issues (immigration, unemployment, etc.) are not dealt with at all, but almost only the political style of the Democrats, which aims at generating hatred and identity groups and gays as he has harnessed to her cart. At its core, Straka accuses the Democrats of systematically creating fear of those who think differently and thus manipulating voters underhandedly. Fear generation is a classic instrument of identity politics. Its consequences - hatred and group-related misanthropy - and the closely related feminist theory of privilege have been and continue to be discussed for years on the relevant Masku blogs and are well known. Even in the wider press, these issues have been widely discussed in the wake of Brexit and the Hillary Clinton election debacle. So actually nothing new in terms of content. This is where the must-see video comes in. It is very well done, the whole thing is a total work of art, so to speak. The speaker is very effective in the scene, many documenting images are briefly faded in, the whole video is accompanied by music, etc. It should probably also be the test work or business card of the budding actor.

What happened next

In the first few weeks, the video was probably accessed around 50-100,000 times a week on Facebook and Youtube. This is very decent for a newcomer, but some cat videos do multiple times. However, the number of response videos is remarkable. On YouTube, searching for "#walkaway campaign" currently delivers over 4000 hits. Many of these videos are grouped together on a #WalkAway fansite. Expect hundreds of responses to the coming-out video. Most of these videos are personal statements to turn your back on the Democrats. Most were accessed only a few tens to hundreds of times, but some tens of thousands of times. During a short research, I noticed the video of a previously little known Vanessa Berben as the front runner with over 150,000 views. The sum of the access numbers should be in the single-digit million range.

Jumps for joy on the right

A smaller group of videos comes from news channels, e.g. this one from Fox from 04/07/2018. It comes as no surprise that the Republican supporters of the media (Breitbart, Epoch Times, etc.) are happy to report in detail on anyone who calls for people to leave the Democratic Party. While right-wing media do significant advertising for the campaign, it is of course hushed up by left-wing media. It can therefore be assumed that it was overwhelmingly Republican voters who watched the videos, and that the range of the actual target audience, previous Democratic Party voters, is limited. In this respect, reports of the imminent demise of the Democrats are part of the usual psychological warfare. For example, they tweet Students for Trump: "Millions of Americans are walking away from the Democrat Party!". Pure wishful thinking. The order of magnitude is likely to be a few hundred more realistic, which is why nobody in the party headquarters of the Democrats will panic. The party has 44 million members, of which around 1.5% are likely to retire due to age or death annually, making almost 2000 cases per daythat are compensated by new, younger members. The few people leaving are drowned in the fluctuation.

Invasion: the Russians

At the beginning of July, reports appeared (Washington Post, July 2nd, 2018, Huffington Post, July 8th, 2018, Salon, July 9th, 2018), according to which the hashtag #WalkAway is mainly spread by Russian bots and the whole movement is a pure fake that only the Supposed to harm Democrats. The #WalkAway movement could not have wished for better advertising, because its connection to the international machinations of the Russians has given it international attention. That the Russians support the #walkAway movement is plausible and probably true, but it doesn't matter. Since the #WalkAway movement is mostly carried out by Republicans anyway, the Russian bots really don't play a role. The thesis that Brandon Straka is a fake is completely implausible. He has now been interviewed on several shows, thus proven existence, and his assessment of the Democratic political style is correct and nothing new. To claim that it is "fake" or that it has been hired by evil forces is a conspiracy theory that at best becomes an own-goal of the authors.

Awakening experiences

If you ignore the contributions from the right and possibly from the Russians, what is left? Above all, a lot of personal confession videos. Many of the Confessional Videos are descriptions of almost classic awakening experiences. It is typical that initially contradictions between the official self-adulation of the party and actual action lead to reflection. With Straka it was the observed hatred and the exclusion of dissenters, with Vanessa Berben mentioned above, the restriction of freedom of opinion of dissenters demanded by many democrats. Many confessors describe that they then started to research yourselfhow diabolical the denounced opponents are, and then more and more disagreements have been encountered. A shocking experience was then typically the reaction of (opinion) "friends", to whom you shared your observations and doubts and who then immediately vilified you as a Nazi and alt-right and disposed of you. These videos are dangerous for the Democrats, because they demystify the political style of the Democrats in a massively effective manner and make denunciation campaigns, bans on speaking and thinking, etc. visible for what they are: blatant violations of American fundamental values. Often enough, these violations have been explained in long pleadings on hundreds of philosophical blogs. That only reaches a small clientele. The videos of the confessors are consistently simple and exemplary, in some cases very emotional (e.g. the loss of their old political home is mourned). Nevertheless, they convey the general principle of how identity politics works and what collateral damage this leads to. To make matters worse, there are many videos from gays or people of color, that is, from the Democrats' regular clientele. The few hundred resigned members are therefore not dangerous for the Democrats. Dangerous are the doubts that arise in far more people about the moral superiority of the democrats, which may lead to the next election not voting at all.


  1. Mary Papenfuss: Russian Bots Linked To Viral Twitter Attacks On 'Hateful' Dems. Huffington Post, 7/8/2018. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/russian-bots-linke ... cf2d083
  2. Bob Cesca: Russian bots are back: #WalkAway attack on Democrats is a likely Kremlin operation. Salon, July 9, 2018. https://www.salon.com/2018/07/09/russian-bots-are-back- ... ration /
  3. Abby Ohlheiser: The #WalkAway meme is what happens when everything is viral and nothing matters. Washington Post, 07/02/2018. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-intersect/wp/20 ... matters
  4. Brandon Straka (a.k.a. The Unsilent Minority): #WalkAway Campaign- Why I Left Liberalism & The Democratic Party. May 26, 2018. https://www.facebook.com/usminority/videos/486555651765405, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Pjs7uoOkag
  5. Brandon Straka (a.k.a. The Unsilent Minority): [Transcript of #WalkAway Campaign-Video]. 06/17/2018. https://m.facebook.com/usminority/photos/a.449421025478 ... __ = EH-R

Addendum, 07/17/2018

Among the many response videos to the coming-out video, there is a very special one. It comes from Scott Adams, known for his Dilbert comics and as the author of successful books on sales techniques (ultimately propaganda techniques). Persuasion (Persuasion) is his favorite subject. He was one of the very few who correctly predicted Trump's victory due to Trump's superior persuasion techniques. Politically, he seems to be on Trump's side, insofar as he initially falls under the already dominant Republican faction, which is cheering on the #WalkAway campaign. As an expert in the field of propaganda techniques, he particularly emphasizes Straka's realization that the Democrats work intensively with generating fear (and that this is precisely what Straka attacks). In his video he puts forward the thesis that the Democrats cause real psychological damage to their supporters ("... this is a real medical problem ... have caused the entire left to be in physical and mental distress for two years ..."). He reformulates the accusation of generating fear much more sharply than Straka himself. I initially booked this as an exaggeration of a Trump supporter. However, the well-known radical feminist Rebecca Solnit has just published one of her usual man-hating articles (Solnit (15.07.2018)) she writes:
In fact, psychiatrists report that many are now suffering from nightmares, insomnia, and anxiety and associate these with politics - which is a new phenomenon.
Apparently Adams was not exaggerating. Solnit's text, a single tirade of hate against white men, is paradoxically well suited to creating further anxiety states in her followers. Brandon Straka should feel confirmed.
  1. Rebecca Solnit / Alexandra Kedves: «The last wake of the white USA». Tagesanzeiger, July 15, 2018. https://www.tagesanzeiger.ch/leben/gesellschaft/letztes ... 8127615

Addendum, 07/30/2018

The mass panic in front of Trump described by Adams now apparently has a name among psychotherapists: Trump Anxiety Disorder ("Trump Anxiety Disorder"). Kwong (2018) reports:
What's been called "Trump Anxiety Disorder" has been on the rise in the months following the election, according to mental-health professionals from across the country who report unusually high levels of politics-related stress in their practices.
  1. Matt Kwong: In a divided U.S., therapists treating anxiety are hearing the same name over and over: Donald Trump. CBC / Radio-Canada, July 28, 2018. http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/trump-anxiety-disorder-men ... 4762487