#WalkAway movement urges disgruntled Democrats to leave the party behind
A newly created political movement urging liberals to leave the Democratic Party held a march in Washington, D.C., on Saturday.
The five-month-old #WalkAway movement advocates that those who feel disillusioned with the party -- which some say uses scare tactics and identity politics -- to come out publicly against it.
Several hundred supporters attended Saturday’s mile-long march along Pennsylvania Avenue -- from John Marshall Park near the Capitol to Freedom Plaza near the White House.
"We're walking away from the Democratic Party and literally walking toward freedom," #WalkAway founder Brandon Straka told Fox News.
Straka spearheaded the movement after posting an online video in May explaining why he was abandoning the Democratic Party.
“People are fed up with what’s happening on the left,” he said, adding that interest skyrocketed after the hearings into sexual misconduct allegations against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanauagh. “These were really the kind of die-hard loyalists. People in their 60s and 70s who had been Democrats their whole life who said ‘This was the final straw for me.’”
Scores of video testimonials posted to the #WalkAway Campaign Facebook page give a variety of reasons for switching political allegiances.
Some said the Democratic Party has become hate-filled and hostile to opposing points of view while moving further to the left. Others say they were tired of the party’s "politically correct" culture.
The movement caught President Trump's attention. He tweeted about the event before it began.
Straka said he's most proud that minority groups, such as Latinos, African-Americans and the LGBTQ community, have embraced his movement.
"These minority groups that I think the Democratic Party has had sort of a stranglehold for so long on, they are walking away," he said. "They want to be self-empowered."
But not everyone believes the grassroots campaign is genuine.
CNN contributor David Love called the movement fake and a Russian ploy to divide key Democrat voting blocs, the Washington Times reported.
"Republicans want to split up the Democratic political opposition and divide black and Latino voters. And Russia looks like it wants to help here, too,” Love wrote. “The most recent example of this strategy is the #WalkAway hashtag, which is presented as a grassroots effort by former Democrats who are critical of the party’s alleged intimidation, confrontation and lack of civility and want people to walk away from the party.”