As the weeks go on, Los Angeles is beginning to feel more like home.
I’ve grown accustomed to the fun atmosphere of the Taliesin Nexus office, the sight of the bizarre and erratic happenings on the streets of Downtown and the indescribable taste of the Shrimp Po Boy bought from a nearby deli I’m a regular at.
But one thing that still troubles me is the perplexed view of Libertarianism as being the “undercover right-wing”. I’m coming to learn more and more of the toxic hypocrisy of having one far-leaning political side. A friend invited me to a talk at a bar in Van Nuys by Brandon Straka, who has recently made headlines for starting a movement called #WalkAway. The movement began as African-American and LGBT democratic voters were walking away from the current democratic party, a party now tarnished by its donor-driven decisions, political correctness, identity politics and a lack of anybody raising new ideas just echoing their hatred of the other side – the party had vetoed Bernie Sanders and rigged the primaries in favour of their “golden” goose Hillary Clinton.
All of this left their base, and their base’s voices astray. But while the talk was interesting to highlight this new culture shift, I believe it under-performed because it made out that the solution to their change of heart was to become right-wing and that being politically conservative was the ONLY alternative to identity politics and political correctness, at one stage chanting “we are Republicans”. I can never understand why the criticism of one political side means that the other is correct.
In the pinnacle moment, Straka received cheers from the audience when criticising the political left’s alignment with identity politics, and seconds later received cheers for stating he is a “gay man who’s also a Trump supporter”. An audience sick of the left’s identity politics, but in awe of a person’s political preference and sexuality. The irony remained unspoken…
I think it’s particularly important to highlight that there has been a political culture shift in recent times resulting in people of different races and sexualities not falling under one side of politics any more. However, this doesn’t mean they must be ushered over to the right. It’s shame that Straka’s movement constructs this as the solution and perhaps that will be it’s undoing.