I’m an artist and musician from Orlando who grew up democrat, and only ever really knew other liberals in my social circles. Bought into the propaganda, without much of a thought, that republicans/conservative were strictly for big business/the rich and that they had an ignorant prejudice against anyone, anything, and anybody that wasn’t status quo. Voted for Gore, Kerry and Obama both terms. The second term of Obama I noticed the media starting to cover certain things up, and straight out lie about others. That was the first red flag about the Democratic Party for me, but still saw them as the lesser of two evils. THEN the whole social justice/identity politics stuff started up. I saw outlandish and hateful all-or-nothing concepts being presented, spiteful rhetoric, extreme divisiveness, stifling of free speech. Just everyone putting themselves into these terrible little compartments that supposedly dictated their entire experience in life, and of course plenty of purity spiral in fighting. None of this was empowering to anyone—only divisive and hateful. Then I saw the party line flip on pretty KEY issues that I just couldn’t believe. People were starting to apologize for and support globalization, TPP, NAFTA, and Monsanto. Add to that all of those extreme SJW ideas were creeping their way into the DNC, and so too was the idea that not all speech is free.
Prior to the elections I wasn’t sure I was going to vote at all. Then Pulse happened in Orlando. This was the downtown I grew up hanging out in. I had been there before. I had friends who went there regularly. It was within 20 miles of the house I grew up in. This was just too close to home for me. I really wanted people to wake up, but saw only the same exact msm/liberal response of disarming the public. After that I became a Trump supporter, and of course managed to lose a good 3/4ths of my friends—online friends, music/art networking friends, but worst of all friends I knew in real life for 20+ years that still will not talk to me. Got called all of the obligatory names, harassed, etc. People spread the word around that I was a “nazi” and many collaborators and people I knew for networking blocked me out. Things only got worse when I started criticizing the violence of Antifa. Thanks for creating #WalkAway. It has been a very isolating and difficult period for me over the past few years due to all of this, and it’s so cathartic to see so many different kinds of people all over the US experienced it with me, and that we’re indeed not alone. It’s genuinely heart-warming.