AMAC MAGAZINE: Volume 18, Issue 1 - JAN/FEB 2024

cisco, started or worked with several Democratic public relations firms, and even ran for Governor of California as a Democrat in 2018. In 2008, Time Magazine named him a “hero of the environment.” But in the 2010s, Shellenberger began breaking with the mainstream environ- mental left by promoting the idea that technological innovation, and not radi- cal “green” policies, was the solution to climate change. In 2020, Shellenberger further solidified his break with the left in Apocalypse Never: Why Environmental Alarmism Hurts Us All . The book was a systematic takedown of Democrats’ narrative that climate change is an urgent existen- tial threat and argued that the liberal environmental movement is actually the biggest obstacle to solving environ- mental issues. A year later, Shellenberger published San Fransicko: Why Progressives Ruin Cities , which provided evidence directly linking progressive policies to the rash of homelessness, drugs, and crime in virtually every major US city. The book encapsulated Shellenberg- er’s transformation  he had gone from being among the vanguard of San Francisco leftists to being one of their sharpest critics. Just before San Fransicko hit shelves, Shellenberger also backed the recall attempt against California Governor Gavin Newsom, endorsing former San

Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, a Repub- lican, to replace him. In June of 2022, Shellenberger publicly renounced the Democratic Party, declaring, “I’m a liberal in my compas- sion for the vulnerable. I’m a libertar- ian in my love of freedom. And I’m a conservative in that I believe you need civilization to protect both of those things.” That announcement coincided with his work as the lead author of the “Twitter Files,” through which he exposed the depths of the left’s censorship regime. In November of 2023, he was invited as a Republican witness before the House Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government to provide information on what he had termed the “Censorship Industrial Complex.” Shellenberger has since continued to post about the dangers of woke ideol- ogy and threats to free speech on his social media accounts in addition to being a contributing author to The Free Press.

her for her progressive rhetoric, uncon- ventional fashion choices, and openly gay lifestyle. But even Sinema’s intersectional iden- tity and left-of-center politics weren’t enough to insulate her from a relent- less wave of criticism from left-wing activists who were furious over her refusal to join the ranks of “democrat- ic-socialists” in the mold of Alexan- dria Ocasio-Cortez or Bernie Sanders. Before long, Democratic groups were grooming a 2024 primary challenger to her seat. In 2022, Sinema left the party to become an Independent. While she still caucuses with Democrats and votes with them nearly 100 percent of the time, her symbolic break with the party was nonetheless another sign that Democrats are alienating even their own elected officials. Perhaps the most famous disaf- fected Democrat in American history — Republican President Ronald Reagan — once famously said, “I didn’t leave the Democratic Party; the Democratic Party left me.” That increasingly appears to be the case for the people on this list — and surely for millions of other voters as well. Andrew Shirley Andrew Shirley is a veteran speechwriter and AMAC Newsline columnist. His commentary can be found on X at @AA_Shirley.

Senator Kyrsten Sinema When Arizona Democrat Senator Kirsten Sinema assumed office in 2019, the liberal establishment fawned over

24 • AMAC Magazine

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