Herschel Walker and Republican hypocrisy

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In past political climates, such an October surprise would be grounds for a serious acknowledgment or resignation by a politician from a race for public office.

Unfortunately, we are in the post-Trump era of politics, where a Twilight Zone political theater of the deviant and bizarre has become the norm.

Over the past few days, a continual drip of bombshells have roiled Herschel Walker’s senatorial campaign. The Republican senate candidate from Georgia has faced a nonstop onslaught of accusations and allegations from ex-wives, lovers, and offspring.

Walker’s disastrous interview with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt last week was a cringeworthy train wreck filled with contradictions, doublespeak and unconvincing denials.He sounded like O.J. Simpson when he muttered, “If that had happened, I would have said, you know, nothing to be ashamed of there,” he said of paying for a woman’s abortion, before adding, “I know nothing about that.”

Perhaps the most blatant attack also occurred last week, when Walker’s 23-year-old son, Christian, took to social media to call out his father for what he sees as blatant deception and hypocrisy.

“You’re not a ‘family man’ when you left us to bang a bunch of women, threatened to kill us, and had us move over 6 times in 6 months running from your violence,” Christian said.

The younger Walker was not the only person to weigh in on the drama surrounding the former Heisman trophy winner. One woman, claiming to be former lover whom Walker paid to have an abortion (she provided the receipts) told the Daily Beast she’d decided to come forward because “I just can’t with the hypocrisy anymore.”

“He didn’t accept responsibility for the kid we did have together, and now he isn’t accepting responsibility for the one that we didn’t have,” she told the Daily Beast last week. “That says so much about how he views the role of women in childbirth, versus his own. And now he wants to take that choice away from other women and couples entirely.”

She also said Walker sent her a “get well” card with a steaming cup of tea on the front and signed with the message, “Pray you are feeling better.” Mind you, these are the actions coming from a man who has adopted a strong pro-life position on abortion and staunchly conservative views on other social and cultural issues.

For his part, Walker has dismissed such accusations as “lies.”

Despite the mounting drama, many prominent Republicans have remained steadfast in their support of the candidate. Donald Trump argued that “Herschel Walker is being slandered and maligned by the Fake News Media and obviously, the Democrats.” Florida Sen. Rick Scott stated that Democrats will “lie, cheat, and smear” because Walker is “winning” against Georgia Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock.” Steven Law, president of the Senate Leadership Fund, announced “We are full speed ahead in Georgia.”

Ronna Mcdaniel’s, the Republican National Committee chair, commented that “Georgia could decide the Senate majority, so desperate Democrats and liberal media have turned to anonymous sources and character assassination.” Ralph Reed, a Walker backer and the founder of the Faith and Freedom Coalition, told The New York Times that, in his view, “100%” of evangelical Christians support Walker. Pro-life TV and radio host Dana Loesch said she doesn’t care whether or not pro-life Republican Senate candidate Herschel Walker paid for his girlfriend’s abortion, saying what she wants is “control of the Senate.”

Such support of a morally deficient and flawed candidate like Walker by Republican operatives shows that for many of these so-called Christian conservatives, it is not about family values or religious piety – it’s all about power and control to dictate policy. At least Loesch was being honest.

The truth is that such a value system is hypocritical and morally obscene. It is the epitome of totalitarianism. Such sinister dystopia must be challenged at all costs.

Copyright 2022 Elwood Watson, distributed by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate

Elwood Watson is a professor of history, Black studies, and gender and sexuality studies at East Tennessee State University. He is also an author and public speaker.