This article originally appeared on levelman.com.
During a recent campaign rally, Herschel Walker proudly declared, “I don’t even know how to spell ‘politician.’”
I believe him.
If he manages to become a Georgia senator, he will have done so by trivializing the entire process by not bothering to learn anything about his job and for being the right political publicity stunt for the right bigot.
Herschel Walker might be a college football legend, but everything about his political career screams the perils of CTE and not watching Schoolhouse Rock!’s “How A Bill Becomes A Law.”
I thought by the time Walker finally appeared on a debate stage and faced his opponent, Senator Raphael Warnock, a pastor at Atlanta’s famed Ebenezer Baptist Church, it would be apparent that Walker belongs on Capitol Hill for no other reason than a tour. There was one moment in particular that stood out: Walker pulling out a prop during the debate—an honorary deputy sheriff’s badge in response to Warnock calling him out for pretending to be a police officer.
“I am work with many police officers,” Walker claimed as he flashed the badge to the debate crowd, to a moderator’s visible dismay.
This silly, ridiculous man who can’t complete a sentence about anything being asked of him is pulling out props during a debate. How can people not fixate on that? Instead, much of the national media coverage of the debate that took place two weeks ago curiously centered on Walker’s ability to not sound completely dense.
I know Donald Trump looks at Walker as nothing more than one of the few Black men he likes because he’s a football player and will do as he’s told. Or as Senator Lindsey Graham told Fox News host Sean Hannity on Wednesday night, with Walker next to him: “Walker changes the entire narrative of the left. We’re a party of racists, Sean, me and you are racist and the party is racist and what happens when the Republican party elects and nominates Walker.”
It’s cynical and racist, but it could be successful if not enough people are made aware of Walker’s lies and political stunts.
Without shame, following the debate, Walker’s campaign ordered 1,000 imitation plastic law enforcement badges that say “I’m with Herschel” for fundraising purposes.
“Herschel Walker has been a friend to law enforcement and has a record of honoring police,” Gail Gitcho, the strategist behind Walker’s campaign, explained to NBC News. “If Sen. Warnock wants to highlight this, then bring it on. It just gives us a chance to talk about Herschel’s support of law enforcement and law enforcement’s support for him. It’s a great issue for us.”
In response, Warnock recently told reporters: “My opponent, Herschel Walker, is not ready. I pointed out the fact that he claimed to be in law enforcement—to be a police officer—and that he threatened a shootout with the police. And his response was to produce a fake badge? The people of Georgia deserve a serious person to represent them in serious times.”
And they deserve to know more about Herschel Walker’s history with the police beyond fake badges and pledges not to defund the police–which is largely shaped by allegations of abuse and threats of violence.
Years ago, an ex-wife of Walker who now goes by Cindy Grossman said Walker engaged in “physically abusive and threatening behavior” during their divorce proceedings. And when he released a book, she told ABC News that at one point during their marriage, Walker pointed a pistol at her head and said, “I’m going to blow your... brains out.” The woman later returned to court for a protective order against Walker after he repeatedly voiced a desire to kill her and her boyfriend.
In court records obtained by the Associated Press, Grossman’s sister said that Walker “stated unequivocally that he was going to shoot my sister Cindy and her boyfriend in the head.” It’s a point his son, Christian Walker, tried to make once a separate scandal involving his father—on him maintaining a pro-life stance publicily, but in his private life, having paid for abortions for his then-girlfriends—when he claimed that his father repeatedly threatened his mother.
“I know my mom and I would really appreciate if my father Herschel Walker stopped lying and making a mockery of us,” Christian, who has a sizable social media following of his own as a right wing personality, wrote on Twitter. “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.”
Walker’s allegations of abuse are well-reported, but they have not been made a focus. We have at least been made aware that Walker is a hypocrite after one woman revealed in addition to having a son with him, he paid for her to terminate a separate pregnancy.
On Wednesday, another woman accused Walker of doing the same thing nearly three decades ago, after a yearlongs extramarital affair. The woman did not identify herself but made her allegations by way of a press conference hosted by lawyer Gloria Allred. She played a voicemail allegedly from Walker: “I keep trying to call you. I want to say I love you.”
If it takes salaciousness to keep Walker from being elected Senator Stereotype, so be it, but it is a shame he has not been made to answer for his years of accusations of being abusive.
It should be a bigger deal that while Walker likes to play pretend cop, he behaves a lot like the kind of man you call the police on to arrest.
Michael Arceneaux is the New York Times bestselling author of I Can’t Date Jesus: Love, Sex, Family, Race, and Other Reasons I’ve Put My Faith in Beyoncé, I Don’t Want To Die Poor, and the forthcoming I Finally Bought Some Jordan’s.
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