Meet Herschel Walker, The Perfect Republican Candidate
Credit: Team Herschel
October 30, 2022

The author states that Herschel Walker is, or might be, the worst candidate the modern Republican party has ever run for national office. And while objectively that might be true, among republicans he pretty much embodies the Trumpian ideal candidate better than anyone else out there. Why? Because he's profoundly ignorant and indifferent to the issues at hand and has no understanding or interest in how the government actually works. And because all that is irrelevant to him and the people who will vote for him, there is really only one issue that is critical to Walker's success as a candidate: whether or not he embodies "the traditional male power structure that Republicans seek to reinstate," as Filipovic wrote. I'd argue that he does, and better than anyone else in the Republican party right now.

So it really shouldn't surprise anyone then, despite flaws that would have been disqualifying in years gone by, Walker enjoys enormous support among Republicans in Georgia and is currently polling neck-and-neck with Raphael Warnock. He could win. Some are even saying he's the favorite to win.

Source: Jill Filipovic/The Guardian

It’s possible that Herschel Walker is the worst candidate the modern Republican party has ever run for national office, and in an era of conspiracy theorists, Christian nationalists and Donald Trump, that’s saying a lot. Walker embodies everything the Republican party has claimed to oppose: violent crime, abortion, homes broken by absentee fathers, race-based affirmative action and straight-up incompetence. And yet no matter what Walker is accused of, up to and including acts many Republicans define as murder, he retains the support of the Republican party, and his race for a Georgia Senate seat remains a tight one.

It’s not just that the modern Republican party has accepted as a norm that there should be absolutely zero moral or ethical expectations from the people they run for office. It’s that they seem to relish breaking the rules they want to set for others. It’s not hypocrisy so much as the celebration of conservative male impunity.
Republican men, in the meantime, can be proudly incompetent, self-defined imbeciles, moral degenerates and violent misogynists, and they don’t risk their party’s support or conservatives’ ballots.

This is hypocrisy, yes. But Republicans aren’t ashamed of it not just because they seem to lack the capacity for shame – although that is certainly true – but because the below-the-surface conservative ethos isn’t about any real attachment to family values, moral uprightness, or fetal life, but rather a return to a traditional gender order where men dominate political, social and economic life, and women are financially and socially dependent on them, primarily tasked with raising children and tending to the home. Outlawing abortion helps to reinforce this patriarchal order by constraining women’s opportunities and our ability to choose the course of our own lives, but it’s the “patriarchal order” part of the equation that’s more desirable than the “preventing abortion” part of it. When Walker wants the women he allegedly impregnated to end their pregnancies because additional out-of-wedlock children are inconvenient for him, his future and his political career, that upholds the kind of traditional male power structure conservatives seek to reinstate – and is the kind of abortion exception Republicans can apparently get behind.

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