Herschel Walker would not have gotten the GOP nomination if he were white. President Donald Trump bears heavy responsibility for foisting this candidate on Georgia voters, but he was hardly alone. Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) backed Mr. Walker after failing to recruit another candidate. The whole party failed — not just President Trump.
The Walker candidacy shows it’s not just the Democrats who fall victim to the “soft bigotry of low expectations.” Mr. Walker had few accomplishments aside from his career in football. His business record was exaggerated. He criticized the Paycheck Protection Program, despite using it himself. Mr. Walker admitted psychological illness in his past. He faced accusations of threatening an ex-wife and paying for abortions — despite his ostentatious pro-life stance.
These problems weren’t unknown. Republicans challenging Mr. Walker in the primary argued that he could not win. “If we put forward someone with a lot of flaws who doesn’t know the issues or can’t articulate them well, we are going to lose,” said candidate Kelvin King. Agricultural commissioner Gary Black said Mr. Walker hadn’t earned his vote because he wasn’t honest about his past. “There’s a pattern of deflect, defer, run, hide, twist,” he said. Mr. Walker himself dodged having to talk about these issues by not debating. During the campaign, it came out that he had three illegitimate children he had never publicly acknowledged. His one legitimate son taunted his apparently absentee father after yesterday’s defeat, complaining about the obvious political cost of Mr. Walker’s troubled past. This is almost like a comedy written by a race realist.
The GOP is hardly uncompetitive in the Peach State. Georgia Governor Brian Kemp easily defeated Stacey Abrams, the black demagogue and election-denying Democrat whom media outlets have been shamelessly promoting for years. A normal white Republican would have done better than Herschel Walker. He would have at least had a better chance of “nationalizing” the campaign and making it about whether the unpopular Joe Biden should have more power, not about Mr. Walker’s offenses and stupidities.
A more ruthless and intelligent politician might have overcome Mr. Walker’s record. Many politicians have sordid pasts. Unfortunately, Mr. Walker is not from the right side of the bell curve. “I don’t want to speak badly of him because he’s black,” joked David Chapelle, “but I have to admit he’s, um, he’s observably stupid.”
What was the point of his nomination? Once again, Republicans convinced themselves that a black Republican could win over black voters. Instead, heavy black turnout helped Senator Warnock. Media are calling the GOP insensitive to blacks for even daring to nominate Mr. Walker.
- The Herschel Walker Senate Campaign Is an Insult to Black People, The Nation, April 14, 2022
- Joy Reid Calls Herschel Walker an ‘Insult’ to Black Voters: ‘Can Barely Put a Sentence Together’ (Video), TheWrap, December 6, 2022
- Herschel Walker’s Candidacy Is Just Insulting, The Atlantic, October 7, 2022
Van Jones said Mr. Walker used to be an “inspiration” but now is an “insult to the black community.” Others said the same on Twitter.
None of this is to defend Senator Warnock. His clownish black liberation theology is even more insufferable given its self-righteousness. “A vote is a kind of prayer,” he said in his first Senate speech. Though media keep telling us the GOP is filled with “Christian Nationalism,” it’s not the Republican Party which has a race-conscious Baptist pastor rallying the faithful from public office. Raphael Warnock has his own personal problems, including a child custody dispute with his ex-wife, who accused him of driving a car over her foot. Such are the candidates we get in what the New York Times said could have been “a showcase of Black political power in the Deep South.”
It’s time for whites to stop giving blacks unearned political power. Groveling is embarrassing, dishonorable, and demoralizing, but that’s not the worst of it. It doesn’t work. Blacks won’t support black conservatives. They don’t support a movement that (rhetorically at least) opposes reparations and welfare, and backs the police. Mr. Walker may be unintelligent, but Dr. Ben Carson wasn’t much more successful at winning black voters. Some blacks whom the GOP desperately promoted to prove they weren’t racist, like former GOP Chairman Michael Steele or Secretary of State Colin Powell, turned against the party later for not being pro-black enough.
If a black Republican does succeed, it’s because white voters back him. Black candidates who had little chance of ever winning, including Ben Carson, Kimberly Klacik, or Alan Keyes, got white donations and attention because they offer moral validation. It sometimes seems white conservatives support a black candidate simply because he’s black. Black Democrats do the same, but that’s part of normal race-consciousness. White conservatives are embarrassed, indignant, or most likely afraid to admit they have racial interests. They are spiritually defeated. They need a black face to give them permission to take their own side — but get no credit for it. In 2021, FiveThirtyEight wrote an article called “Why White Voters With Racist Views Often Still Support Black Republicans.”
“Based” black conservatives are supposedly immune from being called a racist. Black conservatives can sometimes say “far right” things white conservatives won’t, and occasionally, this leads to comedy. Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) invited one Marshall Daniels, “Young Pharoah,” to speak in 2021. The Pharoah’s anti-white tweets were apparently forgivable, but not his supposedly anti-Semitic statements.
There can be other blunders. Pat Buchanan is our generation’s Enoch Powell, but he put a black woman on his ticket in 2000, the supremely unqualified Ezola Foster. “I don’t doubt he is sincere in his desire to maintain the European character and traditions of our country,” wrote Jared Taylor at the time, “but I do not think he understands that only the biological descendants of the creators of those traditions will carry them forward in a meaningful way.” Perhaps Mr. Buchanan has changed since then. The 2000 campaign didn’t prevent the media from calling him a racist and hounding him out of a job, while piling honors on Al Sharpton.
The Georgia disaster needs to be the final embarrassment for white conservatives. Their racial truckling wins no moral credit and, more importantly, no voters. Spiritual enslavement is also a precursor to political enslavement. A political movement that supposedly champions individualism, liberty, and small government should not act out of fear. It would be more practical and more manly for white conservatives to talk realistically about race and stop looking for black tokens. Otherwise, they can expect more embarrassments and defeats like the one we saw last night.