Herschel Walker Is the New Normal

By Tom Nichols

December 6, 2022

image above: meetthematts.com

By encouraging Walker to run for the Senate and endorsing him in the Republican primary, Trump reminded the world of his contempt for American government and American ideals. One hot mess is as good as the next when it comes to burning down the GOP and replacing it with a cult of Trump., Deputy opinion editor and columnist, in The tragedy of Herschel Walker, December 6, 2022

WN: The title is tragically true. As the article says:

If Walker is elected, it will be a tragic day in the history of the Senate. But the fact that he ran at all—and garnered millions of votes from perfectly normal American citizens—is the larger tragedy . . .

Rep. Mondaire Jones (D-N.Y.) tweeted that “national Republicans handpicked an unqualified and morally bankrupt caricature to run for Senate in Georgia because they thought his race would be enough to make him competitive with Black voters.” “But we know when we’re being patronized,” Jones added. “Herschel Walker needed to be defeated.”Brett Wilkins,

But Walker lost today . . . And one breathes a tad easier.


Once Vices, Now Habits

We have come to the end of the 2022 midterms with a final contest in Georgia. By the time you read this, we will likely know whether Herschel Walker will become a United States senator. (I suspect he will not, but terrible things that seem improbable can still happen.) Yards of columns have been written about Walker’s palpable, cinder-block denseness; yesterday, he seemed confused about whether he was running for the House or the Senate. And, as my friend Jill Lawrence pointed out today, supporting an allegedly abusive rake like Walker makes a mockery of Republicans who once extolled virtue and character as the most important qualities in a public servant.

As usual, however, the real problem lies with the voters. The Republicans are getting the candidates they want.

The larger problem, however, is that Walker’s candidacy is a reminder of just how much we’ve acclimated ourselves to the presence of awful people in our public life. Although we can be heartened by the defeat of Christian nationalists and election deniers and other assorted weirdos, we should remember how, in a better time in our politics, these candidates would not have survived even a moment of public scrutiny or weathered their first scandal or stumble.

There’s a lot of blame to go around, but no one did more to pioneer the politics of disgust than Donald Trump.

And yet, here we are: An entire political party shrugs off revelations that a man running on an anti-abortion platform may have paid for an abortion (possibly two), has unacknowledged children, and may also be a violent creep. Not long ago, Walker would have been washed out of political contention as a matter of first principles.

Television evangelist Jimmy Swaggart breaks down in tears on televised sermon as he confesses his relationship with a prostitute. 1988 photo (Credit Image: © Robin Nelson/ZUMAPRESS.com)

Think of how much our civic health has declined in general. Only 35 years ago, during the long-ago Camelot of the late 1980s, Gary Hart had to pull out of the Democratic

[Trump] also changed the temperature of the room; there is no “too far” anymore. His outré pronunciations are something like the norm now, with other elected officials, from Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), mimicking his parroting of right-wing conservative media rhetoric back to the base.Trump will go away slowly, then all at once, by , December 6, 2022.

primaries for getting caught with a pretty lady on a boat named “Monkey Business,” and the televangelist Jimmy Swaggart stood with tears streaming down his face because he’d been caught with a prostitute in a Louisiana motel. In 1995, Senator Bob Packwood (again, more tears) resigned in the aftermath of revelations of sexual misconduct just before being expelled from the Senate.

I’m not sure who said it first, but the Doobie Brothers said it again in the title of their 1974 album: What Were Once Vices Are Now Habits.

There’s a lot of blame to go around, but no one did more to pioneer the politics of disgust than Donald Trump, who took the outrageous moments of his two presidential campaigns and turned them into virtues.

Please click on: Trump and Walker: Vices Into Habits

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