NewsStreet Scribe

Republicans Like Herschel Walker Have Abandoned All Principles

Herschel Walker displays his toy sheriff's badge at a debate in Savannah. Screenshot via WSAV

Who’s to blame when the Grand Old Party gets out of hand? Writing in The Atlantic on Oct. 16, longtime Republican Peter Wehner says that today’s GOP has become “an intellectual wasteland.” Wehner is a conservative who served in the administrations of GOP presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush. Today he is a critic of former President Donald Trump and the current crop of MAGA Republican candidates like Herschel Walker and Marjorie Taylor Greene here in Georgia.

In his article titled “The Perfect Candidate for a Fallen Party,” Wehner says that Walker exemplifies a Republican Party that has become a cult of personality that “has turned on nearly every noble principle it once claimed to stand for. It has become a freak show embodied by people like Trump and Walker…” He calls today’s GOP “conspiracy minded, anti-democratic, and anti-truth” and laments the fall of his party into an abyss of trumpery, chicanery and political paranoia. 

Walker will go up against incumbent Georgia Senator Raphael Warnock in the Nov. 8 election that will decide which party will control the Senate. Walker has had plenty of faults and fumbles in his run for the Senate, but he also has the unflinching support of Republicans who will forgive any transgression by any candidate who can help them retain and expand their power. The former University of Georgia football star was hand-picked by Trump to run against Warnock in a contest that looks like a close race in a state where early voting has already started. Georgia Democrats need a high turnout or Herschel Walker could score a political touchdown for the state’s GOP.

More than a decade ago, author and social critic Noam Chomsky warned of the danger of fascistic trends in America. “I’m old enough to have heard a number of Hitler’s speeches on the radio, and I have a memory of the texture and the tone of the cheering mobs,” he said in 2010. “I have the dread sense of the dark clouds of fascism gathering” over the American political landscape. Chomsky’s dystopian vision of 2010 is coming true in 2022. An embattled Trump hopes a White House win in 2024 will cancel his legal troubles and return him to power. Across America, Republican candidates for political offices are parroting Trump’s lie, cry and deny tactics claiming that the presidency was stolen from the GOP in 2020.  

The Capitol Hill invasion of Jan. 6, 2021 showed the face of fascism right here in America. Right-wing groups like the Proud Boys, the Oath Keepers and the militia movement were the stormtroopers in a political putsch to overthrow democracy and keep Trump enthroned in the White House. The Nov. 8 election and the upcoming 2024 election are watershed contests that could shape the future of America. In 1964, conservative Republican presidential candidate Barry Goldwater roared, “Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice, and moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.” Today’s MAGA mob of Qanonsensical Trump troops is interested not in liberty and justice, but in partisan political power. Sadly, millions of Americans would be happy with an authoritarian regime today, just as millions of Italians supported the dictator Benito Mussolini because “he made the trains run on time” and millions of Germans supported Adolf Hitler because he was good for business and was making Germany great again.

America is in trouble when the Republican Party has been hijacked by a carnival barker conman and naked emperor like Donald Trump. America is in trouble when the Republicans have become so bad that they’re making the Democrats look good. America has hope only if its citizens remember the words of the late Congressman John Lewis: “We can’t afford to let democracy slip away.”