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2022 is the year Herschel Walker rebranded himself as a Generation IDIOT OF THE YEAR talent. There had been glimpses before, but he showed his full breadth of idiocy in 2022. Each week, the former UGA and NFL running back humbled himself above the sheer ambition of it all in a quest for power and influence he seemed to have no plans to relinquish. He repeatedly doubled his unfortunate imitation of President Camacho under the intense microscope of running for one of Georgia’s Senate seats, watched his own son turn against him, then lost (twice, technically, if you factor in the runoff) and returned to a personal life left in tatters.
Walker, who was recruited to run for Raphael Warnock’s Georgia Senate seat as the token black candidate in Donald Trump’s servile rogue gallery of unelectable refusers, was among the worst of the worst. If you pull together a scouting report of the biggest Trump-backed losers running for office during the last election cycle, none boast of Walker’s collective meanness.
He had terrorized his ex-wife, alienated the only son he admitted existed, belittled his looks and intelligence, called his then-wife’s genes terrible, may have violated several tax laws during his election campaign, and was considered shameless and apparent habitual liar to his own campaign staff. Worryingly, however, these traits may have carried him through a GOP primary so easily that he didn’t even show up at debates as long as he had brown-nosed Trump. And that’s just the preamble to his excruciatingly boring performance art for general elections.
He posed as a born-again Christian but hid several illegitimate children for decades apart from his own campaign and was reportedly an absentee father to his children. Those revelations came not long after he railed against fatherless black children. In his eagerness to spear African Americans to solicit support from a conservative white voting bloc that resists any scrutiny of its own decades of bigotry, he denied the existence of systemic racism. This feature was vital to the Walker campaign.
During a summer in which a conservative Supreme Court was setting the precedent of Roe v. Wade, Herschel Walker had the gall to propose insane total abortion bans. Walker did so presumably knowing the women whose abortions he had paid for would hear. Eventually, that’s exactly what happened when two women presented receipts in the form of checks to bust his apparent hypocrisy.
As an activist, Walker was a dud. His oratory skills were similar to those of a fifth grader explaining Cloud Atlas. He compared his résumé to that of Barack Obama without a hint of sarcasm, and his political expertise was in fictional fairytale creatures. During the runoff, Walker focused on attacking the transgender community and eventually received escorts at media appearances to keep him from putting his foot in his own mouth.
Things got so bad for the Walker campaign that Georgia’s Republican lieutenant governor publicly expressed his inability to vote for “one of the worst candidates” in GOP history. Walker earned his place in the infamy and dug back under the rock he climbed out of, but not before embarrassing the state of Georgia throughout 2022.