'Values don’t matter': Conservative slams evangelicals for sticking by Herschel Walker
Former football star Herschel Walker, who is hoping to unseat Democratic incumbent Sen. Raphael Warnock in Georgia’s 2022 U.S. Senate race, is campaigning as an anti-abortion hardliner — declaring that he opposes abortion even in cases of rape or incest or even if a pregnant woman’s life is in danger. But on Monday night, October 3, the Daily Beast reported that Walker had impregnated a woman in 2009 and paid for an abortion.
Walker has vehemently denied her allegations, although his son Christian Walker finds the allegations and the Beast’s reporting to be totally credible. Regardless, Walker’s supporters, from former House Speaker Newt Gingrich to former Christian Coalition Executive Director Ralph Reed, have rallied to his defense and are obviously unconcerned with whether or not Walker practices what he preaches.
Never Trump conservative and Daily Beast opinion columnist Matt Lewis slams Walker’s defenders as hypocrites in his October 5 column. But Lewis laments that at a time when U.S. politics have become so tribal, the very fact that Walker isn’t Warnock is enough for Walker’s evangelical defenders — who Lewis compares to former President Donald Trump’s evangelical defenders.
“It’s worth pointing out that Walker strongly denies the allegations, even though his own conservative son obviously believes the evidence,” Lewis explains. “It’s also worth noting that: (1) Walker’s ex-wife has accused him of holding a gun to her head and threatening to kill her, and (2) he has acknowledged fathering multiple illegitimate children. This is to say that conservatives never should have supported Walker, even before this latest bombshell allegation.”
Lewis continues, “Likewise, the thrice-married casino magnate (Donald) Trump had an incredibly checkered past long before the ‘Access Hollywood’ video dropped. And after becoming president, it was revealed that he had allegedly had sex with a porn star just months after his wife, Melania Trump, gave birth to their child. This revelation, like the ‘Access Hollywood’ video, barely made a dent in his support. Trump, of course, famously declared that he could shoot someone on 5th Avenue and not lose any voters. As it turns out, he was probably right.”
The Christian Right, Lewis emphasizes, is quick to rationalize its support for Trump and Walker.
“At the risk of sounding trite, this situation is especially hypocritical for a party that rightly, in my opinion, felt Bill Clinton deserved impeachment and argued that character mattered,” Lewis argues. “Let’s be honest. Character doesn’t matter. Today’s Christian conservatives and the Republican Party have concluded that we are in a war with the left. And in wars, we do not have any room for niceties like policing our own side — or being concerned with silly things like character. Warriors have to do gruesome and immoral things sometimes. This explanation can and has been used to cover a multitude of sins.”
When Republicans allowed Donald Trump to “hijack the Republican Party,” Lewis laments, they “sent a message loud and clear that values don’t matter.”
“The fact that Christian conservative groups and the Republican Party are immediately rallying to support (Walker) demonstrates that the conservative movement is decadent and depraved,” Lewis writes. “So go ahead, conservative Republican politicians, grab women by their privates. Pay for abortions. It doesn’t matter what you do. Character doesn’t count. Family values are for suckers.”
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