IDIOT OF THE YEAR No. 1: Herschel Walker
2022 is the year Herschel Walker rebranded himself as a generational IDIOT OF THE YEAR talent. There had been glimpses before, but he showcased his full-range of idiocy in 2022. Each week, the former UGA and NFL running back humiliated himself in pursuit of power and influence he seemed to have no plans to yield it for, beyond the sheer ambition of it all. He repeatedly doubled down on his unfortunate President Camacho imitation 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 include the runoff) and returned to a personal life left in shambles.
Recruited to run for Raphael Warnock’s Georgia senate seat as the token black candidate in Donald Trump’s obsequious rogues’ gallery of unelectable election-denying candidates, Walker was among the worst of the worst. If you lumped together a scouting report of the biggest Trump-backed losers to run for office during the recent election cycle, none boast Walker’s collective lousiness.
He’d terrorized his ex-wife, alienated the only son he acknowledged the existence of — denigrating his looks and intelligence — called his then-wife’s genes awful, possibly ran afoul of several tax laws during his campaign, and was regarded as a shameless and obvious habitual liar to his own campaign staffers. However, what’s concerning is that those traits may have been what whisked him through a GOP primary so easily he didn’t even show up at debates as long as he brown-nosed Trump. And that’s just the preamble to his agonizingly duff general election performance art.
He represented himself to be a born-again Christian, yet hid multiple children born out of wedlock decades apart from his own campaign and has reportedly been an absentee father to his children. These revelations emerged not long after he railed against fatherless black children. In his fervor to skewer African-Americans to appeal for support from a conservative white voting bloc that bristles at any examination of its own decades of bigotry, he denied the existence of systemic racism. That feature was instrumental to the Walker campaign.
Over a summer in which a conservative Supreme Court repealed the precedent set by Roe v. Wade, Herschel Walker had the gall to propose insane total abortion bans. Walker did this while presumably knowing that the women whose abortions he’d paid for would hear this. Eventually, that’s exactly what happened as two women came forward with receipts in the form of checks to blast his blatant hypocrisy.
As a campaigner, Walker was a dud. His oratorical skills were akin to a fifth grader explaining Cloud Atlas. He compared his résumé to Barack Obama’s without a hint of sarcasm and his policy expertise was in fictional fairy tale creatures. During the run-off, Walker fixated on attacking the transgender community and eventually was given chaperones during media appearances to keep him from sticking his foot into his own mouth.
Things got so dire for the Walker campaign that the Republican Lieutenant Governor of Georgia publicly expressed his inability to to vote for “one of the worst candidates” in GOP history. Walker earned his place in infamy and burrowed back underneath the rock he climbed out of, but not before embarrassing the state of Georgia throughout 2022.