Monday, August 22, 2022


To many of us, Herschel Walker seems like a train wreck of a Senate candidate -- but even though he's trailing incumbent Raphael Warnock in the polls, he's keeping the race a lot closer than Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania or Blake Masters in Arizona.

There's one obvious reason for this: Georgia is in the South and Walker is a former college football star. That gets you to 45% in the polls all by itself.

But another reason is that ignorance doesn't offend Republican voters, many of whom regard it as wisdom. They've felt this way for decades.

So today we're talking about this:
In an appearance Sunday, according to an account by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Walker reiterated his opposition to the Inflation Reduction Act, signed by Biden last week, that invests in curbing global warming, among other things.

“They continue to try to fool you that they are helping you out. But they’re not,” Walker said. “Because a lot of money, it’s going to trees. Don’t we have enough trees around here?”
That won't upset Republican voters any more than they were upset in 1966 when Ronald Reagan, the greatest Republican hero of the modern era (at least until Donald Trump came along), said:
... we’ve got to recognize that where the preservation of a natural resource like the redwoods is concerned, that there is a common sense limit. I mean, if you’ve looked at a hundred thousand acres or so of trees — you know, a tree is a tree, how many more do you need to look at?
Republican voters hate environmentalism, and really hate the kinds of people who favor it. They think we're know-it-alls. They think we consider ourselves smarter than everyone else. So Walker's simple-minded dismissal of environmentalism won't make these voters wince. It will make them cheer.

Reagan also said, "Trees cause more pollution than automobiles do," and repeatedly insisted that they're responsible for nearly all nitrogen oxide pollution. (He was wrong.) Republicans just want to hear that their enemies are wrong and they never have to do anything they don't want to do. Reagan gave them the reassurances they wanted and he's still revered as a result. Herschel Walker talks the same way, so we really shouldn't assume that he can't win.

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