Know Nothing

“He’s as blind as he can be
Just sees what he wants to see
Nowhere man, can you see me at all.” — John Lennon

Two of my favorite songs on my playlist are “Vegetable Man” and “Scream Thy Last Scream” by Pink Floyd. They were not officially released until the last decade because the band didn’t want to make them available for public consumption. They represented a time in Syd Barrett’s life when he was in a really bad way. Roger Waters said that they were akin to showing naked pictures of an aging actress.

They felt somewhat exploitive to them, but they are beautiful songs when you know the backstory. In a similar way, saying anything about the rise and fall of Hershel Walker feels wrong in many instances. You have someone that is very clearly not all there. You can’t know whether a former athlete has CTE until you do the final autopsy, but we are about as sure about this as we can of anyone that played in the NFL.

However, Walker represents something bigger than himself. Everything old is new again in politics. Those that know U.S. history remember learning about the Know Nothing Party. The similarities don’t just end with the name. The platform is also pretty similar when we consider the brand of conservative politicians coming out these days. Give those pre-Civil War guys Twitter and 24 hour news and I imagine they would have come up with something eerily similar.

Wjat can we say about Walker? He said he graduated with honors from the University of Georgia. He didn’t graduate. He said he was in law enforcement. He wasn’t. He fathered multiple children out of wedlock. He didn’t tell us the truth about that. The children we do know about all seem to be coming out against him.

Finally, we get the news that he funded an abortion in 2009. Yet, this is where you get into a pickle if you are a true progressive. We want people to be able to have the choice to have an abortion. So, ultimately do we care whether he funded one? The quick and simple answer is that we don’t, but that isn’t really the point. The point is that you don’t get to run on a sanctimonious platform when you have entire collection of skeletons in the closet.

Watching conservatives fumble around with representatives and candidates that are clearly intellectually deficient is hilarious on one level, scary on another, and just pitiful on the rest. Whether it’s not know that wanton murder doesn’t refer to the soup found in Chinese restaurants or watching Walker be told that the lieutenant governor said something about him, watch him ask who the lieutenant governor was, be told who he was, and then ask what that guy was currently doing.

Commenting about such things is the true no win scenario. No one should make fun of half-wits. It would be akin to making fun of someone with a physical handicap. Yet, here we are and this is the field that the GOP has laid down before us. At some point we need to put the blame on the powers that be that parade these folks out there for us to exploit and laugh at. Laughing feels utterly awful, but at a certain point you just can’t help it.

Author: sbarzilla

I have written three books about baseball including The Hall of Fame Index. I also write for You can follow me on twitter @sbarzilla.

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