And I just made up ‘transactionalism’ (I think?).
Georgia Republican Senate candidate Herschel Walker’s campaign has focused on out-of-wedlock children as a major campaign issue. Over the last few weeks, in a Fibonacci sequence of scandals, one story broke, identifying one out-of-wedlock child, then another story revealed yet another out-of-wedlock child, and now a third story suggests there are two more. At this pace, if there’s another revelation, it just might involve three kids… But I digress.
This led to many in the Coalition of the Sane to howl about the hypocrisy of both Walker and his supporters. But this misunderstands what is happening.
Republican voters have shown themselves to be far more concerned with how he would vote than what kind of person he is. In this sense, unlike too many Democrats who fanboi and fangrrl over candidates, they are coldly assessing how he’ll vote, not what kind of person he is. From their perspective, this is an existential crisis, and he can win and then vote ‘good’, then that’s all that matters. The social conservatives get their insanity and the corporate conservatives get their return to a Gilded Age economy.
That Walker is morally compromised only means he has to embrace these opinions all the more–he can’t fall back on personal character or reputation to win an election.
I sometimes wish Democratic voters would be more demanding and more calculating about those they nominate. They’re not your friends, just means to an end.