Herschel Walker’s Problem with the Truth
The way he lies, it's no surprise Donald Trump endorsed him.
There was a boy who lived a few blocks from my childhood home in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. The boy (I’ll call him Jason) was younger than me, so we didn’t interact much. The one thing I remember about him was his prolific lying. For the most part, Jason‘s lies were the kind of harmless flights of fancy found in a child’s imagination.
Once, when Jason didn’t show up for a visit with one of my younger brothers, his excuse was that he was skydiving with his older brother. Aside from the fact that he was only ten or eleven years old, the problem with this tall tale was that everyone knew Jason’s brother was out of state. He was serving in the military. On another occasion, Jason told the entire neighborhood his parents allowed him to purchase a pet boa constrictor. To the neighborhood’s collective relief, Jason’s story wasn’t true.
The more I read about Herschel Walker’s Trump-endorsed candidacy in Georgia’s upcoming senate race, the more I’m reminded of Jason. Why? Because side from the fact that he can’t articulate a single cogent policy solution, refuses to debate his opponents, and has a history of violent behavior, the man is a compulsive liar. I only believe him when he says he played in the NFL because I saw him do so with my own two eyes.
Aside from Walker’s lies about his businesses, he’s lied about his education. For example, Walker has repeatedly said he was the valedictorian of his class in high school. But here’s what CNN’s KFile found out after looking into his claim:
According to the local newspaper The Wrightsville Headlight, at Walker's 1980 graduation he was not given the award for the student with the highest GPA in any academic subject. He did tie with another student for a leadership award based on participation in clubs and his GPA, and won numerous awards that year for his football achievements. While Walker was one of the ceremony's honor graduates, the article does not mention the school naming a valedictorian or a salutatorian.
A 15-year review of local press coverage did not find the school naming a valedictorian until 1994—when the paper acknowledged the school was naming a valedictorian and salutatorian for the first time in "many years."
And Walker has repeatedly said that he graduated from the University of Georgia in the top one percent of his class. In a 2017 motivational speech, Walker said this:
"And all of sudden I started going to the library, getting books, standing in front of a mirror reading to myself. So that Herschel that all the kids said was retarded become valedictorian of his class. Graduated University of Georgia in the top 1% of his class."
But according to multiple news reports, the Heisman Trophy winner did not finish at the top of his class. He doesn’t even have a degree from the University of Georgia. And as if that wasn’t bad enough, after being called out for lying about his UGA status, Walker now denies he ever claimed to have one.
As a person who doesn’t hold a college degree, I’ve never once considered lying about my academic background. For reasons, I cannot fathom, this happens more than you’d think. A while back, I wrote about how Heather Bresch, Senator Joe Manchin’s daughter, misrepresented her educational achievements on her resume. Even President Biden got busted once for inflating his law school performance. Perhaps it would be forgivable if that were the extent of Walker’s lying. But like the man who endorsed him, he’s taken dishonesty to a new level.
Herschel Walker lied about his work in a sketchy veterans group. He claimed to work with law enforcement, which isn’t true. In 2019, he lied to a group of soldiers at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, telling them he spent time with the FBI at Quantico. And don’t even get me started on the hypocrisy of Walker’s position on children growing up in fatherless households.
Walker’s candidacy raises a couple of questions.
First, why is Herschel Walker so dishonest? Money can’t be the reason because, although he doesn’t always pay his bills, Walker is supposedly stupendously rich. If we can rely on his financial disclosures, which is a leap of faith, Walker’s net worth is between $29 million and $65 million.
Also, why did The Former Guy endorse someone with so much baggage? Maybe it’s because Walker spent almost $200,000 at Mar-a-Lago since last December. Perhaps it’s because Herschel Walker and Donald Trump are so much alike.
One last story about my childhood friend.
He dropped by our house one day to tell us his parents bought him a horse for his birthday. Since we lived in a residential neighborhood, we took Jason’s claim with an enormous helping of salt. At this point, he was our neighborhood’s version of Aesop’s fable, The Boy Who Cried Wolf. No one believed anything he said.
Walking home from school a few days later, my brothers and I saw a sight we still laugh about today. In Jason’s front yard, a Shetland pony stood tied to a water hydrant by a long rope.
Unlike a certain senatorial candidate in Georgia, sometimes Jason actually told the truth.