The Herschel Walker Fake Credentials Scandal: Beyond The Fact That It’s Lying, Why Do Public Figures Do This?

I don’t understand this kind of thing at all.

CNN did a deep dive into the educational boasts of Trump-backed Republican Senate candidate Herschel Walker, the former NFL star and college running back legend, and discovered that he had been inflating his scholarly achievements to a ridiculous degree. He has said for years (and had the claim on his campaign website) that he graduated in the top 1% of his class at the University of Georgia. Nope. He was a B student or worse. He didn’t even graduate, though that’s the norm for pro athletes.About his high school years, the candidate said in a 2017 motivational speech, “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.” But he wasn’t the valedictorian at Johnson County High School. His website now says that Walker graduated “top of his class” (so why wasn’t he the valedictorian?  The Heisman Winners page for Walker still says he was the honored speaker on graduation.

Why do so many people in high profile professions do this? (I keep thinking of Senator Richard Blumenthal, who for years claimed to have been in combat in Vietnam.) Of course it shows a willingness to deceive for personal gain and betray the public’s trust, but in this day of easily obtainable digital information, making false claims about credentials and achievements is just plain stupid…or shall I say incompetent and irresponsible? Walker isn’t stupid, but he apparently thinks everyone else is. He’s a Republican, a conservative, and a Trump supporter. Why didn’t he know that the mainstream media would be looking for dirt, especially when it is desperate to stop a “red wave” in November?

Did he think that because nobody bothered to track down and highlight aspects of Barack Obama’s past life before he was elected President, that reporters would extend the same boon to him? Why would he think that?

Maybe he thinks that his supporters and a majority of the Georgia voters just care that his football achievements were genuine, and cheating on his resume doesn’t matter because “Everybody does it.” On that gamble, he could be right.

You’ll note that I wrote Senator Richard Blumenthal.

 

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