From the Left



Is Ye, Kanye West, the New Face of Black Conservatism? How About Herschel Walker?

Clarence Page, Tribune Content Agency on

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell raised more than a few eyebrows when he criticized “candidate quality” in his own party’s field as a major obstacle to flipping the now-50-50 Senate back to Republican control.

That’s a nice way of saying too many of their candidates have serious electability issues. They appeared to be flawed, too extreme or too inexperienced to win mainstream voters.

I have long raised similar questions about shakiness in the quality of rising Black conservative voices.

Take, for example, Georgia Senate Republican candidate Herschel Walker. Please.

The deservedly popular figure in football may have scored big for the University of Georgia and in the pros. But as an icon of family values, he’s no Booker T. Washington.

On the campaign trail, Walker has made headlines by trying to push back a steady stream of reports that he exaggerated his professional, academic and civic success, most recently in a televised debate in which he presented an honorary badge with no legal powers as evidence he had worked in law enforcement.


Also damaging were his acknowledgments that he fathered children he did not previously disclose, and his ex-girlfriend’s claim that he paid for her to have an abortion, despite his endorsement of a no-exceptions ban on abortion.

Yet, despite the scandals, his race against his incumbent opponent, Sen. Raphael Warnock, remained too close in the polls to count Walker out.

Ye, by contrast, isn’t running for office, despite his past announcements of considering a presidential run. For now, he’s raised his profile on the political right by agreeing this week to buy Parler, a social media app where right-wing trolls go to flame each other in their own version of unfettered “free speech.” Fun.

The Parler move was announced after Ye was kicked off Twitter and Instagram for antisemitic tweets — and after he met by phone with former President Donald Trump. Yet even some Trump loyalists slammed the comments. “I admire Kanye in many ways,” wrote Matt Schlapp, head of the very influential Conservative Political Action Coalition (CPAC). “But his harsh comments of Jews are offensive and wrong. Unite and Fight.”


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