Christian Walker turns his online influence against his father, Herschel
It’s a theme of Christian Walker: men should not cheat on their wives and should be present in the lives of their children. Recent allegations involving Maroon 5 singer Adam Levine, for example, have spurred After that a video of Walker on the subject.
What’s remarkable about this video, however, is when it was posted: July 2021. Before his father announced his candidacy for the United States Senate. And long before Christian Walker used his modest but well-maintained online platform this week to brand his father a hypocrite and a liar shortly after the Daily Beast reported that Herschel Walker had paid for an abortion in 2009.
The Washington Post has not independently confirmed the report, and Herschel Walker denies it.
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When Herschel Walker announced his candidacy in August 2021, Christian Walker was the only child he was generally known to have had; it has since been revealed that he has three more.
Christian Walker was immediately in favor of his father’s candidacy, share Donald Trump’s endorsement of his father shortly after the announcement and publication a video of him kissing Herschel Walker at a campaign event in Mar-a-Lago in December.
What changed, says the young Walker, is that his father was not forthcoming about his past. In a video posted to Twitter on Tuesday morning, Christian Walker Explain the passage.
“I made an event last year when we were told he was going to move on from his past and hold himself accountable,” the son said. “None of that happened. Everything was a lie.
It was tame compared to the tweets that followed the Daily Beast report.
“You weren’t a ‘family man’ when you left us for [have sex with] a group of women, threatened to kill us and made us move 6 times in 6 months because of your violence”, Walker wrote on Twitter on Monday evening. “…[H]dare to lie and act as if you were a “moral, Christian and upright man”. You have lived a life of DESTROYING the lives of others. How dare you.”
You’ve probably noticed a theme here: Christian Walker’s track record is clearly defined thanks to his energetic use of social media. And his prolific use of social media is part of a seemingly deliberate effort to establish himself as an online influencer in a largely unoccupied niche: conservative, black and gay. He rose to prominence criticizing the Black Lives Matter protests in 2020, generating a following in part through ironic or critical comments in his videos.
This trip is not unique. Taking right-wing positions — sincerely or not — is a viable route to building an audience, as The New York Times explained in the context of Facebook last year. Trump’s false claims about voter fraud have fueled an ecosystem of social media influence that right-wing voices have worked to tap into. The magic of the internet is that, if harnessed intelligently, an audience can be cobbled together around almost anything: dressing like animals, analyzing sci-fi TV episodes, theorizing about secret satanic plots . It’s a gold rush in which there are a lot of big nuggets to be mined.
Most of Walker’s messages center on what the right fury of the day turns out to be. A recent series, for example, focused on his move from California to Florida, where he continued to tout the leadership of Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis. In other posts, he takes advantage of his identity to denounce pride month Where lament the woes of white men – a well-worn path to appeal to the right.
Walker also has an online store for a brand called “CANCL”, in which he is shown wearing both a sweatshirt that reads “CANCELLED” and sweatpants that read “CANCEL ME”. He does not shy away from contradictions.
It seems likely that his father’s campaign might at one time have thought that his son’s online following – not huge by modern influencer standards, but substantial – would be an advantage. As Christian Walker pointed out Tuesday morning, however, he has not actively promoted his father’s candidacy in recent months, despite, he says, receiving various solicitations to do so. Instead, he occasionally revisited this theme from his July 2021 video: Men need to take responsibility for their children. Not the kind of message Herschel Walker’s campaign wants Republican voters – already uncertain about the nominee – to focus on.
Christian Walker’s criticism obviously frustrated his father’s allies. One, speaking to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Greg Bluestein, dropped any possible Herschel Walker loss at his son’s feet – but declined to say so officially.
Officially, this is not the campaign line. When the Washington Post learned of his son’s comments, the Herschel Walker campaign pointed to a tweet from the candidate.
“I LOVE my son no matter what”, the candidate wrote.
This prompted a furious retort. “If you loved your children, you would raise them,” Christian Walker wrote, “instead of running for a Senate race to boost your ego.”
That tweet – unlike so many other times the young Walker rushed to share his anger – was quickly deleted.
Taylor Lorenz contributed to this report.