When first reading his name in headlines, it rang a familiar bell. Joe Walsh. The guy from the Eagles. The world-renowned guitar player who had a hand in songs like “Hotel California,” “Witchy Woman” and “Life in the Fast Lane.”
Upon further investigation, it was easy to see that wasn’t the case at all.
This election cycle has been highly unusual and undoubtedly untraditional, and it doesn’t stop with the primary challenge of Donald Trump by controversial Republican candidate Joe Walsh.
Walsh, much like Trump, doesn’t have much of a storied political history. Walsh served as a representative in Illinois’ 8th congressional district from 2011 to 2013.
He began his career as a social worker focusing on education and job skills in low-income areas, and through this work became politically active. After a failed campaign for Congress and the Illinois House of Representatives, Walsh was eventually elected to the House in 2010. Although Walsh received little support from the Republican Party, he was a popular figure amongst Tea Party conservatives.
There are some issues not only with Walsh, but the idea that he could somehow grasp the Republican nomination for the 2020 election. The first issue is that Donald Trump is still highly favored among his base from the 2016 election, therefore Walsh’s candidacy is certainly considered a long shot.
He’s trying to appeal to anti-Trump conservatives, but he may fall short because of the rise in populism among candidates across the board.
As if we needed to continue to fuel the ever-burning fire of today’s political climate, Walsh’s frequent controversial statements do just that. There is a pattern of indecency that will forever plague Walsh, starting with racial slurs that he expressed on his radio show in 2014.
Walsh was discussing the controversy around the name of the Washington Redskins football team. During his show, he expressed confusion about why the station would allow the word “redskin” to be used but not other racial slurs. He later tweeted about the incident, “I’m trying to have an honest, adult conversations about words without resorting to alphabet soup phrases (C-word, N-word, etc).”
The next controversial statement came from his Twitter account following the fatal shooting of police officers in Dallas in 2016. Walsh tweeted, “This is now war. Watch out Obama. Watch out Black Lives Matter punks. Real America is coming after you.”
This statement was taken as a threat by some and was likely taken as a rallying call to the people that felt the same way he did. These are just a couple examples of the extremely bizarre and damning comments made by Walsh.
Now comes the interesting part.
After being all in on Trump during the 2016 election cycle, Walsh has since done a 180 on his personal view of Trump and his presidency. As proven by his appearance on “This Week,” a Sunday morning political show on ABC.
“I’m running because he’s unfit. Somebody needs to step up and there needs to be an alternative. The country is sick of this guy’s tantrum — he’s a child,” said Walsh.
For a once staunch supporter of President Trump, that’s quite a turnaround.
For now, Walsh is pegging himself as the conservative alternative to Trump, which may be true to a point, but to say he has an actual legitimate shot at the White House is something that any realistic person would likely doubt to be true.
With the impeachment inquiry hearings nearing, it’s hard to say what will happen not only within the Republican primary, but more so the presidency as a who