Herschel Walker is no Kari Lake. Good for him

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The candidate, when met with defeat after a hard-fought race, was everything we expect to see here in America.

Or should expect, anyway.

“I want to thank all of you … because we’ve had a tough journey, have we not?” Herschel Walker told his supporters on Tuesday evening. “But one of the things I said when they called the race, I said the numbers doesn’t look like they’re going to add up.”

Contrast that with Kari Lake, when she lost the Arizona governor’s race last month.

“Arizonans know BS when they see it,” she charged.

Walker bowed out with dignity. Lake did not

'Never stop dreaming': Herschel Walker speaks after defeat in Georgia Senate race
'Never stop dreaming': Herschel Walker speaks after defeat in Georgia Senate race

As candidates, Lake and Walker had a lot in common. Both were Trump proteges, America First to the end (or almost, in Lake’s case). Both were flawed, Walker from his personal baggage and Lake from her utter arrogance.

But give Walker credit. He had the grace and the good sense to concede his Georgia runoff loss to Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock. There were no cries of conspiracy, no shrieks about voter suppression or fraud or a fixed election.

Walker bowed out with dignity, following the honorable path taken by so many other America First candidates across the country this year when it was clear that America was over it.

In court:Lake to keep fighting as advisers debate how they lost

“One of the things I want to tell you is you never stop dreaming,” Walker said on Tuesday. “I don't want any of you to stop dreaming. I don’t want any you to stop believing in America. I want you to believe in America and continue to believe in the Constitution and believe in our elected officials. Most of all, continue to pray for them.”

Compare that with Lake, who over the last month has pitched a fit from coast to coast, a seething staple on social media and on every conservative newscast and podcast in the land.

“This doesn’t feel like America,” she cried.

“The whole system is a joke,” she moaned.

“This is a debacle,” she proclaimed. “And we need to fight this.”

“Arizona. America,” she said, in one of her patented videos. “If we do not stand up and speak up right now about the most dishonest elections in the history of Arizona, I truly fear for our future.”

The election wasn't flawless. But it also wasn't rigged

People arrive before the polls open to line up on Election Day in Gilbert, Arizona.
People arrive before the polls open to line up on Election Day in Gilbert, Arizona.

Me? I think America will be just fine. Arizona, too.

It’s a given that Maricopa County made of mess of things on Election Day. Printers that printed ballot markings too light for tabulators to read. Lines that stretched for several hours in places. The county needs to answer for that.

But Election Day voters who encountered the printer problems could instead put their ballots into a secure box, to be counted later.

And those who encountered lines could instead go elsewhere if they didn’t want to wait. There were 223 vote centers and the county kept a well-publicized running tab of wait times at each on its website.

As for those who were forced to vote provisional ballots? The county says the vast majority of them were counted, once the county verified that the voters hadn’t already cast a ballot.

Voters turned out in near record numbers this year and by every indication, their votes were counted. They just didn’t vote for extremists.

Yet there is Lake, whining on about thousands of disenfranchised voters.

Anybody seen them?

Lake will keep fighting, and fighting

The good news, of course, is that Lake will have her day in court. She can file a lawsuit challenging the results this week, bringing forth her much-touted evidence of the many ways in which she was robbed.

“We feel very confident in our court case,” she recently said. “We always have to pray that we get a judge who loves this country. A judge who will be fair. A judge who understands what’s at stake."

And there it is.  If a judge dismisses her lawsuit for lack of evidence, he (or she) will be a judge who doesn’t love his country. An activist who clearly is in the bag for the Democrats.

And the fight will go on. And on.

But with every passing day, there comes a sense that Lake, through her own words and actions, is losing ground. Every day, she’s pouring another bucket of bracing water over any still-flickering flames of the America First movement.

Most of the country, including most of Arizona, is moving on.

If Lake really was a patriot, she would bow to the will of the people – even a will so narrowly decided as this one.

It’s what we do in America.

Or most of us, anyway.

Instead, we in Arizona get this:

“It was completely obvious that there was a sabotage of election day going on,” Lake said in this, Week Four of her scream fest. “Nobody believes Katie Hobbs won fair and square.”

Compare that with Herschel Walker, who, in the end, really did put Georgia and America first.

“You can't blame no one,” Walker said on Tuesday, of his loss. “Because I want you to continue to believe in this country and believe in our elected officials and most of all, stay together.”

Reach Roberts at laurie.roberts@arizonarepublic.com. Follow her on Twitter at @LaurieRoberts.

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This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Herschel Walker proved he's no Kari Lake and good for him