HUNTER SAVERY ’21
The character of American politics has changed markedly in the past few years. In the wake of Donald Trump, unsavory revelations about politicians that would have previously disqualified them from office seem to draw little attention outside of MSNBC and Politico. Nowhere is this more clear than in the case of Alabama’s Republican candidate for Senate, Roy Moore. The conservative former judge has long been a source of controversy as a far-right politician with anti-Muslim and anti-homosexual views as well as ties to white nationalist groups. In recent weeks, it has come to light that Moore has a long history as a sexual predator. A growing number of women are coming forward with stories of being victims of assault or unwanted sexual advances from the Alabama Republican. In most cases, the victims were teenagers while Moore was in his thirties or older. In spite of this, the Alabama GOP is standing by their man, which raises the question: is there any story that can take down a politician in 2017?
Alabama has not elected a Democrat to the United States Senate since 1992, but according to a Fox News poll, Doug Jones, the Democratic candidate, is leading 50% to 42%. But polls are not the whole story; Hillary Clinton led Donald Trump in just about every poll going into the 2016 election, and everyone knows how that ended. However, it is no small feat for a Democratic candidate to have a lead in Alabama, and the last round of elections saw a Democratic sweep, carrying liberals into the governor’s office in Virginia and New Jersey, in addition to state and county legislatures across the country. So it is conceivable that Jones could win, but the fact remains that an alleged pedophile is the Republican nominee for Senator. While the National Republican Senatorial Committee withdrew support earlier this week, as did the Republican National Committee, Moore is still being backed by the Alabama GOP and has said publicly that he has no intention of leaving the race. And although Republicans in Washington have finally come around to rejecting Moore, the President of the United States has remained silent on the issue. The White House is not only comfortable offering tacit support to foreign human rights abusers like Vladimir Putin, but the Trump administration also refuses to condemn a sexual predator seeking public office in America. Well as long as they are Republican, today President Trump found time to refer to Democratic Senator Al Franken, recently embroiled in a groping scandal, as “Al Frankenstein.” The White House has had plenty of time to denounce Roy Moore as the creep that he is, but they have again shown their true colors.
Unfortunately, a lack of condemnation is not the most egregious response Roy Moore has received during this scandal. Moore’s supporters have found some creative ways to explain his behavior. One pro-Moore pastor even likened the senate candidate’s pursuit of underaged women to the biblical relationship between Mary and Joseph. This comparison is valid in the eyes of some of Moore’s supporters. Mary, the mother of God, and her husband Joseph are somehow like Roy Moore and his victims, the argument being that Saint Joseph was allegedly twice Mary’s age. Not only is that offensive to Christians everywhere and borderline blasphemous, it is not even true. Biblical scholars point out that there is no evidence that Joseph was older than Mary; in fact, the Bible never mentions his age at all. Saint Joseph is a far cry from Roy Moore, who followed teenagers around at a shopping mall. Another wonderful and brilliant justification out of the Moore Camp came during an interview on MSNBC in which Roy Moore’s attorney suggested that network anchor Ali Velshi would be familiar with the concept of dating teenagers, presumably because Velshi is Muslim. Bigotry and support for pedophilia in one interview; what a charming campaign.
Alabama is faced with a difficult choice- elect a racist, anti-gay, sexual predator or, elect a Democrat. Since Roy Moore has no intention of leaving the race and the Alabama GOP remains at his back, this will be the choice. Moore may have dipped below Jones in the polls, but there are still many Alabamans supporting him, which is deeply troubling. Moore is a sexual predator and has no place in American government. This should be an easy choice and in any other time it might be, but this is 2017, in the age of Trump.