Robert Meyer
Is the addition of Moore really less for conservatives?
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By Robert Meyer
November 19, 2017

I first heard of Judge Roy Moore around the turn of this century. His posting of the Ten Commandments plaque and the subsequent placement of a monument in an Alabama courthouse, at his own expense, made him a darling of the late, great preacher/evangelist, Dr. James D. Kennedy. Dr. Kennedy featured Moore's activities during segments of some of his weekly television programs. After his first ouster as Supreme Court Chief Justice in Alabama, I lost track of him for a while. But then I was surprised to discover he was once again reelected to the position by the people of his state.

Unless you are Rip Van Winkle, you probably know that Moore was recently accused of sexual improprieties by several women. The alleged incidents took place decades ago. If you are a staunch supporter and admirer of Moore, you are in a difficult situation. Only a few days ago, a dear friend, who admired Judge Moore so much that he superimposed a picture of the judge on the cover of his first book, publicly admitted he could no longer vouch for Moore after hearing his responses in a television interview.

It was a sobering moment for me, because this friend is one who despite fierce political loyalties, always makes important decisions with his head and not his heart. He is one to graciously concede an issue to an opponent, if that individual honestly responds with a valid reprisal. Principle is always above expedience for him. His opinion, therefore, has great weight with me. It is not the same as some conservative pundit or columnist who drops Moore like a hot potato, just in case supporting him may eventually cost them credibility.

So what is one to do? First let's examine the historical context. Moore is caught up in a vortex of sensitivity that was heightened by the recent allegations of sexual harassment/misconduct by Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein. Politicians have notoriously been caught up in sexual scandals, in some cases the mainstream media even covered for them, or at least downplayed the allegations. When President Clinton was accused of predatory behavior by several women, a common response from people was that his personal life did not impair his official duties.

The next problem for Moore is his commitment to a rightwing/Christian agenda. Nearly every time a conservative politician has fallen from grace, that individual is excoriated less, it seems, for what he actually did, than that they claimed to support 'family values.' Historically normative precepts are despised by contemporary liberals. One way to suppress them is to ruin the individuals who claim to espouse these values.

One individual actually told me that a sexual impropriety committed by a conservative is worse than one committed by a liberal, because the conservative violated their own standard. Saul Alinski, in his manifesto Rules For Radicals, voiced the idea that the opponent must always be held to his own standard, without the antagonist themselves taking an open position. Moore is held captive to that innuendo and tactic by the left.

Moore is clearly anti-establishment. That makes him easily expendable to the Republican establishment, which explains why they could so quickly threw him under the bus. Some people have depicted this phenomenon as a Bannon v. McConnell power struggle at the root level. Many mainstream conservatives are embarrassed by Moore, but know they need to maintain the slim majority in the Senate for any hope of passing meaningful legislation. The political will of Republicans to defend Moore is lacking, while it existed for Democrats during the Clinton impeachment saga. There is even talk of expelling Moore if he wins the upcoming election in Alabama.

Finally, it seems intuitively improbable that all the women making accusations against Moore are part of some grand conspiracy, though Hillary Clinton made that very allegation when her own husband was accused, and intuitive improbability ultimately didn't matter. Moore's own explanations of the allegations left much to be desired as well.

So what is my position? Well, I doubt Roy Moore will drop out voluntarily. Those who followed his career know that he doesn't quit. They know what he has been through and that he is the epitome of resilience. Moore has made great personal sacrifice for his principles, but hasn't wavered.

That's one of the things bothering me. If you are truly guilty, why not just bow out and let this all go away? If one is, in this case, guilty unless proven innocent, how would Moore actually vindicate himself from these incidents with such a cold trail (accusations that are decades old)?

Another thing that disturbs me is the late revelation of this information. Moore has run at least five political campaigns since any of this has happened, so why wait until after a senatorial primary election to release all the accusations? That presents more questions than it answers.

Some have suggested Moore drop out for the sake of the conservative movement. But how is Moore's election to the position really less for conservatives? How does it hamper the movement unless the charges are true?

Here's my suggestion. Leave the election of Moore to the people of Alabama who know him best. If Judge Moore stays in this race for Senate, then we must thoroughly investigate this issue. Place Moore under oath along with all of his accusers and get testimony under the penalty of potential perjury. That is the same standard applied to anyone filing a tax return.

As a Christian, I fully understand that the most righteous-appearing person can be a monster in reality. Judge Moore could be guilty – but I want to know that for sure. If Moore just drops out of the race based on appearances of impropriety, we may never know. The standard for criminal prosecution probably will never be met. That would also set a dangerous precedent – that the appearance of impropriety or even the innuendo that impropriety occurred should be adequate to disqualify a person from politics. But if Moore turns out not to be guilty, we must take the false accusations seriously as well. I, for one, want a definitive resolution to this issue.

© Robert Meyer

 

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Robert Meyer

Robert Meyer is a hardy soul who hails from the Cheesehead country of the upper midwest... (more)

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