On Tuesday December 12, the good people of Alabama will decide whether to vote for Roy Moore, the Republican candidate who is accused of multiple accounts of inappropriate sexual contact with underage girls. Beside Moore on the ballot is Doug Jones, a pro-abortion candidate who generally supports the policies associated with his party’s secular progressive platform.
Should the good Republicans of Alabama vote for Moore, for Jones, or for a write-in candidate?
Should conservatives across the nation support Moore or speak out against his candidacy?
GOP leaders are divided.
Some Republican leaders support Moore’s candidacy. President Trump, for example, supports Moore because, “The future of this country cannot afford to lose a seat in the very, very close United States Senate.” Similarly, Alabama’s governor Kay Ivey argues that significant policy issues are more important than Moore’s past.
Other Republican leaders argue unequivocally that Alabamans should disown Moore. Cory Gardner, chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee declared that “Roy Moore will never have the support of the senatorial committee. We will never endorse him. We won’t support him.” Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell says that Moore will “immediately” face a Senate Ethics Committee probe should he win. Speaker Paul Ryan has repeatedly called for Moore to drop out of the race.
But GOP leaders are not the only persons who must make up their minds about Moore. The good people of Alabama must cast their votes, and conservatives across the nation must make our voices heard on this matter of national significance.
Let’s face it: the Roy Moore situation is a sticky wicket.
Moore denies all charges, repeatedly declaring that he does not know the women and that the charges are malicious. And although Moore has not undergone trial and been found guilty, Americans do not have the luxury of waiting for a trial before the election is held. We must make a decision now, however tentative our judgment might be.
The weight of the evidence is against Moore. The testimony of the women seems generally persuasive. At least nine accusers have given their names and exposed themselves to tough questioning, knowing their testimony would cause them pain and public harassment. At least four of the women are Trump supporters, Republicans, or vocally devout Christians. Additionally, there are at least thirty persons who have corroborated details of the accusations.
On the one hand, if we do not support Moore, the nation will be stuck with a pro-abortion Democrat whose votes will line up fairly well with the secular progressive agenda. We will be giving ground to media outlets and personalities who have slighted conservatives and mocked us for decades. We might find ourselves with one less vote during the next Supreme Court Justice confirmation. Adding insult to injury, we’ll have to live with the knowledge that today’s left-wing moralists are yesterday’s supporters of Harasser-in-Chief Bill Clinton.
On the other hand, if we do support Moore, the short-term victory will come at a considerable cost to vulnerable women, our own integrity, and the long-term health of the GOP. The moment Moore is seated, his situation almost assuredly will be investigated by the Ethics Committee and might eventuate in a vote to censure or expel him. During mid-term elections, news media “will hang him around the neck of every Republican candidate as Democrats try to drive turnout” among women, independents, and younger voters who rightly think that personal character matters for public office.
Even though a substantive case can be made for supporting Moore, the right thing is to withdraw support for his candidacy and send a resounding message to the nation.
In the words of Founding Father Noah Webster, “When a citizen gives his vote to a man of known immorality, he abuses his civic responsibility [and] betrays the interest of his country.”
In the words of Proverbs 14:34, “Righteousness exalts a nation.”
Although a public official’s private life does not always bear on his public office, and although public officials should not be held to unreasonable moral standards, the accusations against Moore are serious. If they are true, he preyed on the unprotected, treating them as objects or instruments of sexual gratification. And if so, he has not confessed or repented and thus his morally and legally indefensible acts should be politically devastating also.
Now is not the time for the GOP to change its long-standing conviction that personal character matters for public office. Now is not the time to send a message to younger voters, women, and independents that morality no longer matters in the GOP. Now is not the time to forsake all credibility in our rebukes of Kennedy, Clinton, Weinstein, Lauer, Franken, and others.
It is possible that Moore is innocent. I have always respected him personally and hope that, against appearances, he is vindicated. And yet, even if he is later shown to be innocent, support for him now would send the wrong signal in light of the overwhelming public perception that he is guilty.
What is best for our nation, for vulnerable women, and for the Republican party?
To embrace and act on the conviction that personal character matters for public office, that we will not elect to office candidates of whom there are serious questions or allegations concerning their respect for women, and that we are willing to accept a short-term electoral setback in order to sustain our long-term integrity and viability.
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Excellent assessment of the particulars of this issue. Although he hasnt been convicted (yet?), it says something that the GOP looked the other way during the Presidential election re: sexual harassment & now seems to be again turning its gaze away from potential child molestation. True or not it doesn’t really matter at this point. The real question is ‘Are we a party that will nominate & throw our support to a candidate accused of these very inappropriate actions?’
It seems the answer is that they are. The thing the rest of the country is wondering is will Alabamans accept this or reject it & demand a higher standard for elected officials?
We shall see…
“The testimony of the women seems generally persuasive”—to whom? To NeverTrumpers? Here are Professor is caught begging the question.
The accussers are “vocally devout Christians”—is judge Moore “avocally devout Christians” as well? How does this objectively verifies the claim.
“There are at least thirty persons who have corroborated details of the accusations—circumstancial evidence against a man that has prpobably millions of political enemies. I am surprised the Professor is not listed as one of them.
“The short-term victory will come at a considerable cost to vulnerable women, our own integrity, and the long-term health of the GOP…The right thing is to withdraw support for his candidacy and send a resounding message to the nation. More begging the question by the Professor. The scholar continues to argued as if the allegations have been proven.
And then the biggest flaws of this argument, when he attempts to use Noah Webster and the Bible to support his argument. “When a citizen gives his vote to a man of known immorality, he abuses his civic responsibility [and] betrays the interest of his country.” But don’t we know judge Moore has a distinguished history of consistently clear civil service, with a well-known history of fighting for what is right even at professional, political cost.
“In the words of Proverbs 14:34, “Righteousness exalts a nation.”—This means that judge Moore should be the only choice since he is a righteous man. I wonder if there is any in Southern Seminary faculty or any of their churches/missions that have a PROVEN (not alleged) past worse than what the judge is accused of? Should the Convention start the Inquisition to purge, or should they instead hold that what God has deemed clean, we should not deem unclean?
I see the professor is not ultimately opposed to doing wrong, so long as it is what he is willing to do wrong; so long as he agrees, doing wrong could be the best choice.
Our Professor does not offer much sympathy to those that see it differently. The Professor is willing to do wrong—to “take a chance” at condemning the judge even though “it is possible that Moore is innocent.”
What if others decide to assume the judge to be innocent until proven guilty? Isn’t that a viable choice for the Professor? IS that consistent with love, or Love?
I will leave it to the voter and God, perhaps at the expense of not heeding the Professor.
I think you’ve got it just right. If the voters of Alabama should end up choosing Moore, they will be saying something negative about themselves, their state and their worldview. Moore would not be highly regarded by his fellow legislators, and his effectiveness would be limited at best. Why can’t we get better people to run for public office?