Friday, December 15, 2017

Thoughts on Roy Moore's loss in Alabama

I was conflicted over Roy Moor's candidacy. The rational part of myself said a win for Roy Moore would be an albatross around the neck of the Republican Party and lead to future losses in 2020 and beyond. He would be a distraction.  He would be a fund raising gold mine for Democrats. He would be the poster boy for why people should not vote Republican.  Republicans are holding on to a small sliver of the electorate but demographics are not in our favor.  Republicans must make inroads in to millennials and Hispanics and African-Americans. Roy Moore would alienate those people. Also, Republicans are losing white college-educated women. Roy Moore's victory would likely cause further loss of this group.

Roy Moore
I also reasoned that we should do the right thing and not elect a person with credible collaborated charges of hitting on 14 year-old girls when he was a 32 year-old man.  I know Democrats a few years ago elected as president a man who had collaborated credible charges of rape alleged against him.  In addition to the charges of rape, Bill Clinton settled several law suites alleging sexual harassment. Still, I reasoned, we should do the right thing.  Just because Democrats put party above principle is no reason for Republicans to do the same thing. We are better people than Democrats.

On the other hand, while I concluded I thought it best if Roy Moore lose the election, I could not help but be pleased when it looked like he was ahead in the polls. There is something satisfying about poking self-righteous pompous liberals in the eye. Also, tribalism is a hard thing to overcome. I want to cheer for my team.  With Republicans only having a two seat majority, shrinking that margin to one seat could endanger the Republican agenda. Some of my feelings of only moderate revulsion at Moore's creepy behavior toward young girls is that my mother married when she was only 15 and my grandmother married when she was 13.  While a thirty year-old man cruising teen girls in the mall is creepy, it is not quite pedophilia. And, it was only allegations and it was forty years ago and the timing of the revelation was suspect.  Maybe he had an attraction to young girls a long time ago but is now cured of that.  Maybe he changed.  Many good men may have feet of Clay. The allegations against Moore are not nearly as serious as the numerous allegations against Bill Clinton, I would say to myself,  and maybe Democrats are right and scoring for our team is preferable to standing for morality and losing an election.  It was not always easy to maintain my preference that Roy Moore lose the election.

One thing that made me come down on the side of wanting Moore to lose is that Moore represents the lunatic fringe of the Republican Party.  He has twice defied the Supreme Court. The first time was in 2003 when he defied a federal court order requiring him to remove a large granite Ten Commandments monument from the Alabama Supreme Court building. This is a monument that he himself had caused to be placed there. The second time was when he issued an order to lower courts in Alabama that they were not to issue same-sex marriage licenses. This was after the U.S. Supreme Court decided, in Obergefell v. Hodges, that the Constitution guaranteed a right to same-sex marriage.  I am sympathetic with Roy Moore in both of these cases, but one cannot just disobey a federal court order.  We are a nation of laws.  Every State Supreme Court judge cannot decide the law for his state.  There are means to legally resist and attempt to overturn a Supreme Court ruling; simply defying it is not one of them.

Another black mark against Roy Moore is that he seems ignorant of basic constitutional provisions. He has said he thinks Muslims should be prohibited from serving in the U. S.Congress.  I don't know if he is aware that the constitution prohibits a religious test for public office. He also seems really uninformed about current events. I saw him being interviewed on TV and he did not even know the meaning of the term "DACA" or "dreamers."  Anyone who is that uninformed to not know these common terms is not informed enough to serve n the U. S. Senate.

Judge Roy Moore joins the ranks of those embarrassing Republican candidates like Todd Akin, Sharron Angle, and Christine O’Donnell who were nominated but lost the general election.  While I am pleased the lunatic fringe looses general elections, if Republicans did not nominate nut-jobs and seriously flawed candidates then we could win some of the seats the nut-jobs are losing. We as Republicans need to nominate people with integrity, and who are well grounded in core believes, and in touch with reality.  There are too many Republicans caught up in conspiracy stuff like the birther movement or Agenda 21 or a belief that there is a conspiracy to impose Sharia law on America or other nutty things.  These are not the people who should be selecting our nominees.

Often Republican primary voters undervalue nominating people who can get things done in favor of someone who can push their emotional buttons.  I am pro-life and pro-Second Amendment but to have a single issue focus on these issues and vote for the one who exhibits the most pro-life or pro-Second Amendment passion, at the expense of someone who would be a good manager and govern a state and improve education and solve problems is not wise. Nominating someone who can push the right emotional buttons over someone who would make a good legislator, who understands the issues, and is wise and informed is short-sighted. 

Unfortunately, primaries are decided by only a handful of Republicans. The Republicans who only vote in general elections must start voting in order to ensure the party nominates people who are not an embarrassment and who hand the election to the Democrats. If more Republicans would have voted in the Alabama primary, Roy Moore would not have been the nominee and Republicans would have kept that safe seat. 

Stumble Upon Toolbar
My Zimbio
Top Stories

No comments:

Post a Comment