I want to be wrong about next week’s Alabama election. I want to be dead wrong with a cherry on top. I’m probably not, though. Roy Moore is going to win his Senate seat in Alabama.
This is where we’ve arrived at in American politics: a dude who’s outspokenly against gay people (he has likened them to animals), is pretty much a confirmed racist, a crazy religious zealot, and has a taste for little girls. And he’s almost a lock in a red state for U.S. Senator.
Somehow, Roy Moore is still going to beat Doug Jones, a seasoned civil rights attorney in an Alabama runoff. Somehow the country missed that left turn in Albuquerque and it ain’t coming back.
Doug Jones made history by putting members of the Klu Klux Klan in the slammer for the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing. He’s also secured an indictment of the Olympic Park bomber; you know an angry white male aka a domestic terrorist. He’s been a U.S. Attorney, won an armful of civil rights awards and yet, he’s the long shot?
Steve Bannon and Donald Trump. Both knuckle-dragging sycophants support Roy Moore and consider the accusations of a handful of women nothing but political parlor tricks. Roy Moore has been a lightning rod his whole career, continually marking Alabama as redneck country thanks to his headline-grabbing antics. Trying to bang little girls in training bras should be the death knell, but nope, Alabama.
Moore has been twice removed as the Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court. Once over a monument of the Ten Commandments, which he refused to remove, and the other for refusing to implement same-sex marriage. And yet, he’s still a contender in Alabama for a public seat. Decry personal politics all you like – Roy Moore should not be leading against someone who’s a moderate Democrat with a proven record of helping people against bigotry. Yet, here we are and with a guy who bases his interpretation of “law” against the teachings of the Bible. Roy Moore’s brand of propaganda is to honest Christianity as ISIS is to the Muslim faith.
Despite him saying 9/11 happened because the U.S. is a “godless” country, or that the Koran is equivalent to Mein Kampf or that Muslims shouldn’t be allowed in public office, folks still want to beat the drum that Roy Moore isn’t a creep, that this is all a plot by Hillary and her band of sore losers.
Republicans decry Bill Clinton as the Granddaddy of all offenders. The problem with the logic of “but BILL…” is that it didn’t happen on the watch of today’s political climate. We have culturally evolved to a place where women are not subjected to the overtures of men’s carnal needs and are just supposed to accept it as part of the deal. When Bill Clinton was in office, I was a teenager. I am now 36 years old and have a much different worldview than when Mr. Cool was blowing some sweet sax on The Arsenio Hall Show.
I want my leaders to be forward thinking and ready to realize that the past is littered with screw-ups. We need to collectively correct our missteps and level the playing field for all people, regardless of sexuality, color, or creed. That is likely not what Alabama is fixin’ to do.
The culpable difference between Bill Clinton’s past and Roy Moore’s present is that Bill Clinton isn’t currently trying to run for anything. He couldn’t survive in this new ballgame and rightly so. In the past presidential horror show, Hillary suffered detractors for sticking by Bill in spite of the fact that she ran against a party who ejaculates “family values” at every turn, and we still ended up with Trump.
Moore’s alleged scandals aren’t in the past; they’re buried within the man. Men who do fucked up things don’t change stripes. Especially ones who’ve been given a pass for decades – the behavior is a central part of their personality.
Men are built simply: we’re conditioned to believe our male DNA tells us to breed, kill things and repeat. With proper guidance and the right parenting as boys we’re righting this misinformation. Every man doesn’t have to act like a scumbag because society has deemed their actions “boys will be boys”. Men are evolving. How we view women and more importantly – how we treat them is a central piece of today’s conversation.
Roy Moore will never grow on any position – what he is, is static. Electing him into power is a symbolic way of saying, “not in my house” to a populace that’s progressing whether that want to or not.
The women who’ve come out against Roy Moore have nothing to gain. George Soros isn’t in the shadows laughing maniacally into a phone as he moves back to the head of his table of evil leaders.
Many of the women accusing Moore have spoken at length about their embarrassment to take the public stance. Roy Moore was banned from a mall for his behavior of harassing young women. Young girls just trying to buy a new pair of jeans couldn’t because some creep was trying to pick them up.
Many can say “let sleeping dogs lie” but we cannot in today’s political world. Every seat, no matter the governing body counts. The thought for many Alabama Conservatives is they can’t handle a Democrat in their wings. They need to look only to Pennsylvania Avenue to see what a vote of pride does for everyone: it gives hope a black eye.
Alabama voters are expected to believe a gun-wielding, leather vest-wearing zealot who’s a little too obsessed with God is going to reflect their bedrock values. Alabama is already at the bottom of the pool when it comes to school, income equality and personal freedom, and yet, there’s an open discussion about electing someone who firmly believes in letting the same principles lie in state.
Doug Jones is as middle of the road as you’ll get in the deep south – painfully so. Despite being blue in a red state, Jones supports gun rights, and plenty of his positions make the progressive wing of the Democrats cringe. Doug Jones is the Diet Coke of southern Democracy, almost a throwback to the Dixiecrats of the Reagan past. The argument should be country over party, not the opposite. America needs to right the wrongs of the presidential elections and realize we can’t keep promoting men who are cynical arbiters of the past’s blind eye to sexual grandstanding. Take a page from John Kasich and Jeff Flake on this one and do not go to the polls and vote GOP.
This is a moral election that looks voters point blank: will you vote for a man who’s had a proven track record of progress or accept the Good Ole’ Boy’s club for another turn around the sun?
Alabama voters need to think about their future. Can Roy Moore play at the national level and get respect? Can he level up your state and boost the perceived notion of what Alabama is capable of? Not likely. The gay thing, the racism thing, and the theocracy thing should be enough – but they aren’t.
Alabama, please don’t add another body to the clown car and add a pedophile to the Senate.
Robert Dean is a writer, journalist, and cynic. His most recent novel, The Red Seven was called “rich in vivid imagery, quirky characterizations, and no holds barred violence and mayhem. I never knew what the word romp really meant until now, but in case you’re wondering, this is it.” By Shotgun Logic. Robert is finishing a New Orleans-based crime thriller called A Hard Roll. He lives in Austin and likes ice cream and koalas. Stalk him on Twitter: @Robert_Dean