In light of the numerous allegations of sexual misconduct against Alabama Republican Senate Candidate Roy Moore, a number of high profile Republicans have demanded that he step down. Moore, however, has maintained his innocence and asserted that these allegations are part of a liberal plot to undermine his candidacy. It’s a fascinating juxtaposition, actually: His baseless inflammation of conspiratorial sentiments against the careful, well-substantiated evidence supporting the accusations.
If the thinly-veiled anger behind my words wasn’t clear, I’ll put it in no uncertain terms: Roy Moore needs to drop out of the race.
There are some arguing that the legal presumption of innocence ought to be maintained despite Moore being excoriated in the press. And it absolutely should – if it were to ever go to court. But this is the political arena not a courtroom. Different standards apply. I’m amazed that I need to type this out, but objectively credible allegations of sexual assault should be immediately disqualifying for anyone seeking political office. Anyone.
And we should immediately quash the notion that these allegations are politically motivated. The latest woman to come forward supported Trump in 2016. To use her words: “This has nothing to do with Republicans or Democrats. It has everything to do with Mr. Moore’s sexual assault when I was a teenager.”
There is a strong chance that, should he stay in, Moore will still win the election. A prominent strategy appears to rest on elites convincing people that, even if the allegations were true, it’s still better than the alternative.
We must deeply reflect on the fact that people are apparently buying this twisted proposition.
What kind of party are we if we condemn President Clinton’s sexual impropriety but rally behind a man who forced himself upon two teenagers? What kind of party are we if we rank an alleged pedophile as more preferable than a Democrat? A party not defined by its values but by the stark lack thereof.
I am buoyed by the fact that national Republicans are discussing how to unseat him should he stay in and win the election. But I am dismayed that it even needs to be a contingency.