Roy Moore was defeated yesterday in the Alabama Senate race, showing to the country that, for once, standards and decency count more than party affiliation. But only barely. I was relieved to see Moore go down for a variety of reasons, but setting all that aside for the moment (sort of), I wanted to talk about the narrative behind the race.
Because I have to believe most of the people who voted for Moore didn’t actually believe he molested 14 year old girls. They thought the accusations were lies or exaggerations. And while I can at least see the logic there, I was very discouraged to hear the rhetoric that was being used to support Moore. Basically, Republicans were arguing that even if the allegations were true, it was still more important to hold onto the Senate seat than it was to not elect a child molester to the Senate.
This coming from the party that likes to position itself as the “Christian values” voice of the country.
The fact of that matter is that people like to make excuses for themselves. Justifications. “I know people shouldn’t normally do this, but it’s okay for me to do this, because _____________.” But when it comes time to hold people they don’t know or like accountable, then those justifications hold no water. It’s the same principle that makes it so we all feel like all the other drivers on the road are maniacs, but we ourselves are reasonable, perfect drivers. Cut someone off, and you excuse yourself. You didn’t see them. They shouldn’t have been there in the first place. Someone cuts *you* off, and they’re a complete jerk.
Politically speaking, people seem willing to overlook the flaws of people who agree with them, regardless of how big those flaws might be. They’ll justify it by saying it’s for the greater good, or that the flaws are lies, or that the other side is even worse. But of course when the situation is reversed, they have no patience for any of those excuses.
Here’s the thing. For me, there should be certain lines that are just inexcusable. Child molestation allegations need to be dealt with and completely disproven before someone can hold office in our country. Imagine if Roy Moore had been up for any other position. What if he were applying to be a cashier at McDonald’s, and this came to light? Something tells me McD’s would hold off hiring the guy until it was crystal clear he wasn’t a child molester.
I already hear the people saying “innocent until proven guilty!” but that’s another justification. This wasn’t a he said/she said situation. This was multiple women, providing physical evidence, corroborated by other accounts that all added up to the same thing. And yet the party that was all for jailing Clinton for deleting emails suddenly becomes overwhelmed by mercy and understanding.
Standards. Both sides. The same. Franken resigned. Trump should come under the same scrutiny. I don’t care what party you belong to. Some accusations deserve to be heard and then resolved. Sexual abuse? Child abuse?
Thank goodness Alabama got this one right. It gives me hope for this country yet.