My first blog post about Moore was obviously written before the pedophilia accusations were made public. So I figured I would do another blog post to address that, as well as another alarming statement that the former judge made.
I actually hesitated for awhile to publicly call Roy Moore a sexual predator because I consider him a crypto-racist, homophobic, transphobic, Islamophobic totalitarian theocrat even scarier than Trump, and I didn’t want to let my dislike of him cause me to prematurely assume he was guilty before I had adequate evidence.
We’re past that now, though. I have no problem honestly saying that I think Roy Moore is guilty of everything he’s been accused of. At this point, we have two women accusing him of sexual violence, one person accusing him of trying to date them when they were 14 and he was over 30, and a slew of other people corroborating the claim that he had a pattern of pursuing teenage girls. While dating sixteen to eighteen year olds would have legal, if bad on many levels, for Moore, it does lend more credibility to the accusations that he did engage in criminal behavior with other teenagers. None of these women have, to my knowledge, made any attempt to try to get money from him or pursue criminal charges. At least one is an avowed Trump supporter. So if you think Moore is innocent, you have to come up with an explanation for why eight women would falsely accuse him out of spite.
Now, I’ve heard the argument that the timing of these accusations so close to Election Day, is suspicious. Actually, I don’t believe it is. Unluckily for Moore and his supporters and luckily for the rest of us, Moore happens to be running at a point in time when very large numbers of sexual abuse victims have started coming forward. We’re in a political and cultural climate currently that is more conducive to victims telling their stories than probably ever in U.S. history.
And finally, we have to consider how Republican politicians are reacting here. They’re largely throwing Moore to the wolves, metaphorically speaking. Mitch McConnell, who wouldn’t rescind his endorsement of Trump after the “pussy grabbing” audio came out, is backing Moore’s accusers. Jeff Sessions, an Alabama conservative with friends on the Moore campaign, has said he believes the women also. So if you believe Moore to be innocent, another assumption you’d have to make is that a bunch of Republican politicians are willing to lose what would normally be a slam dunk election based on a false accusation.
There may not be enough evidence to convict Moore in a court of law–although before all is said and done, there very well might be. But we’re at a point now when we can reasonably conclude that he’s probably guilty. And the Senate doesn’t function like a regular job. With most jobs, you can wait until the investigation has concluded and then decide if you have enough evidence to fire the accused person. With the Senate, it’s very hard to remove somebody once they’re in office, so if Moore gets elected, he’ll likely serve at least six years.
But this isn’t all. Moore seems determined to prove my description of him as a “crypto-racist” correct. Last week, he said, “By 1962, the United States Supreme Court took prayer out of school,” Moore griped. “Then they started to create new rights in 1965, and now, today, we’ve got a problem.” When I read this, my historian’s brain went into hyperdrive. There are two possibilities as to what he could be referring to. The first is Griswold v. Connecticut, the Supreme Court ruling striking down state laws against birth control. The second is the Voting Rights Act. If the “they” in his statement is the Supreme Court, it probably refers to Griswold. If it means the federal government in general, it may be a reference to the Voting Rights Act. So there we have it. The Alabama GOP Senate nominee either thinks states have a right to ban birth control or have a right to prevent black people from voting. Oh, and by the way: the 1962 Supreme Court decision did not outlaw prayer in public schools. Instead, it outlawed official, school-sponsored prayers. It did nothing to forbid students from praying in school. To quote Martin Luther King, Jr., “Contrary to what many have said, it sought to outlaw neither prayer nor belief in God. In a pluralistic society such as ours, who is to determine what prayer shall be spoken, and by whom? Legally, constitutionally or otherwise, the state certainly has no such right. I am strongly opposed to the efforts that have been made to nullify the decision. They have been motivated, I think, by little more than the wish to embarrass the Supreme Court. When I saw Brother [Alabama Governor] Wallace going up to Washington to testify against the decision at the congressional hearings, it only strengthened my conviction that the decision was right.”