Roy Moore lost. In a state so Red it could be on Mars, Doug Jones squeaked into the win by 1.5%.
Moore is refusing to concede. In some quarters, this is seen as principle. In the civilized world, sour grapes. But delusional.
“Immorality is sweeping the land!”
Says a man who allegedly hit on teenagers when in his thirties, and then relies on a biblical defense, something about Mary only being 13 or some such nonsense, and the fact that he asked their parents. Forgive me if I find that whole scenario simultaneously dubious AND extra-creepy. (But there is in the South, and presumably other places, a whole cult of True Believers who groom their prepubescents for marriage by parading them in adult drag in front of potential husbands, so maybe. If that’s the crowd he’s drawing from, you have to ask what standard of morality he actually subscribes to, because it isn’t that of anyone I know, even among my conservative friends.)
His issues are, in no particular order, The Bible, homosexuality as national threat, and abortion. As far as I could tell, he had no stance of his own on education (unless it relates to the Bible), economic growth (unless that remark about slavery counts), foreign policy, the budget, or anything else that may be relevant to actual people living today.
Now, if you want to discuss morality, we can start with that: the complete apparent disregard for any issue that might have any real impact on his potential constituency. Irresponsible? Surely. But in one of the reddest of the red states, where economic conditions still lag and poverty is a profound problem, concentrating on non-issues and counting on that to win the day, with nothing in his tool box with which to address the present realities, strikes me as a sign of someone who has a badly skewed moral compass. Added to that the allegations of sexual misconduct, his blatant bigotry, and his disregard for law (he was a state supreme court judge and somehow did not care that he was in violation of federal law over the decor on state property)—this is not someone I would trust to tell anyone what is or is not moral.
That he relied on the entrenched aversion of the voters to anything labeled Democrat to see him into office is also blatantly arrogant, especially knowing full well that his state is one of the most problematic in terms of voter suppression.
I am not well pleased that it seems to have been the sexual misconduct allegations that lost it for him. Maybe it wasn’t, but I would be happier if I thought people had finally decided to look at the issues and judged him an inferior candidate on the merits. It is telling that while it appears white women voted for him in a majority, when you tease apart evangelicals from a more secular group, only evangelical white women voted for him as a majority. White women who are not all caught up in the religious balderdash that passes for political value voted predominantly against him.
While it is true that one should not equate intelligence with religious affiliation, it is difficult to avoid when you see this sort of thing. Blindness, of course, afflicts different people in different areas, but damn, we have to stop pandering to the evangelical vote this way. This is not 4 B.C. and this country is not, despite the aggressive wishing of many people, a christian nation, not the way they mean it.
But have it your way. I’ll take a little honest immorality over willfully ignorant moral posturing any day.
But that’s not what we’re seeing. Every single issue Moore saw fit to blather about, at base, was about stripping away civil rights. Period. Dress it up any way you like, he longs for the days of the mint julep on the veranda as the master gazes out upon his plantation-fiefdom. He wants people “in their proper place.” He wants an aristocracy. I find it telling that people like him believe the way to achieve it is through the religious beliefs of people are afraid of the future.
Moral leadership my ass.