With the latest allegations about groping and attempting to rape underage girls, everyone is focused on Alabama Senatorial nominee and former Judge Roy Moore. The situation is an embarassment for the Republican Party and seems to be compounded by those leaping to his defense with ludicrous arguments that demean Christianity, the state of Alabama and the Republican Party.
Yet in all of this furor, people are forgetting one very important point. Roy Moore was a terrible person and an awful candidate before even one accusation of sexual perversion was leveled at him. He has an actual record to run on and it is a record of bigotry, incompetence, demagoguery and just plain old backwoods ignorance and stupidity. Moore is unlikely to molest the average voter, but we should all be concerned about his disdain for the law, hatred of minority groups and willingness to believe crazy things without verifying them. Most of all we should be worried for the Republican Party, a good part of which seems willing to stick by him no matter what new horrors unfold.
As a sitting judge Moore twice refused to comply with the orders of higher courts, once over his insistence on posting the ten commandments in his courtroom in violation of the First Amendment, and once over his refusal to enforce the Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage. In both cases he was removed from his position on the bench for his actions. Is someone who thinks that religious law and his personal judgement overrule the Constitution and the Supreme Court a good choice for high office.
Moore’s flamboyant and self-aggrandizing campaign style have motivated some voters because he puts on a good show, with his cowboy hat and waving a gun around on stage. Frankly, this desire to play dress up and need for attention are part of the infantile, narcissistic behavior pattern which also makes him yearn for attention from young girls, and it’s not healthy. We already have an unbalanced narcissist in the White House do we really need one in the Senate too?
Narcissism makes Moore very outspoken and his words have gotten him into a lot of trouble, exposing him as an uninformed and bigoted blowhard, This may actually be an asset in Alabama but it’s reason to be seriously concerned.
Moore’s most recent gaffe is a quote from a rally in Florence, AL in which he talks about the racial divide in America and says that we have: “Blacks and whites fighting, reds and yellows fighting,” apparently referring to skin color in a way which a great many Americans find insulting. How can Republicans expect to attract minority voters with this kind of bigotry from one of their spokesmen?
Moore’s hatred of gay marriage and homosexuality is unrestrained. It has led him to suggest that Vladimir Putin has the right approach to homosexuality (jailing, torturing and exiling gay Russians), to advocating biblical punishments for homosexuality (death by stoning) and claiming that 9/11 was punishment on America for allowing homosexuality. In 2005 he declared that “Homosexual conduct should be illegal.” This goes beyond standing in the path of the juggernaut of history to reach the level of blatant support for persecuting a minority group.
Persecuting minorities doesn’t stop there. In an editorial in 2006 Moore compared Muslims to Nazis and argued that Rep. Keith Ellison shouldn’t be seated as a congressman because of his religion, stating that “Congress has the authority and should act to prohibit Ellison from taking the congressional oath today!” Never mind that religious tests for office are specifically prohibited in Article VI, Section 3 of the constitution. Many of Moore’s supporters are arguing that he is a strict supporter of the Constitution, yet his version seems to have some major gaps in it.
The controversial Moore is best known for his embrace of Christian theocratic principles, or a system of government where Christian laws are the basis of all law. In the past, he’s referred to the Christian God as “the only source of our law, liberty and government,” said that the First Amendment did not apply to Muslims because it was based on Jesus’s words, and hinted that homosexuality should be a capital crime. He’s also claimed that there are portions of the American Midwest living under Sharia law.
More disturbing are Moore’s religious beliefs which fall into the category of Christian Reconstructionism, an extreme and theocratic category which operates on the religious fringe, sometimes described as “Christican Taliban.” Moore believes that “God’s laws are always superior to man’s laws.” When his personal beliefs conflict with the laws of the land, he is willing to override man’s law for God’s. As explained in a pamphlet he authored about his “legal theory of God’s supremacy,” Old Testament law should become the law of the land in America. He even beliefs that the rights protected in the Bill of Rights only apply to Christians.
Then there is his gullibility and colossal ignorance. Admittedly these have become acceptable in the context of President Trump, but why make the same mistake twice?
Moore has claimed that we have areas in the midwest that are currently ruled under Sharia law, stating in an interview: “Well, there’s Sharia law, as I understand it, in Illinois, Indiana — up there. I don’t know.” Clearly he doesn’t know as that is not the case there or anywhere else in the US and PolitiFact slammed him for an outright lie. This summer Moore seemed not to know what Dreamers were, which fits well with his stated desire to deport all illegal immigrants. Perhaps the piece-de-resistance of ignorance is that he is an unreconstructed birther, a position which even President Trump has disavowed. Not knowing about the legal status of Sharia law in America is particularly troubling in a former jurist.
Roy Moore’s love for young girls is embarrassing for the Republican party and may disqualify him for office, but his ignorance, bigotry and narcissism should have disqualified him before he was ever nominated. The GOP has a big problem and it’s not just a problem in Alabama, Moore is just a symptom of a much bigger disconnect between the Party and political reality.