Sunday, December 10, 2017

Does America Need More Moore?

Friends, sometimes voters face hard choices.  They must consider voting for a candidate in whom they do not have complete confidence.  They may also have to weigh serious charges against a candidate, which may or may not be true, and which will almost always be politically-motivated.  If you live in the great state of Alabama, you know exactly what I mean.  Here is my analysis of the choice that Alabama voters face on Tuesday, December 12th:

Roy Moore for Senate – For Now...

On Tuesday, Alabama voters face a difficult choice. They can vote for Republican and conservative Judge Roy Moore, accused of sexual misconduct. They can vote for the Democrat, Doug Jones, and potentially scuttle the barely functioning Republican majority in the Senate. Or, lastly, they can choose to not vote at all, which is, given the political dynamics, effectively a vote for Jones and for Democratic obstructionism. Of these options, clearly the best is to vote for Roy Moore, as I will explain.

There are currently 52 Republicans out of 100 Senators, giving the Republicans a precarious majority, and in many instances a wholly insufficient one, given the filibuster. Mitch McConnell failed to push a repeal of Obamacare through the Senate largely because of this flimsy majority. The tax bill only passed by a razor thin 51-49 margin. Since the election, moreover, the only thing the Senate has done with a degree of efficiency and dispatch is approve President Trump's cabinet appointments and judicial nominees. Even this will become difficult, however, if Democrat Doug Jones prevails and becomes Alabama's next Senator. In short, the ability of conservatives to accomplish anything whatsoever in Washington, D.C. hinges on maintaining and expanding the Republican majority in the Senate. That conservatives would acquiesce to shrinking this majority is inconceivable. This is ample reason to vote for Roy Moore.

In addition, as Americans, we should remember that Roy Moore is entitled to a presumption of innocence. Various women accuse him of various misdeeds. Some of these allegations are relatively inconsequential; some of them are extremely consequential, amounting to sexual assault and child abuse. It is possible that Roy Moore is guilty of the former and innocent of the latter. If so, this would surely matter. It is possible that he is wholly innocent. It is also possible, we must admit, that he is guilty of everything of which he has been accused, and maybe of even worse. We do not know for sure, and that is the point: we cannot condemn a man solely on the basis of accusations. Evidence must be weighed, and due process must be applied.

What would due process look like? It could occur in the context of a Senate Ethics Committee investigation, or one or more of the women who accuse Moore could sue him in civil court, perhaps arguing that he has defamed their character by denying their truthful allegations, and then a jury would have the opportunity to decide the case. This would be infinitely preferable to trying Moore in the court of public opinion, and thus allowing the moral conscience of the Washington Post to decide who is eligible to become a U.S. Senator. 
If Moore was to be proven guilty of any crime, then presumably he would resign from the Senate, or he would be deprived of his seat by a two-thirds vote of his colleagues. Alabama's Republican Governor would then appoint a (suitably conservative) replacement, and we would be right back where we started. In the interim, therefore, electing Roy Moore to the Senate does no obvious harm.

Alabama voters are justly hesitant to vote for a man accused of sexual impropriety. They should remember, however, that it is impossible to know the heart of any political candidate with absolute certainty. Any politician could turn out to be a sexual predator, a homicidal maniac, a serial arsonist, or even a lawyer. We live in a fallen world, and thus it would be folly to expect that any potential officeholder will embody perfection. Nevertheless, we should always give our fellow men and women the benefit of the doubt.

Along these lines, we should not lose sight of the fact that Roy Moore is a principled conservative, who has demonstrated a willingness to make personal sacrifices in order to uphold his most deeply cherished beliefs. (And these beliefs are, after all, the real reason why liberals detest him.) Twice, Moore has been removed as the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Alabama. Both times, this was because of his adamant refusal to comply with judicial orders he thought were wrong. Although dedicated to the law, in other words, Moore recognizes a higher law, which he is unwilling to transgress. This makes Moore, arguably, a bad judge, but it does not make him a bad man. Even liberals admire civil disobedience, when they sympathize with the underlying cause.

Roy Moore's granite resolve, I would argue, does not make him unfit to be a U.S. Senator. It makes him uniquely fit to be a U.S. Senator, especially in an age when few other politicians are willing to jeopardize their power and perquisites to serve a higher cause. The question, then, is whether Moore's alleged misdeeds negate his obvious merits. Only time will tell, and for now, therefore, Alabama voters should base their choice on what we know about Judge Moore – that he is a devout Christian and a steadfast conservative – and not on politically-motivated and largely unsubstantiated allegations.

Alabama voters should pick Moore, secure in the knowledge that, if the allegations against him are ever proven true, then there is a system in place to remove him, and the people of Alabama, not the press, will once again decide who gets to represent them in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Nicholas L. Waddy is an Associate Professor of History at SUNY Alfred and blogs at:


  1. Dr. Waddy: Yours is a very good summation of the salient reasons why Judge Moore's election would be a good thing for the country. I would suggest one other: both Judge Moore's election and his to be expected assertively antiRINO, pro President Trump demeanor will help to show RINOS the door and open the way for an unapologetic conservative majority in the national legislature of our conservative majority land. I look forward to rejoicing on Wednesday to know that he will be seated.

  2. The RINOs are indeed in retreat, although realistically we can't dispense with all of them... Hopefully most of them will be scared straight! What's happened to Bob Corker and Jeff Flake might do the trick.