I’ve never been so heartily congratulated for objecting to child molestation before.
Back in the good ol’ days—say, before May 2015 or so—opposing a man who, as a thirty-something, took a 14 year old girl on a “date,” during which he attempted to defile her in his disgusting white underwear, wouldn’t have amounted to a particularly noteworthy position.
The response one might have expected when taking such a stand was something along the lines of, “Cool man! Same!”
But here we are in the dark abyss of 2017, and in this political moment, child exploitation—attempted child rape, even—has become a partisan issue. President Donald Trump is even cool with it, as long as the sex predator is on his team. A comrade in genital grabbing if you will. So after Trump essentially re-endorsed Alabama’s Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore, this particular child predator, on Tuesday, I took what I thought was an obvious step. I donated to the other guy’s campaign.
But in this instance there was one wrinkle for me. The other guy, Doug Jones, is a Democrat. And I—a Republican political operative—have never donated to one of those before. Thus, in sharing the fact that I had made the donation on social media, I also noted that this was a first for me, even though it felt extremely obvious.
Shortly thereafter, I was bombarded with inquiries from reporters, notes of congratulation, and cloying praise from Golden Doodle-owning podcast hosts. Jones himself even thanked me—multiple times!—and seemed thrilled by the development. Over 10,000 retweets, and countless clapping-hand emojis, later, I became confounded by the absurdity of this response. Why isn’t everyone doing this?! It was as if I’d been lavished with praise for not attending a KKK rally, or had a thank you party thrown for me because I’d held the door open for an elderly person at the Gadsden mall. Beating back the political ambitions of child molesters should be among barest minimum expectations of citizenship, not the social-media equivalent of storming the beaches of Normandy.
I confess, I don’t know much about Jones. He’s pro-choice, even after 20-weeks of pregnancy. I strongly disagree with that, and it is probably his biggest political liability in Alabama. I’m sure he will vote against the Republican tax bill, which I also don’t love. Based on my understanding, he’s running on a replacement-level Democratic policy platform, so there will be many other issues on which he and I disagree.
But setting aside those flaws: As far as I can tell he has never tried to have sex with a girl who was still wearing a training bra, or been persona non gravta at a shopping mall because security kept catching him making passes at teenyboppers at the Orange Julius.
Score one for Doug Jones on that point.
I know that sounds a bit glib, but what other response can decent-but-astonished people have to this mortifying political moment? How in the hell did we get here?
We got here because some Republicans can’t bring themselves to support Jones, even knowing that his opponent is a pedophile. So we must lay out the case against Moore in greater detail.
Roy Moore is worse than an abuser of children.
He is an abuser of children who is also a hateful bigot. He believes himself to be above the law, and was thus removed from his judgeship—twice!—because he decided the rule of law didn’t apply to him.
He is an abuser of children who has spent a career demonizing and vilifying people for engaging consensual and legal sexual behavior, while suffocating, and not taking responsibility for, his own illegal conduct.
He is an abuser of children who wants to ban Muslim-American citizens from serving in Congress because of their religion.
He is an abuser of children who advanced the racist lie that the first black president was born in Africa.
He is an abuser of children who, for generations, has shamed and belittled gay Alabamians who were struggling to be true to themselves and their partners.
He is an abuser of children who, in the spirit of George Wallace, barricaded courthouse doors to loving consensual couples seeking constitutionally guaranteed marriage licenses.
He is an abuser of children who used his foundation to promote the Confederacy and the Lost Cause.
He is an abuser of children who tried to separate a mother from her own baby because she had a consensual relationship with another woman. (That is super-villain shit.)
This man deserves no quarter, no support, no defense, no cover, and no seat in the United States Senate—and he never did.
The seat he’s running for will be Republican at some point. It is Alabama after all. Many readers may be surprised to learn that there are decent, mainstream, and formerly anti-Trump Republicans who could represent Alabama in the Senate in a way I would consider honorable. People like Bradley Byrne. I hope that in three years, someone like him will replace Doug Jones in the Senate. I may even donate to his campaign.
But in this election, it is not a close call. Abstention is not an option. Writing in another candidate is not an option. Praying that the Senate will show some spine, and expel Moore after he wins, is a fantasy, not an option.
Roy Moore is a disgraceful, bigoted deviant, beneath our collective contempt. After December 12 either he, or Doug Jones, will be a United States senator. Those are the only options available to us.
For these reasons, I donated to Doug Jones. You should too. And if you join me, we neither deserve, nor require, a pat on the back for it.