Full Consideration Of Politics And Roy Moore In Alabama Tuesday
That the Democrats and broadcast media are all over Roy Moore's pedophilia charge is no surprise at all. Nor is their head-shaking insistence that Alabamians who support him are indifferent to it, projecting astonishment and shame onto any such people. There’s plenty out there about their duplicity including at the Daily Wire that I discuss, so we needn’t deal with that. I haven’t even been surprised that Mitch McConnell and the Republican Congressional Mitchettes hopped on in hopes to derail someone who has proven himself a relentless conservative on matters important to the prosperity of society, and keep him out of the tractable Republican U.S. Senate majority McConnell presides over. The few that they have now are enough trouble already. Now in the face of very possible failure, they have backpedaled somewhat.
But, I’m a little stunned at some true conservatives who have swallowed the bad guy tale and sprayed it on their listeners to the nice conservative platform they have developed and I’ve subscribed to from near to the start. Oh, not because they are conservative alone. They certainly ought to make their own assessments and offer what they believe. But the assertive conviction and disparagement of Moore on the kind of information that has circulated is arresting and strikingly ungracious. The web site is Ben Shapiro’s Daily Wire. He does a weekday program and so does Andrew Klavan, and I’ve enjoyed both Ben’s moral and logical analysis and Andrew’s light-hearted perspective of a fiction writer recently become Christian, culturally variant in his own right but manifestly oriented and sincere.
Klavan has been easier on ceding a respectable reason that voters might support him, though he has called Moore creepy and a fraud in his assumed posturing…for 40-50 public years? Wow. But to his daily colorful disdain for Moore’s character that he would never vote for, Shapiro adds explanations of how Republicans could vote for him regardless. I’ve known a LOT of conservatives, and Shapiro’s descriptions don’t describe me or probably not many of them, though they surely would describe some. People are different, but Ben has them all pigeon-holed. I admit that I’m perplexed and that is disquieting to me. Their added third podcaster Michael Knowles has not been so sweeping on the matter. But maybe I should bullet point my questions:
- I’m inclined to think Moore is innocent of the severity of what he’s been charged with. But I’ll say up front that it’s possible that’s incorrect if God were to tell us the facts. Unfortunately, these conservatives are not so modest. That’s especially striking in Shapiro who is trained in law. Our law formalizes a moral posture: innocent until proven guilty. Ben calls them credible accusations. I don’t, and some details have already proven false or quite questionable. But you shouldn’t rubbish a man’s character and aspirations on at least dubious accusations, especially of someone with his long track-record and decades of personal references.
- Ben is plainly well-studied on history and other things at his young age. Can the animus and available resources to manufacture such a scenario be in some measure lost on him? Is it my age that perks my nose to an all-too-familiar scent of political character assassination? As I said, it’s no surprise. The Washington Post and Gloria Allred deliver that fecal scent smeared on a red flag.
- Has Ben stopped paying attention in the satisfaction of his assessment? Several girls have claimed Moore was solicitous with them when they were teens; only two sexually. One the WaPo reported said he partially denuded and touched her as a minor, the other that he trapped and manhandled her as an older teen. The 2nd one brought out as customary with Allred, sounded dubious to me in her description of Moore locking her protesting and struggling in a car and trying to force her fighting head to his crotch. By the way, it occurs to me: why no description of the vehicle?
The story of a mall’s banning of Moore because of bothering girls has been denied by the mall manager. Bill Staehle, a NJ attorney who was a cohort of Moore in Vietnam released a letter that is read and displayed in this video, saying this all is inconsistent with the man he knew there. These stories have never arisen in the long decades of public service, opposition to and investigations of Moore. And very many co-workers and known associates of Moore over those years find them incredible. What we have is like a media-constructed distortion of a person you personally know as a friend or family member to be quite otherwise.
All of this being unresolved, let me suppose something that might clarify. I stress that this is speculation on my part, not known fact. But if it were the case, it would dissipate a lot of the questions. I was raised as the son of an evangelical minister. After years of life and study, I have qualified some of the cultural and theological constraints of that milieu, though I remain an entirely historically orthodox Christian. I might not have framed some things exactly as Moore did and emphasized Constitutional standards to the public larger than Biblical ones. But we should acknowledge that his emphasis has not troubled his supporters. I do think the liberty and civility The Constitution tries to frame mirrors Biblical standards of personal freedom and responsibility to moral social standards. But I know well and recognize these people and the sincerity and decency among them, the core of which most popular culture observers and commenters really don’t understand. Imagine this:
If the details are dubious as I suspect, one thing has made some people grasp or waiver at. Early on, when asked whether he had dated teenage girls in his early 30s, Moore was not crystal clear. Maybe he sensed, I think correctly, that if he had answered affirmatively, it would have solidified a ground in the accusations and altered the tenor of the entire campaign. But consider some things. Moore graduated high school, went to West Point and Vietnam after graduation, where he was a company commander. After his discharge in 1974, he was admitted to law school at the University of Alabama, graduating with a Juris Doctor in 1977 at age 30, and returned for private practice to his home of Gadsen, AL.
Now, have you considered what is available in women for a man of his history in Gadsden, Alabama in 1977? I assure you that those woods were not teeming with solid and appealing women in their 20s and beyond. A close family member told me that in his graduating class of a small southern town in the early 80s, all of the girls were already married or pregnant. If Moore as a single man was interested in single women, that would confine him to the vast majority of men of those generations, including mine 10 years later. Also consider that young women with somewhat older men was common not only that recently but in world history. So, I fairly easily suppose that he consorted with teenage girls, however broadly or narrowly you define “dating.” After a few public justice offices and some travel, Moore married his wife of now 32 years, whom he had met and admired earlier and now of course is his most ardent defender. Through all of this and on to today, Moore was a confessing and assertive Christian.
Now compare that early life to Shapiro’s, an orthodox Jew. He attended Jewish schools, went to college at UCLA at 16 and graduated with high honors in 2004 at age 20. He graduated with high honors from Harvard Law School in 2007 at 23. The same year he engaged, and married his wife who studied to become a medical doctor and they live an orthodox Jewish life with 2 children. I’m not saying he wasn’t diligent in all of that. I’m sure he was. But for most of us, life is more complicated and bumpy.
The high ideals are commendable, but cut people some slack and at least a reasonable doubt about old and uncertain tales of sins. In light of what can be known, Moore is being treated unfairly. If these appear contrived to me or real and condemnable to you, all of us, Moore and yes, you are guilty of true moral offense or negligence in the reality we experience. He’s the source and paradigm, but fairness and mercy are virtues not unique to Jesus and His followers.