Our View: Roy Moore must withdraw his Senate candidacy
The day this editorial board published our endorsement of Doug Jones over Roy Moore in the Alabama Senate special election, the Washington Post published a story detailing Roy Moore’s sexual abuse of a 14-year-old girl when he was 32. In light of these allegations, this board believes that Roy Moore is not only unfit to be a U.S. senator, he is unfit to even be running for office and should resign from the race immediately.
Even the possibility of having a senator with such a questionable moral fiber representing Alabama is a disgrace to our state. Though Moore has proven many times that he has little respect for the rule of law, the fact that he could not obey laws that prohibit adult men from molesting children shows that he is completely unsuitable to be an elected official. Perhaps if the Ten Commandments that Moore so famously promotes included “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s child,” he would have understood the depravity of his actions.
Additionally, the response from many top Alabama Republicans has been shameful. Instead of disavowing Moore, they have doubled down in their support. Some have defended his actions, comparing it to the relationship between Mary and Joseph; others have stated that while they condemn his actions, they will still vote for him.
Their reasoning that a child molester is better than a Democrat is as sickening as it is illogical. The choice does not have to be between a pedophile and a Democrat – they could easily find a Republican write-in candidate who is not a sexual deviant. We are not suggesting that conservative voters should betray their political principles; we are suggesting that they simply show moral principles that include rejecting child molestation.
The other popular response – that Republicans will no longer back Moore if the allegations are proven true – is also troubling. The Post story included interviews with more than thirty people and featured the testimony of four separate women, the details of which were backed up with court records. What more proof do they require?
In the case of sexual assault, most often, the only proof is the statements of the assaulted party. The Post did everything they could to prove the veracity of these claims, and the evidence against Moore is unequivocally damning.
Roy Moore cannot be taken off the ballot. Due to Alabama codes that require candidates to withdraw at least 76 days before the election, his name will be on Alabama ballots. However, he can still withdraw from the race, and votes for him will not be counted.
Because there will inevitably be voters so confident in their beliefs that the allegations against Moore are “fake news,” or that a literal child molester is still better than electing a decidedly centrist Democrat, there will be votes cast for Roy Moore. In order to prevent the tragedy of electing an especially heinous criminal to represent the state of Alabama in the U.S. Senate, Moore must withdraw from this race and save Alabama from any further embarrassment.