Everybody has been having a lot of fun lately ridiculing not only Roy Moore but also anyone who would vote for Roy Moore. In the process, many have taken advantage of a great chance to show off their exquisitely fine-tuned sense of morality as people who wouldn’t consider voting that degenerate hillbilly now, even though they weren’t going to vote for him in the first place. Professional political-opinion distributors explained it all clearly: any conservative or Christian who would vote for Moore after these allegations is clearly either a rube who has bought into his evangelical carnival barker act or a contemptible hypocrite who has a wad of crumpled-up pages from an Ann Coulter book where his soul should be.
And that’s all fine. What else is the internet for, if not ridicule? (I don’t have the numbers in front of me, but I think recent studies confirm that about 70% of internet traffic consists of people telling other people that they’re garbage.)
But as far as analysis of voter sentiment goes, ridicule doesn’t really cut it. It’s a misdiagnosis that bears a striking resemblance to the pre-election analysis of support for Trump (“He’s garbage and only garbage people would vote for him!” – Every Political Expert in the Country). It goes to show that nobody has learned anything from Trump’s election. Everybody’s still looking in the wrong direction.
Never, ever in my entire voting career have I ever wanted to vote for anybody. (I often wonder what that would be like — to actually have faith in the people trying to lead our government. It’s probably really warm and tingly, like when a python puts his mouth on you but before he bites all the way down.) I just use my vote in an attempt to limit the damage. So, I’m not defending anybody or anything. I’m pointing in the direction you should look to explain support for Moore (and Trump).
If I were trekking though the jungle and I suddenly saw someone run pell-mell out of the underbrush and leap into a piranha-infested lake, I wouldn’t think, “Wow, that guy really likes piranha.” I would look in the direction the guy came from and think, “What must be chasing that guy?”
Now, when we see decent people — and people who care about decency — running into the arms of skeevy politicians, before we start condemning them as hypocrites, we should at least consider what they might be running from.
Some people might say, “Jason, you’re a paranoid idiot! The Democrats aren’t some boogeyman out to get you! Your fear of them is completely exaggerated!”
To that I say, imagine that conservative and progressive positions over the last few years were reversed, and progressive beliefs had been marginalized, dismissed, and pushed to the fringe like conservative beliefs have been. Imagine that the court rulings for progressives had instead gone against them. Imagine that they had been the targets of protests instead of the instigators. Imagine the government had taken the attitude toward them that it has taken toward conservatives over the last few years.
Would progressives then be afraid that they were being pushed toward extinction? Is the reason they’re still in a full-throated freak-out over Trump’s election precisely because they’re afraid they’re going to be on the receiving end of what they were doing to conservatives under the last administration?
As I see it, I’ve got a choice between a party that pays lip service to my values, and a party that openly despises my values and seeks to undermine them at every turn. With that as the choice, I have to go with the carnival barker.
I wish Democrats provided a reasonable alternative, I sincerely do. But if I wanted to make a statement in favor of traditional morals and sexual propriety, I don’t see how I do that by throwing another Senate seat to the party of Bill Clinton and Ted Kennedy (and Al Franken and John Conyers and so on and so on). And nothing could happen that would make me willingly choose to be represented by the all-baby-killing-all-the-time party.
Maybe a loss in the Alabama Senate race would help Democrats to become that reasonable alternative — “Hey guys, we couldn’t beat Trump, we couldn’t even beat Roy Moore. I’m starting to think… maybe it’s us.” But right now the bottom line is I’m not going to be manipulated into voting for these clowns.
If Roy Moore is guilty of crimes or gross ethical violations, there are mechanisms in place for dealing with him after the election. We can take an extended look at the accusations against him with cooler heads and without a Senate seat at stake. If he’s won the election and it’s determined that he’s unfit to hold the seat, then let’s remove him, appoint a temporary replacement, and hold another special election. And I am willing to do this dance over and over again, until the crack of doom if need be, before I’ll acquiesce to being represented by the pro-infanticide, anti-Christian Democratic party.
As during the presidential election, I’m sorry we’ve let our politics degenerate to the point where there are no good options. If other people come to different conclusions than me about the right thing to do in this situation — if they choose to sit out the election or vote for Jones — I certainly understand and have no hard feelings. This is our dilemma when our political class is made up almost entirely of nincompoops. Either way, it would serve us all well to have a little more sympathy toward people who are trying to make the right choice when there are no right choices.