(Scott Olson/NPR)

Helton: GOP trades traditional values for 70-year-old alleged pedophile


Conservatives are clinging to their perverts instead of their Bibles.

By Elijah Helton

Several years ago, when scrolling through Facebook was still something everyone did, I came across a post that said something like, “When a dog attacks a child, it’s put to sleep. Shouldn’t we do the same with child molesters?” Another post claimed if a rapist ever touched his wife or daughters, he’d happily go to jail for murder.

That God-fearing, tough-guy attitude used to embody a lot of conservatives online, but it looks like they’ve had a change of heart. In fact, they’re even ready to put an alleged sexual predator in the Senate.

It shouldn’t be a controversial statement to say a pedophile shouldn’t hold elected office, but here we are. The Republican Party, a longtime champion of family values and tough-on-crime legislation, has compromised its morals in favor its nominee for the Senate election in Alabama, former state Judge Roy Moore.

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Two things are true about Moore. First, he lauds himself as the moral Christian candidate who is will protect Americans against crime. His campaign rhetoric has been full of Evangelical conviction. In his nomination acceptance speech, he said, “We have to return to the knowledge of God” to guide our country. Second, he has been accused by nine women of sexual misconduct, including an attempt to have sex with a 14-year-old. These accusations make it impossible to reasonably view Moore as a moral or lawful superior.

A countless number of Americans have called for Moore to drop out of the race and expressed their disgust with his candidacy. Many of these detractors are local religious leaders and prominent conservatives. Dozens of Alabamian pastors signed a letter stating, “No person of faith can, in good conscience, support him.” Even the state’s own Sen. Richard Shelby R-Ala., said, “I couldn’t vote for Roy Moore … The Republican Party can do better.”

However, the final polls are still giving him the lead despite this contradiction of conscience. It’s clear that most conservative voters in Alabama care more about winning elections than upholding their alleged values. Furthermore, the Republican National Committee has resumed its support for the former judge after initially rescinding its endorsement.

But the reluctance to throw Moore aside is understandable. As someone who has mostly left-leaning views, it would be difficult for me not to vote for the Democrat in a close election, even her or his personal past was grotesque.

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Maybe my liberal camp has contributed to some voter fatigue on these sort of issue, having long decried injustice at every possible chance. Perhaps our persistence has become annoyingly monotonous over time. But this isn’t a situation pitting a rugged everyman against crybaby SJWs; it’s an honest test of what conservatives claim to be their values. Moore doesn’t represent Alabama’s morality, or at least I hope not.

Those who align with Moore’s beliefs might say, “What about Democrats? They have their perverts, too.” While that is a fair critique, the left side of the aisle members has begun to drain their swamp. Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn. — formerly thought to be a possible presidential candidate — is gone. Former Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich. — a lifelong advocate of civil rights — is gone. Liberals are taking out their garbage while conservatives refuse to acknowledge their own stench.

Even if Moore falls a few votes short, a near million Republicans will choose to elect an alleged child abuser. Conservatives in Alabama have shown they will vote for any man as long as he has the little letter “R” next to his name. Tell me again about Christian values.

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