By Bob Ferris
I am conflicted over these most recent allegations about Judge Roy Moore. I take them seriously, as we all should, because they speak to his character and also to the treatment of women and young girls. But I am confused as to how these new allegations became the “straw” that broke the camel’s back when all the other well-documented reflections of character did nothing to the fabled dromedary’s spinal alignment. In this, Judge Moore is truly Trumpian as he is a candidate who has spent a career misstepping and being offensive in one way or another (1,2,3). These "past" flaws somehow became “old news” exactly at the time when they should have been most relevant.
|Screen shot from Republican ad against Roy Moore during the Primary (rated mostly true."|
It all makes me think of airports. What? People often buy homes near airports because they are cheaper. They like the economy of these purchases and then convince themselves that the noise is not too much or that they will adjust to it. And, golly, the shower is nice and it has a basement. Then they find that they cannot live with the noise so they campaign to control the airport through flight timing or frequency. Or they simply move.
Our elections are becoming more and more like these bad real estate decisions where voters are ignoring obvious and fatal flaws but pulling that lever anyway. And now we have arguably the worst president in our nation’s history and Alabama stands poised to elect a senator who reenforces everyone’s worst stereotypic view of the state.
|Hardly a man charging fearlessly into the future. From Alabama Newspaper (here).|
Whether or not Judge Moore did what he has been accused of has yet to be established (1,2,3). But the proactive defenses offered by some of his supporters are visible and well-recorded (1,2,3). How can women, minorities that have been historically subjected to slavery, and anyone wanting Alabama’s metaphorical “tide” to rise take comfort in a defense that clings to behavioral standards from two millennia past? Not to mention that there is no contemporary evidence and little global consensus that the facts portrayed happened exactly as stated (Okay, this was a gratuitous climate change denial dig).
And then we have Steve Bannon comparing the Trump “Pussy” tapes to the release of the Moore accusations. Setting aside all that is Breitbart, the ill-timed Comey statement, and any number of over-blown conspiracies launched by those in the Trump camp or others during the last national election, what is he actually saying here? It would seem odd if he were arguing that matters of character and past actions are not relevant when considering how someone will conduct themselves in the future. It seems strange too that he would use an example of something that was true and well-documented to cast doubt on something similar hoping people would judge it false.
My sense is that Bannon is exactly like that real estate agent selling houses near the airport whose sales skills override the buyer’s good sense. He speaks of engine noise snidely and dismissively therefore it does not exist and should not be important to you. He walks you straight to the great shower avoiding the kitchen where the windows rattle when the jets take off. He checks his watch and speeds you to the basement just before the largest plane lands all the while saying that he just loves this place and wishes he could live there too. But his interests are not yours, because he lives far from the airport in a place unaffected by that which will ultimately change your life for the worse.
We, and particularly those in Alabama, need to look deeply at issues of character and past actions. And then vote based on those and other considerations. That makes more sense than listening to sales people pushing another bad product that stands to cause us great harm.