Don’t fill the swamp with Moore

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Roy Moore’s victory in the Republican primary runoff shows that the right-wing populism that propelled President Donald J. Trump into the White House is still adding fuel to the fire. Moore, the former Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, defeated Luther Strange, the incumbent conservative senator who was appointed to fill the vacancy created by Jeff Session’s confirmation as United States Attorney General. Backed by the far-right Breitbart website, Moore’s victory has been hailed as a further “drainage of the swamp”.


While Moore does not belong to the “swamp” of establishment Washington insiders, he belongs to a far worse “swamp,” filled with bigotry and hate.


Moore first rose to national prominence in 2003 when he refused a federal judge’s order to remove a monument from the state judicial building. That followed with The Alabama Court of the Judiciary removing him from office for refusing to obey the federal court order. However, Moore would be elected again as Chief Justice of Alabama in 2013, but soon would be suspended following his comments urging that state probate judges ignore federal court orders to issue same-sex marriage licenses.


Beyond his blatant disregard for the law, Moore has shown complete hatred toward the LGBT community. “Homosexual conduct is, and has been, considered abhorrent…. a violation of the laws of nature and of nature’s God upon which this Nation and our laws are predicated,” wrote Moore in a 2002 domestic court case in which he ruled that being “homosexual” would make one unfit to be a parent.


“False religions like Islam, who teach that you must worship this way, are completely opposite with what our First Amendment stands for,” said Moore in a response to a women’s question about sharia law, according to a report by the Huffington Post. Ironically, though Moore makes the argument that Islam teaches that one must worship in a certain way, Moore’s brand of Christianity that dictates God’s supremacy over the U.S. is also contradictory of the First Amendment.


What is even more abhorrent is that Senate Republicans are more concerned about Moore defeating his democratic opponent, former U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama, and then criticizing Moore for his bigotry. John Bresnahan, a writer for Politico, asked numerous Republican Senators of what they thought of Roy Moore. Of the 11 Republican Senators, eight of them claimed that they had never heard of Moore or were not familiar with him. Only one Senator, Jeff Flake of Arizona, denounced Moore. “I’m obviously not enamored by his politics because that’s not the future of the Republican Party, that’s for sure,” Flake said to Politico.


It is important to note that Roy Moore is not a conservative. Instead, he represents the reactionary elements that have hijacked the Republican Party. If Senator Strange had won the primary, the race between him and Jones would have been a cordial affair between two respectable men who differed on the types of policies that best helped the American people. On the other hand, an election between Moore and Jones is symbolic of the far right views that being entwined into the mainstream.


Moore stands for bigotry, hate and distaste for the law. He even allowed the League of South, an organization that stands for an independent Southern republic, to speak at the headquarters of a foundation he was once running, according to a report by CNN. It would not be a stretch to argue that Moore is sympathetic toward the Confederacy.


When one compares Moore to Jones, there is a direct contrast. During his time as U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama, he prosecuted the last two Ku Klux Klan perpetrators of the 1963 16th Street Baptist Church bombing, which was an act of white supremacist terrorism that killed four young African-American girls. One might disagree with Jones on policy matters, but on a personal level, one cannot help but admire the man.


If Moore is elected, another rabble-rouser will join the ranks of the Senate. For Massachusetts, Moore’s track record of calling for a full repeal of the Affordable Care Act means the state again will be in danger of potentially losing federal funding. Ideals, such as equal rights for all, that MA prides itself in will face another opponent.


On Dec. 12, 2017, voters in Alabama will send a message. If they vote for Moore, that message is clear. A vote for Moore is an endorsement of hateful views that are the opposite of what the true principles of Conservatism stand for, and what most Americans stand for. As an institution the Senate is prestigious, and a Senator Moore would be a disgrace to it.