By now you have probably heard that Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore has been accused, in a powerful story in the Washington Post, of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl when he was 32. The story also featured three more accusers who have come forward with accounts of Moore pursuing them while they were teenagers. The statute of limitations has run out on all four cases and there will be no charges brought against Moore. He is continuing to run for the Senate.
Human being to human being, I have a question.
Would you feel comfortable letting your teenage daughter be alone with a man like Roy Moore?
He is a man who, according to the Post, has been accused of doing this to a 14-year-old:
“She remembers Moore disappearing into another room and coming out with nothing on but ‘tight white’ underwear. She remembers that Moore kissed her, that he took off her pants and shirt, and that he touched her through her bra and underpants. She says that he guided her hand to his underwear and that she yanked her hand back.”
I don’t need to know “if it’s true,” as so many GOP lawmakers have intoned to the press since the story broke. There’s no way my husband and I would let our kids anywhere near this guy.
I don’t need a court of law. I don’t need to ask “if it’s true.” This is about right and wrong.
If you are saying to yourself, there’s no way I’d let my teenager hang out alone with any 32-year-old man, you’re right. They shouldn’t be. Even Moore knew it was wrong; as the Post story describes, he arranged to pick the girl up around the corner from her house when he drove her to his home and where the alleged assault took place.
Yes, the media will make the Moore story political because he’s a candidate for office. Moore himself told Sean Hannity on Friday that the allegations against him were “completely false and misleading” and called the claim he had a relationship with a 14-year-old girl “politically motivated.”
But I’m begging us all to think personally, not politically on this one.
Moore’s accuser, who was 14 at the time of the alleged incident, recounted, “I wasn’t ready for that — I had never put my hand on a man’s penis, much less an erect one,” She remembers thinking, “I don’t want to do this,” and, “I need to get out of here.” She says that she got dressed and asked Moore to take her home, and that he did.
If the story about Moore creeps you out even a little bit, you believe the accusers too. And you aren’t alone. Conservative voices agree with you.
Sen. John McCain responded immediately calling the allegations against Moore, “deeply disturbing and disqualifying.” McCain called for Moore to ‘immediately step aside and allow the people of Alabama to elect a candidate they can be proud of.”
In every other facet of society, we do not tolerate allegations of predatory behavior when they come to light. We don’t need a court of law to tell us what to do. Look at how swiftly FOX and MSNBC dumped Roger Ailes, Bill O’Reilly and Mark Halperin when the sexual harassment claims became public via in-depth, well-reported news stories. Or, how fast Netflix cut ties with Kevin Spacey, studios dumped Harvey Weinstein and HBO cut Louis C.K. loose.
We must stop tolerating this in politics. When you run for office, you put your character on the line. When accusers start to line up against you, it’s black and white. It’s no longer political, it’s about right and wrong. Just ask former Democratic congressman Anthony Weiner, who is serving 21 months as a federal sex offender for sexting with a minor.
A veteran Republican Senate operative told CNN that since Moore is refusing to step aside the “next best case is for the Alabama electorate to beat his ass like a drum and make it clear that regardless of party affiliation the GOP does not tolerate child predators.”
This is not a question of whether or not Roy Moore should go to jail. This is a question of whether or not he’s going to Congress.
I think Mitt Romney said it best: “Innocent until proven guilty is for criminal convictions, not elections. I believe Leigh Corfman. Her account is too serious to ignore. Moore is unfit for office and should step aside.”
And if you wouldn’t let your daughter spend time alone with Moore, guess what. You believe Corfman too.