Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Alabama U.S. Senate election: the problem with not voting for Roy Moore

Moore (L) faces Jones (R) for Alabama U.S. Senate seat
The special election for an open U.S. Senate seat taking place in Alabama on December 12 is pivotal for a number of reasons.

One of those reasons is that Alabama residents need to be represented in the Senate by someone who will fight for the values held dear to the majority of the citizens of the state.

The second reason that this election is so vitally important is the continuance of Republican control of the Senate as a voting body.

There are 100 seats available in the Senate, two from each of the 50 states. Currently, the Republican Party enjoys a 54-44 edge with two Independent representatives. Those two, Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, are "independent" in formal affiliation only. They are both reliable Democratic Party votes.

So the actual current working makeup of the United States Senate shows a 54-46 voting edge for the Republican Party. Since most important issues are settled by a simple majority these days, Democrats need to flip just five seats in order to take control.

Bill Clinton and Barack Obama sat in the Oval Office for 14 of the last 23 years. Control of the U.S. House of Representatives slipped into Democratic Party control three times during the Obama years.

For the majority of the last two decades, the U.S. Senate has been in Republican Party control. However, that control has usually been by a fairly slim margin. Republican senatorial control has been vital to keeping America from slipping down a Liberal Progressive slope

In Alabama, Richard Shelby was elected to one of the two senate seats as a Democrat all the way back in 1986. However, he switched over to the Republican Party in 1994 as part of the Republican Revolution. Now age 83, Shelby was elected just last year to a new six-year term.

The other Alabama seat was held since 1997 by Republican Jeff Sessions. He became the current U.S. Attorney General in the Trump administration, and Luther Strange was appointed as his temporary successor. Republicans have thus held both Alabama senate seats for over two decades.

Back in September in a hotly contested race, Strange lost a runoff to Roy Moore for the Party nomination to fully succeed Sessions. Moore is now set to face Democrat Doug Jones in the December 12 election. The winner will hold the senate seat formerly held by Sessions through 2020.



Under normal circumstances, Moore might be expected to win this election fairly easily. He is the far more conservative of the two candidates in a state that has gone Republican in Presidential elections for over nearly forty years.

However, these are not normal circumstances. Moore has recently been accused by a half-dozen women of either sexual assault or harassment decades ago. Moore has either denied the accusations, or stated that they were consensual with younger women who were past the age of legal consent.

Moore is a former state judge who served twice as Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court. He has been a colorful, often controversial public figure for decades. His rulings have frequently come down on the side of protecting conservative values.

These accusations have raised questions among some, especially due to their surfacing at this time, with Moore running for such a powerful and influential seat in government.

Folks have had plenty of time to digest these accusations and Moore's responses over the last few weeks. As I wrote this past weekend, people are going to believe what they want to believe on most of these situations.

Numerous liberal publications and commentators, and even some conservative Republican big names, have called for Moore to drop out of the race. They would prefer to have him step aside willingly, and then install a candidate with less baggage into the race. Moore has stated unequivocally that he will not step aside.




If Moore does indeed stay to the end, then Alabama is going to have a choice to make. No matter what you think of Moore's conduct decades ago, voters will be left with a fairly simple thought process in making their choice for the December 12 election.

If you choose to vote for Jones, you are voting for a liberal Democrat. While Jones may not be an ideologue, his publicly stated positions are in line with the mainstream Democratic Party. He can be expected to reliably support the Party with his vote.

If you are a Republican who would have normally voted for the Party candidate, but now choose to not vote at all, then you are ostensibly casting a ballot for Jones. You can play semantics in your mind, justifying your position any way you want. But the fact is that you have made it one vote easier for Jones to get into office.



If you vote for Roy Moore, then you vote for his stated positions. Lower taxes, smaller government, less spending. You vote for a man who believes strongly in the U.S. Constitution, is against activist judges, and thus would support originalist nominees to the U.S. Supreme Court.

If you vote for Roy Moore, then you vote for a Vietnam veteran who would be a strong supporter of the U.S. military. He believes that open borders are a genuine threat to our national security and economy. Moore is also against socialized medicine such as Obamacare, which he says should be repealed immediately.

In short, it is Roy Moore who would support all of the values that the majority of the citizens of Alabama claim to hold dear. By not voting for him, they would be helping their state and their nation to head down a path counter to their beliefs.

That is the problem with not voting for Roy Moore. When Alabama residents go to the polls in December, that is what they need to be thinking about when they cast their ballot. Which candidate, on taking office and heading to Washington, is actually going to represent their values, their positions on the issues most important to them and their families? The answer seems fairly obvious.

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