Listening to the Roy Moore news cycle, I am concerned that we lack conservative leadership. Not political leadership, which we may also lack, but opinion leadership. Leadership that should be reminding us that conservative Alabamans (and Oklahomans) really do “hate the sin but not the sinner.”
Judge Moore is accused of “creepy” behavior in the late 1970s and early 1980s – kissing and perhaps over-underwear touching teenagers when he was in his young 30s. He seems to have been an assistant DA at the time. At least one of his accusers, represented by the ever-virtuous Gloria Allred, seems to have fabricated at least a good portion of her story and, as in the Anita Hill and Daniel Holtzclaw cases, the public may never know whether the various other accusations have been constructed or are truthful.
Defenders of Judge Moore have, understandably, brought up the history of rape accusations against Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton’s famous responses to these, respectfully labeled, “bimbo eruptions.”
But what about President Obama’s cocaine use? Dating young women is creepy, it was creepy even in the 80s, but we elected a president who admitted to using cocaine (and thus is likely sometimes to have sold small quantities of cocaine). Arguably worse, Obama’s biographer alleges that he sacrificed love to strengthen his race-identity credentials in politics. That seems plenty creepy to me. He was forgiven, I would argue, under the principle that we should hate the sin but not the sinner. To a lesser extent, and perhaps inappropriately, most voters also forgave Bill Clinton…. not to mention Al Franken, Bob Menendez, Richard Blumenthal, etc.
What I see lacking in the conservative narrative over Roy Moore is the argument that conservatives judge people (and candidates) by who they are and not by who they used to be. Like me, many conservatives grew up as liberals. At the time of these allegations, Roy Moore was a Democrat. We’ve all got a past.
By the time this letter is published, Roy Moore will probably have left politics. All I currently know about him is that his campaign is dealing with a huge scandal around accusations that he acted like a creep in the late 70s and early 80s. Many of us will probably never know what Roy Moore stood for, as a politician, in the year 2017.