With Tuesday’s Alabama special Senatorial election upon us, what will Alabamans do about the “accused” sex predator on the ballot?
The key word in that question is “accused.” Yes, there are eight women who have come forward with various accusations against the former judge. None has presented any evidence. Granted, retaining hard evidence for as many years as would be necessary in this case would almost be impossible. Yet there is a massive cloud of doubt that surrounds these allegations against Roy Moore. He has run for office no less than six times through the years, yet none of these have ever stepped forward…until now. And none did so until after the primary a couple of months ago. Not stepping up in all those years and then all doing so now thickens that cloud of doubt.
Faye Gary, a former police officer with the Gadsden Police Department in Alabama, has been featured in the news in recent days making the unsubstantiated claim that she was told to protect young cheerleaders from Roy Moore at local ballgames. Speaking in a Breitbart News interview on Wednesday, Gary falsely claimed that Moore “wanted to keep segregation here in the South.” She then claimed that Moore “hates Jews. He hates blacks. He hates Muslims. He hates gays.” When challenged for specifics, Gary conceded that “I don’t know exactly what he said about Jews, but he doesn’t like Muslims. I know he doesn’t like Muslims. It is my personal feeling that he doesn’t like blacks.”
When further petitioned to support her charges, especially her claim that Moore “hates blacks” and supports segregation, Gary further admitted, “I am not sure. That is my feeling.” The news media in recent days uncritically featured Gary making the undocumented claim on MSNBC that as a police officer “we were also told to watch him at the ball games to make sure that he didn’t hang around the cheerleaders.”
The news media seemingly failed to vet Gary, with numerous articles and the MSNBC interview not mentioning that Moore was the prosecutor in an 1982 high profile case that sent her brother, Jimmy Wright, to prison on charges of possession of a controlled substance. This after a second charge — unlawful sale of a controlled substance — was dropped.
What’s at Stake
The outcome of the Alabama election is not all that is at stake here. What is currently being tried in the Court of Public Opinion is the basic premise of American government that almost solely separates our nation from all others: the presumption of innocence.
Heretofore that benefit has applied solely to criminal cases. Civil cases most often vary based on the particular circumstances of each. But even with that, most Americans have universally adopted the philosophy of “innocent until proven guilty” pretty much in every area of life, including civil and criminal matters. Is that attitude changing?
What is simultaneously being tried today that is NOT associated with the Alabama election is Political Correctness. No one has named PC as a defendant in any action, but it is front and center in the public courtroom. Quietly Americans who heretofore maintained silence about most issues that did not personally impact their lives, now — especially in politics — more have become vocal about Political Correctness in the U.S. The 2016 presidential election put PC front and center, and it has become the dog whistle of the Left.
We have discussed previously the quandary of who has the authority to determine what is politically correct and what is not; who is politically correct and who is not; and whatever the penalties are for violators. That argument over PC is dramatically feeding the feeding frenzy between Americans on the political front not seen in decades if ever. And it is very uncomfortable.
Which Is Correct: PC or Presumption of Innocence?
To be honest, the latter has proven to be more effective, more consistent in dealing with basic human nature, and fulfills the Constitutional tenet of “equal justice for all,” which PC fails to do. Political Correctness seems to be at its roots a way for intellectual supremacists to denigrate others with no justification for doing so other than some self-assumed moral authority, all in the name of “Social Justice.” It simply does not work.
Think about Senator Al Franken (D-Mn). A host of women stepped forward with sexual harassment claims against the former comedian. He held his ground for almost two weeks as one after another came out against him. But when more than two dozen fellow Democrats unified in their cry for his resignation from the Senate, he complied. Although most believe all or some of the allegations, think about this: “IF” they were not true, Minnesotans are losing a duly elected U.S. Senator for acts he may not have committed. And in this there has been no presumption of innocence. Until recently, this practice has been non-existent in the U.S. What’s driving this “new norm?” This is a slippery slope that I don’t think Americans want to go down. Take the example of Martin Luther King, Jr.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
No doubt Dr. King was one of the greatest American leaders of the 20th Century. But just like JFK, the President’s brother Teddy, and many other famous leaders of the past century, he had faults. Some of their faults were with the opposite sex. President Kennedy had trysts with multiple women, reportedly sometimes carried out in the White House. Ted Kennedy — known at his death as the “Lion of the Senate” — drove a car into the water that resulted in the drowning of a young lady not his wife who was carrying his child. And there was Dr. King.
According to research writer Cord Jefferson:
“Dr. King had many women on the road, the privilege of a male celebrity who needs lots of sex to boost his ego and calm his nerves. (It was a standard perk for big-time black preachers, in any case.) Indeed, according to his biographers, he was about to tell Mrs. King before he died that one mistress had become a favorite and that they ought to divorce. (If the biographies are accurate, it seems unlikely their marriage would have survived into the 1970’s, had Dr. King not been assassinated.)
The Washington Post, on the 43rd anniversary of King’s assassination, writer Hampton Sides makes the very important, oft-overlooked point that a man’s flaws don’t necessarily outweigh their contributions to the world. After noting that one of King’s mistresses had spent the night with King the evening before he was killed, Sides writes, ‘King was a human being: flawed, vulnerable, uncertain about the future, subject to appetites and buffeted by the extraordinary stresses of his position. His civil rights cause was holy, but he was a sinner.'”
This in an important lesson that should probably be applied to all of our national heroes: A person needn’t be perfect to be great. Thomas Jefferson owned slaves. As pointed out above, John F. Kennedy had multiple affairs, and his brother, Ted, got off scot-free for wrecking his car and killing a woman. Yet all three accomplished major things in their lifetimes, things whose legacies positively impact us to this day.
Beyond that, it seems self-defeating to want our heroes to be perfect, because we aren’t perfect ourselves. As Sides says, “By calling our heroes superhuman we also let ourselves off the hook: Why do the hard work of bettering the world if that’s something only saints do?”
In 21st century America, the only saints are those that wear black and gold and play football in New Orleans. Everyone else is pure, to-the-bone human. Humans err; humans make mistakes. Humans fail and hurt other humans.
If our choices for Congress, other offices in D.C., and even local political and other public offices can include only those who have no mistakes in their pasts, the list of qualified applicants for those jobs will be really short. In some cases the list of qualified applicants would be blank.
Please do not interpret this as my endorsement of any person who takes advantage of others — especially politicians who are guilty of taking sexual advantage of younger, much less mature and worldly boys and girls using their power and position to “close the deal.” There is NO excuse. NONE is allowable.
Regarding who is and who is NOT qualified, I refer you to the story in John Chapter 4 where Jesus met a Samaritan woman who had been married multiple times, was currently unmarried, and was actually prostituting herself at the time. As they were talking, a group of Samaritan men who held the moral authority to determine the fate of that young woman confronted Jesus and the woman. They intended to stone her to death for her sin. Jesus bent over and picked up a stone. Holding it up he said this to those men,” Let the man who has no fault and has not messed up be the first to throw a stone at her.”
If anyone intends to stone me to death, you need a BUNCH of stones. I’ve made a lot of mistakes and bad decisions.