There few no crimes worse than the sexual molestation, exploitation or assault of a child. The mere thought of it makes my blood boil and my stomach turn. Children are the most innocent among us and we have a responsibility to protect them and to hold those who hurt them, in any way, let alone this heinous way accountable.
The current atmosphere of empowerment of women to come forward and address their sexual harassers or assailants is one that hopefully will change the world we live in. The #MeToo movement shed light on the prevalence and the secretive nature in which women of all ages, races, economic backgrounds have suffered in silence.
From what I can tell, I don’t know a soul who hasn’t been affected either personally or thorough a relationship with a loved one who was a victim of sexual harassment or assault. Think about the reality of that for a moment. It’s disheartening.
I’ve been thinking about the movement for days following the explosive accusations against Judge Roy Moore.
Here we have accusations involving a woman who claims to have been molested by Moore over 30 years ago. I’m concentrating on the most serious one as I think conflating them with non-sexual accusations were meant to make them more inflammatory. Keep in mind only one woman claimed Moore made sexual advances towards her.
When I questioned the timing of the story on my FaceBook page some saw it as a way to defend Moore. It wasn’t. Here is exactly what I said:
I’m going to go ahead and say this however unpopular my opinion will be: these 40+ year old accusations against Roy Moore stink to high heaven. This is a man who has been on the ballot before, has made countless national headlines, went through a costly and contested runoff and now one month before general election explosive accusations come forth. I’m not speaking to the accusations or his innocence/guilt I’m just saying it’s highly suspect how this is playing out. How can he even be expected to defend or exonerate himself beyond saying it’s untrue in a way that would satisfy those calling for his head?
Since posting that Moore has spoken out emphatically denying knowing or having contact with the alleged victim. Many in Washington have spoken out against him telling him to recuse himself from the race.
Mitt Romney tweeted that “innocent until proven guilty is for criminal convictions not elections.” Ultimately that’s what Roy Moore supporters are saying too, “don’t deny us our right to decide at the ballot box.” D.C. made their bet on a candidate early on in this race and they lost. Now there are a lot of people who would see this as their opportunity to right the wrong that voters made when they made Roy Moore their nominee.
There has been no trial. There won’t be one. Yet those opposed to Moore, many if not most who never would have supported him in the first place, have used this news story to convict him of the worst crime imaginable. Now they’re pointing fingers at his supporters and telling them get on the bandwagon or you’re as bad as a pedophile.
A narrative has begun that if you support Moore you are a condoning the allegations against him. If you question the accusations at all in any way then you’re victim-shaming and are part of the culture that supports sexual abuse and harassment.
My concern is that in this case the accusations have become a political weapon not just against Moore, but against conservatives throughout Alabama. The movement for justice, for victims, is being used to deny Moore his ability to defend himself.
Should the accusations be found to be true Roy Moore should not be a U.S. Senator. That much should be clear to anyone and everyone.
The issue at hand though is that both sides deserve to be heard. I believe more information will be forthcoming. I hope so. In the meantime, voters have put Moore on the ballot in Dec. and voters will decide if they believe he should serve in the U.S. Senate. Mitch McConnell, Mitt Romney and the Washington Post have no vote.