Support for Roy Moore Comes with High Costs for 2018

This article originally appeared on my Newsmax column.

It’s been a month since The Washington Post brought to light allegations of sexual misconduct against Roy Moore, and while much has happened in the time since, it seems as though nothing has really changed. Although the RNC pulled its support from the Republican candidate days after the story broke, it has reversed course and now fully supports Moore in Tuesday’s election. And while Moore saw his poll numbers drop significantly in November, recent polls now show him neck and neck with Democrat Doug Jones, and the likely winner.

What happened to inspire this turnaround? More importantly, does Moore deserve it?

When the RNC initially pulled its funding from the Moore campaign, it was stated that Republicans cared more about principles than politics. Our leaders called on Moore to withdraw and allow another candidate to represent the GOP. Withdrawing support from Moore appeared to show that Republican leadership would not stand for the type of behavior of which Moore was accused, and that upholding the morality of the party was more important than any individual candidate.

However, by renewing its funding of Moore, the RNC may have traded its integrity for power and in the end they may lose both. The decision to cease backing Moore came when the polls indicated a likely Republican defeat if Roy Moore remained as the candidate. Now that the chances of a GOP win in Alabama have improved significantly, it seems the RNC would rather ensure the victory of Roy Moore than consider the long term effect of promoting such a candidate.

Another key factor in the RNC’s change of heart is the White House. When the allegations against Moore were first uncovered, the president was out of the country, and the administration did not immediately announce any official position. In recent weeks, however, Trump came out in support of Moore, and just days ago announced his official endorsement of the former judge.

The strong influence of these outside forces on the RNC are clear from the lack of comment from RNC officials, and the apparent reluctance of the RNC to support the decision publicly. One former RNC official said on the matter that it makes the RNC “look foolish and indecisive” and that flip flopping on Moore is “a bad move” and “bad for credibility.” Some have accused the RNC of hypocrisy — our leaders pushed Democrats to return donations from Harvey Weinstein, asked Senator Franken and Congressman Conyers to resign and yet we don’t collectively condemn Moore?

The same former RNC official noted, “The fact is, nothing has changed. If there had been a development that exonerates Moore, that’d be one thing, but there hasn’t been.” This assessment of the scandal is spot on — not only has no information come out to exonerate Moore, but the information that has come out points more directly to his probable guilt.

Moore’s first responses to the scandal were a mixture of innocent forgetfulness and tentative denial. Recently, however, Moore has come out vehemently denying his accuser’s allegations and bitten back by accusing the victims of deceptive political motives. This harder line is more appealing to his core base, because it leaves no room for questions about Moore’s stance, but to those outside that base, it raises further concerns about his trustworthiness.

With regard to at least one of the women, Debbie Gibson, Moore has completely changed his story. Moore initially stated that he knew Gibson but did not remember dating her, but in two campaign stops last week, Moore told crowds that he didn’t know any of the women. Knowing Gibson but not dating her and not knowing any of his accusers are mutually exclusive statements — one of them must be a lie.

Whether Moore is guilty or innocent of sexual misconduct, he has lied to the American people, He contradicted the statements he made on Sean Hannity’s show and said something completely different from the pulpit of a church. When the scandal first broke, Moore could have done the right thing and withdrawn from the race so that another candidate could lead our state in the Senate. Sadly, it seems that Roy Moore is more concerned with obtaining political power than anything else.

Jesus said in Mark 8:36-37 that “what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? For what can a man give in return for his soul?”

I am writing because I care about the soul of my party and I think standing with Roy Moore is going to lead to massive Republican losses in 2018. If the allegations against Moore prove to be true then the Republican Party will no longer be able to be the party of “family values.” The ends don’t justify the means; ultimately, good character is what matters: “A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches.” (Proverbs 22:1, KJV).

On Tuesday, I will be following Senator Richard Shelby’s admirable lead and exercising my right to vote by writing in the name of a conservative Republican of good character. As a Christian, one thing I am sure of is that God is sovereign, he is good, and he loves his children. No matter what happens on Tuesday, I would encourage my readers to find their rest in Christ and put their trust in him. God Bless.