Photo Credit: Drew Angerer, Getty Images
By: Caleb Herrin
Recently, I debated why I believed Republicans would win in the Alabama Senate race. Then, allegations surfaced that Republican candidate Roy Moore had sexual interactions with a 14 year old. With this scandal, it is time for ethical, upstanding, conservatives to take a stand against morally bankrupt politicians. The Republican leadership in Congress needs to draw a line in the sand to dictate the moral compass of the conservative party.
Speaker Paul Ryan and Sen. Mitch McConnell must publicly fight the decline of Republican morals in recent elections by endorsing the Democrat Doug Jones. This move would take a strong stance against immoral candidates, showing that we, conservatives, stand for integrity over partisan politics.
The counterargument to this would be: why can’t Republican leadership endorse Sen. Strange for a write-in campaign? It is true that it was successful for Sen. Murkowski in Alaska. Republican leadership could do this, but they risk splitting the conservative vote and having Doug Jones win regardless, making them look weak. Plus, the state’s political environment is incomparable to Alaska’s.In Alabama, Moore’s fan base will still show up to the polls.
With this in mind, it’s clear that running an intra-party counter-campaign would lead to a Democratic victory. The Republican leadership should use this as an opportunity to demonstrate to the nation that Republicans do not condone Moore’s behavior. Mitch McConnell has now called for Moore to step down, but he should take it one step further and endorse Doug Jones. The Grand Ol’ Party shall only survive if we maintain a sound moral compass that rejects all traces of evil.
Republicans already hold a majority in the Senate and have the potential to increase it in 2018, even with a loss in Alabama. The Hill reported that up to ten Senate seats may flip from Democrat to Republican in the midterms. Concede the Alabama race to the Democrats, and focus on other states like Florida or West Virginia. We are in a strong place going into next year, so reject Moore and whatever brand of “conservatism” he claims. Moore’s entry into the Senate would only exacerbate GOP problems and hinder a true conservative agenda.
With the recent #MeToo movement, accusations of powerful men in society, and reports of sexual assault on Capitol Hill, the Republican Party is in a perfect place to work with Democrats to address this problem and stamp out predatory behavior. This not only promotes bipartisanship, but also demonstrates Republicans care for women’s rights. So as conservatives, let’s rally behind Doug Jones to show the United States that we reject morally insufficient candidates over party politics.