Innocent Until Guilty? Yes. But It's Not Looking Good for Roy Moore...
By Courtney Kirchoff and Kacie Burnett
We've not been shy to cover, for the past several weeks, the sexual assault and harassment allegations leveled at Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Louis CK, and Brett Ratner. Hollywood is a cesspit of immorality, lechery, and hedonism. It's not even an open secret, we all know it.
But so too is Washington D.C. a cesspit of gross misconduct. Whenever, wherever, people amass power, those people often leverage that power to behave in reprehensible ways. Note I'm specifying people. Though men are the lead perpetrators in these recent misconduct cases, women aren't immune to wielding their authority over others. Check out the hussy teachers who're supposed to be schooling your sons in Algebra. Not the Kama Sutra. Okay? Okay.
Washington DC has a checkered history of endorsing and supporting sexual deviants. Most notoriously Ted Kennedy (even John Kennedy was a sleazy cad) and Bill Clinton. Both accused of sexual misconduct, and in Ted Kennedy's case, manslaughter (that's putting it mildly). If you're unfamiliar with the Kennedy story, Google "Ted Kennedy Chappaquiddick."
Now comes Roy Moore, with allegations Moore sexually assaulted a 14-year-old girl several decades ago. Yes, we'll discuss the timing of these revelations. Yes, we'll ask "why now?" Patience.
With a Republican being accused of allowing his pecker free reign, we're no longer dealing with loathed and despised sanctimonious Hollywood hypocrites who dictate morality to the rest of us -- while they assault many of their own. Now we're dealing with an elected official, who hopes to shape public policy at the national level. Which will affect us all.
Suddenly political battle lines have been drawn. Suddenly it's conspiracy vs. agendas. In fact we've waited to comment on Moore heretofore, so we could see what shook out of the allegation tree. Not all sexual allegations are true. We've covered plenty of cases of false accusals on this website. Sometimes it's tough to gauge when is the right time to opine. That being said, and as already mentioned, we were quick to jump on Hollywood's perverted hypocrites. National policy wasn't directly involved.
It's not looking good for Roy Moore. If the allegations are true (it's looking dicer as more comes to light), not only should he step down, he should be banned from civil society. Now. I don't care if he votes Republican, I don't care if he's pro-life. He's a sexual pervert who attacked a teen girl.
Before you scream at me about a conspiracy to derail Moore's election chances, yes, timing here is suspicious. Why did these allegations come out now? Why not years ago, or even during the Republican primary in Alabama? Valid questions, all. Which we'll try to answer.
We cannot, however, simply dismiss accusations based on political timing. Multiple things can be true at once: Moore may be guilty, and the press may have used that guilt to derail his campaign. But political opportunism should not excuse possible sexual misconduct against a minor. Regardless of how much an election is at stake.
Two columnists have weighed in on the Moore scandal with two relevant points to this column:
Kat Timpf wrote a column over at National Review discussing intellectual consistency on how we, as a society, oppose sexual abusers. I openly admit she inspired us to write this column. If we're quick to condemn some for their misconduct, and not others (because of politics), that's a problem. Either accusations of sexual misconduct are always a problem, or they're not. Either everyone is innocent until guilty (in the court of law and court of public opinion) or they're not.
Similarly, Ben Shapiro opined over at Daily Wire, pointing out how messy voting can get when both sides engage in gross misconduct. As voters, we seem to be constantly faced with a "lesser of two evils" argument. Time and time again.
Which is the issue we're faced with now: Roy Moore is going up against a Democrat, in a time when scoring congressional seats is pivotal. Democrats support abortion and seek to advance America down a socialist path. They must be defeated.
Roy Moore's sexual assault allegations pose a major problem. We're not talking about a dewy-eyed, liberal mouthpiece from the bowels of Hollywood. While it's easy to turn the channel or not attend the latest Hollywood film, it's not so easy to oppose people who are supposedly representing us. Who are shaping our very lives. Who can shift the balance of power in DC.
According to one of four alleged victims, Roy Moore, 32 at the time, was very interested in shapes. Particularly her prepubescent shape. He preyed upon her - positioning himself in her life as a fox positions himself in a henhouse - isolated her, disrobed her, and acquainted himself with her genitals. All this when she was 14 years old. A child. And he 32. An adult.
Yes, of course, it's been a fat minute since Roy Moore was on the pleasant side of 35. The man is well into wrinkled prunery now, in his 70's, meaning this all took place decades ago. Which many have dutifully tasked themselves with reminding us of (like this NBC article). There's the natural suspicions, "Why did it take so long for the victim to speak up?" or "What can she possibly gain from telling everyone now?"
These are valid concerns. As already stated, an election is at stake. Meaning actual power.
But if we want to know the answers, we must ask the victim. If we want to understand the answers, we must try to empathize with the victim. No, not sympathize. To sympathize is to pity and elevate victim status. To empathize is to comprehend someone's feelings, in this case, to better understand the victim's actions.
It's not unusual for sexual abuse victims to wait long periods of time before speaking up. Often times, children feel a sense of guilt or shame regarding their abuse. Some children even carry this shame with them into adulthood, never feeling able to speak out.
Sometimes people outgrow this perceived shame. It's entirely possible for a woman to feel better equipped to speak out against a powerful abuser when she's in her 40's. More so than when she was only 14. Situations change. True victimhood does not have an expiration date. Not to be confused with manufactured victimhood of the leftist variety (like "whiteness" or "privilege").
When the accusations were being launched at Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Dustin Hoffman, or any other Hollywood elitist, many on the right did not care to ask these same questions above. Were there hot takes from right-leaning websites alleging conspiracies against Kevin Spacey? Or Louis CK? I don't think so.
But now that a Republican has been painted in a predatory light, many of those same conservatives are either silent on the subject, or worse yet, they're attempting to bat away these allegations. People are beginning to notice. As they should.
Due process is important. Victim statements? Also important. We can respect and value both, for the sake of both the victim and the accused. Maybe this woman is a liar. Maybe she has a political agenda. But if you find yourself only asking these questions because Roy Moore has an (R) after his name, retrace your steps. Your logic took a wrong turn somewhere.
Skepticism has its place. But let's apply that skepticism equally, not based solely on our political bias.
Incidentally, one side (either left or right) screaming at accusers as being nothing more than lying, opportunistic whores, is one reason many people don't speak up at all. Or they wait until they assemble a protective team. Observe how accusers are treated, especially when it comes to politics. Again, no, not all accusers are being honest. But nor does that mean all are liars, simply because you don't approve of who they're accusing.
Let's all stay skeptical here. Even toward Roy Moore. Politicians do not get a pass just because they vote along our party line.
By Courtney Kirchoff and Kacie Burnett