Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore

In this 2012 file photo, Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore speaks at Angel Grove Baptist Church near Jacksonville.

The Dec. 12 special U.S. Senate election isn’t just about Roy Moore or Doug Jones or the Republican or Democratic parties. It will be a referendum on Alabama’s reputation and integrity.

Alabamians need to think of our state’s good name when we go vote for a new U.S. senator on Dec. 12.

Roy Moore isn’t the man who needs to represent us in Washington and be a reflection of our state and our values to the nation and the world.

Even before the sexual allegations came out, I was no fan of Moore’s.

He twice chose to ignore the law in favor of his own beliefs. It is bad enough for any citizen to ignore the law but he did so as the sitting chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court.

None of us is above the law and if our judges — of all people — ignore the law, we will quickly collapse into chaos.

He was removed as chief justice twice for his refusal to comply with the law.

Moore is more preacher than politician. He crusades for conservative Christian values and is quick to lash out at other religions and lifestyles that don’t fit his values.

I’ve heard him speak twice this year — both times from behind pulpits in Clarke County churches where he sounded more like a preacher than a would-be senator.

Don’t get me wrong, I know the value of religious faith but we aren’t electing a pope or the next Billy Graham. We are electing a senator who must deal with a multitude of political and governmental issues.

I’ve never heard Roy Moore talk in any detail about the issues a senator must deal with — taxes, immigration, healthcare, defense, infrastructure needs, foreign and domestic matters. I’ve only heard him preach.

The sexual allegations that have come out in the last few weeks have poured gasoline on this race. You can believe or not believe the several women who say Moore made inappropriate advances toward them when he was in his early 30s and they were teenagers 40 years ago.

I tend to believe the women. It would take an elaborate conspiracy for so many to come forward and for so many supporting stories for there not to be something there.

That being said, 40 years is a long time ago and people can change. Forgiveness may be one thing — and mind, you, Roy Moore isn’t asking for forgiveness because he’s admitting no wrongdoing — but he sure doesn’t need to go to the U.S. Senate.

This isn’t about Roy Moore going to D.C. and poking the Democrats and Establishment Republicans in the eye like a George Wallace of the 1960s. It is about sending someone up there who can hopefully help stabilize and improve the discord there, someone who can be of service to our state and nation.

Roy Moore isn’t that person. If he is elected, he will be met with resistance from fellow senators right off the bat and he will continue to be in the news constantly — and in the same negative way he is now.

Moore’s negativity will reflect negatively on Alabama. It will make business and industry recruitment harder and our tourism industry will likely suffer.

Moore’s combative maverick ways will make it hard for him to be team player with the Republicans and he won’t work for Alabama in the quiet style of a Richard Shelby.

Instead, I expect he will use the Capitol as a national stage for his own self-serving crusades.

So many have said they support Moore simply because he is a Republican. Gov. Kay Ivey says in one breath she believes the women but in the next will vote for Moore anyway because he is the Republican candidate.

Have we come to this, that the party label is the most important determiner of who we vote for and not the individual behind the label? Heaven help us!

Doug Jones, the Democrat, is the better candidate and the only alternative on Dec. 12. He served with distinction as a U.S. attorney and successfully prosecuted and gained convictions for those responsible for the Birmingham 16th Street Church bombing in 1963 that killed four little girls.

He is an old-school Democrat who can go to Washington and work with both sides of the aisle to get things done. He will be respected and that respect won’t be just for him but for our state.

Do what is right for Alabama on Dec. 12. Vote for Doug Jones over Roy Moore.

 

Jim Clark is the editor/publisher of The Clarke County Democrat in Grove Hill.

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