Roy Exum: How Would I Vote?

Friday, November 17, 2017 - by Roy Exum
Roy Exum
Roy Exum

I don’t know what to think or who to believe in the debacle surrounding Alabama’s Roy Moore and his quest for a Senate seat. I have no earthly idea what he did or how he acted 40 years ago. Heck, I can’t remember what I did or how I acted 40 years ago but I do recall I kissed some minors back then. To be real honest, they were the only ones that would let me, this because I was also a minor at the time. But I remember they kissed back.

Maybe it is because I have a jaundiced view of politics in general, or people like the Clintons in particular, but I am distrustful of a lot of things I see and hear and read. During my morning readings yesterday, I paused to ask myself a question in the only court where my opinion really matters, my very own. “Would I vote for Roy Moore?” I am certainly not a big fan of his but the man won a primary election fair and square. Further, I respect the say of the citizens of Alabama who voted for him.

Obviously how I would vote is a moot question, since the only votes that will be counted will be cast in the state of Alabama on Dec. 12. But throw aside all the allegations, the denials, the savagery of sensationalists who pose as unbiased reporters, and this awful anger I found has permeated into every facet of our society. “So … tell me true … what would I do?”

I can guarantee my heart-felt answer to my true self is the exact same that the people in Alabama will declare next month. “Depends on who he’s running against.” No matter how much is written, whatever is still going to be said, I believe if the vote was today the conservative Moore would be the people’s pick.

Look at Donald Trump – you really want to know what got him elected? The person he was running against. One of the biggest political mysteries of my life is how both the Republicans and Democrats come up with the crummy candidates they do. Our only “real” option in 2016 was between Trump and Hillary Clinton and, so help me, had “Neither” been on the ballot it would have been a landslide choice.

Stand back and ponder what we’ve got right now in Alabama. Roy Moore is being barbequed – his reputation sullied by the hour. But he’s running against a pro-abortion liberal, lightly regarded Doug Jones. With a Senate that could easily shift its balance in the 2018 election cycle, the “witch hunt” that Moore will be forced to endure over the next month could affect some Senate races in other states.

A voter in Alabama has no other choice but Moore or Jones. Neither has any criminal record. There is no real evidence, to date, either way. The lone choice is to take one or the other. Faced with such a choice, it is a certainty Alabama voters don’t worry half-as-much about what “might” have happened 40 years ago as they do about our nation’s tomorrows. They have re-elected Roy Moore time and time again while Jones, you must realize, is an unknown risk.

Any responsible voter in Alabama wants to use his or her vote in a way that will best serve the state. In the end it will come down to what is the best solution “for me.” Advantage? Moore.

I wouldn’t have to go but several inches out on a limb to admit I have voted against far more people than I have championed. I think a lot of us have done that. I look at political candidates and vote for the one I believe I can trust the most, yet as of late I have voted against the one I trusted the least.

Alabama is solidly conservative and Jones was trailing by double digits in the polls before last week’s smear on Moore was born. The truth is that after Moore whipped Luther Strange in the primary, the Republican Party proper absolutely panicked. The “establishment” was under siege. People are a bit puzzled by the timing of the accusations and wonder what the accusers stand to gain. If not for a purely political toe-hold, what then?

Most are too savvy to fall for the Washington establishment. Jeff Sessions, who Trump selected as the nation’s Attorney General, is most certainly part of the Washington machine. He has repeatedly stated he has “no reason not to believe the women.” As for me, I have been around so long I know every creek has two banks. I have no reason not to believe anybody who has been named or is involved. Thank God that because I have no vote, I am free of making any judgement.

The women say it happened. Judge Roy Moore has emphatically denied any wrong-doing. My mind is open and my head is clear, but until there is more compelling information, who among us can pass judgement on anyone who has been named or is involved? Pedophilia is the most gruesome act we can envision but if you were Roy Moore and thus accused, think of what you would do, other than deny it.

There is a story being circulated that Lyndon Johnson, forever hailed as the master of dirty politics, was in a tight race in Texas back in the 1970s and told his campaign manager to spread the rumor his opponent was having carnal knowledge with the female pigs on his ranch.

LBJ’s campaign manager blanched, saying there was no way people would believe it. LBJ agreed but said, “Still … let’s make the SOB deny it.” In short, plant the seed in the public’s garden and don’t worry that after the election, such a claim will never grow. Just plant the seed. I am telling you, there are people like this when money, politics and power intermingle.

The latest backroom foil calls for Strange to abruptly resign, a ploy that would hopefully create a new election, but that must be decided by a high court. Even if it were to work, such a ruse is expected to be very unpopular and could backfire badly. In Alabama, where the level of contempt for our nation’s leadership already runs high, state GOP officials are leery such shenanigans will be costly in every imaginable way.

If the Republicans were to call for a massive write-in candidate, the fear is whoever they would pick would siphon just enough Moore votes to elect the Democrat. As a matter of fact, there is building resentment within the state that “outsiders” are illegally stealing the election from Moore in open daylight. Trust me, it is an added issue.

Another scenario calls for the Dec. 12 election to take place as scheduled – unimpeded -- and, if Moore were to win, the Senate could then vote to expel him from its midst. There would have to be an ethics hearing – which you know would be hotly contested for lack of proof – then a vote of two-thirds of the chamber would be required to oust Moore. It is estimated it would take a year to expel any Senator. So, we ask, where is the return?

One more point: No matter what happens, Alabama still has to elect a Senator to replace Sessions. Right now the race is between Moore and Jones. There is no reason for the political process to change its course. You can bet Roy Moore will not step aside and that is one reason the people of Alabama will elect him in defiance of all and everything in Washington, just you wait and see.

What’s that? For the record? I’d vote for Moore over Jones if the election was today.

royexum@aol.com



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