Stop Calling the Situation With Roy Moore a Dilemma

Roy Moore, the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, at Young's Chapel Congregational Methodist Church in Piedmont, Ala., Aug. 11, 2017. The current furor, in which numerous women have come forward alleging that he approached, dated, or in some cases sexually assaulted them when they were teenagers and he was in his 30s, has played out like a magnified version of Moore’s combative history. (Kevin D. Liles/copyright 2017 The New York Times)

In an editorial today the Grand Forks Herald uses the word “dilemma” to describe the situation Republicans face in the Alabama Senate Race.

It’s a right race, to be settled by voters on Tuesday, and currently the average of the public opinion polls shows Roy Moore winning over Democrat Doug Jones despite a myriad of thoroughly reported and entirely credible accusations about past sexual misconduct, much of it with girls under the age of 18.

“If Jones does win, the Republicans’ slim advantage [in the Senate] will be even slimmer,” the Herald writes. “And if Moore wins, he very likely will face an ethics investigation. Democrats obviously will be against him, and his presence could possibly create a divide in the Republican Party. And for Republicans, that is a dilemma.”

If we use “dilemma” to describe the situation with Roy Moore, we are saying that electing someone credibly accused of having sexual contact, as an adult, with a 14-year-old to the United States Senate is “equally undesirable” to electing a Democrat.

But it’s not a dilemma. The Oxford dictionary definition of that word is, “A situation in which a difficult choice has to be made between two or more alternatives, especially ones that are equally undesirable.”

If we use “dilemma” to describe the situation with Roy Moore, we are saying that electing someone credibly accused of having sexual contact, as an adult, with a 14-year-old to the United States Senate is “equally undesirable” to electing a Democrat.

It means electing a virulent homophobe, a hateful anti-gay bigot, to the United States Senate is “equally undesirable” to electing a Democrat.

I am not at all keen on electing someone like Doug Jones to the United States Senate. His positions on public policy are largely the opposite of mine, and he’ll be another vote for a Democratic caucus which pursues priorities and ideas I believe are bad for our country.

But as undesirable as I find the left wing agenda, it is not “equally undesirable” to having Republicans sacrifice their decency and morality for the sake of maintaining a 52-vote majority in the Senate over a 51-vote majority.

It’s not a dilemma. Opposing Roy Moore is, or at least should be for those with the courage to prioritize basic human decency over partisan politics, an easy choice.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and the host of the Rob (Re)Port on Fargo-based WDAY AM970 from noon-2pm weekdays.

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