By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter
It was all just a show.
I think that deep down most everyone knew this about Roy Moore — that his entire persona was nothing more than a contrived act. A ruse. A way to tweak his ego and bring easy money to his doorstep.
He’s not the tough Christian soldier. He’s not a cowboy. He’s not a pistol-toting, leather vest-wearing warrior.
In reality, Roy Moore is just another politician.
One desperately trying to weasel his way into an office that he doesn’t deserve and damn sure hasn’t earned.
Maybe you’ve noticed that Moore has been mysteriously absent from your TVs, radios and newspapers. That’s because he’s essentially gone into a conservative bunker, attending mostly closed, invite-only events at which the questions and crowd are vetted beforehand.
Because Moore knows the reality: His own words are killing him.
We are at the beginning of a shift in America — you could see evidence of this in Tuesday night’s election results — away from the hatred and bigotry that has so thoroughly embarrassed this country globally and towards a more rational, respectful government. The majority of voters have seen the effect of hate and bigotry on the country, and they don’t like it.
Even in Alabama, the reddest of the red states and the Trumpiest of the Trump states, you can sense this shift. When else would a Doug Jones have a prayer in a statewide election against a Roy Moore?
Don’t get me wrong, it is a prayer. There are still quite a few people in Alabama who will overlook anything a Republican says or does and vote against a Democrat. But the overwhelming majority of voters know it’s not OK for politicians to declare that Muslims are unfit to serve in Congress or to openly defy the Constitution, the U.S. Supreme Court and their oaths of office.
Moore has done and said all of that. He’s bragged about it. It’s what made that phony image believable to so many — here was a judge willing to risk his job to keep the Ten Commandments in the courthouse lobby. A real fighter.
In the recent past, moderate Republican voters have chosen to overlook such radical views, focusing instead on economic policy or other social issues to justify their vote.
But in the current climate, where it’s easy to see the damage that can result from the sort of hatred and bigotry that Moore spews, where close friends and family members are turning on each other over support for these views, it’s hard to justify voting for such a candidate.
And that’s why it’s going on two weeks since you’ve seen Moore — surely the longest stretch in his political life.
Because inside that campaign, they sense trouble.
Every time Moore steps in front of a camera and proclaims that homosexuality is a crime or that public school is indoctrination or that it’s OK to disobey laws if you disagree with them, one more GOP voter decides to do something else on Dec. 12.
Which is why the gun-toting, leather vest-wearing, horse-riding hero of the handmaids has turned into a plain ol’ political coward, refusing now to debate his challenger, Doug Jones. On any platform. No matter who approaches and asks.
And so, the gameplan here is easy to see: Moore is hoping that he can hide away for the next month and that you’ll forget who he is and what he’s said. Hoping you’ll send him and his hatefulness to D.C. to embarrass us all on a national stage.
Don’t do it.
This is all just a show for Roy Moore. It’s real life for the rest of us.