By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter
A recent poll of the U.S. Senate race in Alabama is giving liberal Democrats hope that Judge Roy Moore’s beliefs are too far out of the mainstream for him to win in December’s general election.
A recent Fox poll shows Moore and former U.S. Attorney Doug Jones in a statistical dead heat for the U.S. Senate. This outlier survey is reverberating through the national media, and here at home, as a glimmer of hope for progressives who wish to defeat a man they called bigoted, hateful and a lawbreaker.
This seems like an exercise in magical thinking of the kind that handed the White House to a man who is seen by many as void of character with only a slight notion of reality. But some of the same Democrats that put President Trump in office are needed to lift Jones in the Senate. Democrats myopathy on left-wing social issues and identity politics has resonated adversely with white middle-class and rural voters in Alabama who care more about jobs, education and their children’s future than who’s sleeping with whom or who gets married or uses what bathroom.
Rural Alabama is Moore country, not because the people who call it home are stupid, mean, or ill-informed; it’s because they are rooted in traditional ideas of faith, community and family. Jones will likely lose the rural vote by two to one.
Jones is a decent man and the great white hope for liberals, but to win, Jones will have to sweep Jefferson County with big wins in predominantly African-American communities. Just the other day, I asked some of those voters what Jones has done for Birmingham and Jefferson County? The blank stares told the story. When I asked a prominent black doctor if he thought Moore was a bigot, he said, “From all I know is he is a good man.” When asked about Jones, that same vacant expression.
It may be easy to hate Moore because he has not excepted secular modernity the way Jones has, but hundreds of thousands of Alabamians think like Moore and not Jones, especially evangelicals. Jones’ stand on social issues, not Moore’s, is seen as out of touch by many of those voters, especially Jones’ support of late-term abortion.
When Moore was suspended from the bench for his order in Obergefell v. Hodges, critics claimed: “love wins.”
However, Jones’ support of a woman’s right to abort a child after 20 weeks is seen as more radical than any of Moore’s opinions by a majority of Alabama voters.
Liberals may think that Moore’s beliefs are extreme, but I would contend that most Alabamians view Jones’ as down-right murderous. They might even ask, “How does love win when a viable fetus is scrambled like an egg before being sucked from a woman’s womb after 20 weeks?” Recently, I received an text with a friend’s sonogram showing a perfectly healthy 20-week old unborn child. Under what circumstance should we as a society feel it is morally just to abort that baby?
The nation’s largest denomination – the Roman Catholic Church – opposes abortion in all circumstances. The second-largest church, the Southern Baptist Convention, also opposes abortion, although it does allow an exception in cases where the mother’s life is in danger, according to a Pew Study. The same is true of the predominantly black African Methodist Episcopal Church.
In a Facebook post on my timeline, a woman wrote, “I’m pro-life, but I’ll be voting for Doug Jones because Roy Moore will not stand for families, healthcare, better wages or civil rights.” Really? I thought, how do you know? Have you ever seen any of his many legal opinions that sided with the little guy over big business or his writings on other areas of the law?
Columnists continue writing that Moore was twice removed from the state supreme court. That’s not accurate. He was removed once and was suspended once under very suspicious circumstances. Funny how facts never get in the way of a good narrative.
I am not an apologist for Moore, but he is not evil, and painting him as so just shows a failed understanding of the traditional values held by many Alabamians. We may disagree with his stand on specific issues, but we should not merely brush his beliefs aside by name-calling without thought. And if that offends some, then perhaps they are harboring bias, as well.
When Moore goes to Washington, he will bring a conservative view of the Constitution and its role in governing. That’s a good thing because it is slowly being degraded by Republicans and Democrats, alike.
Those who think love is letting people marry who they chose, while believing it’s okay to kill a 20-week old fetus, fail to fully understand what love is.