How symbolic that the social movement #MeToo was named Time's Person of the Year, trumping Trump, among others. Ever since the Access Hollywood tapes came out more than a year ago, the burning engine of disgust has been stirring in the collective feminine cauldron. The man who popped a few Tic Tacs then gloated to his host that he could just start kissing women and not even wait, because when you're a star, you can do anything--even grab them in the most intimate and personal bodily places, without even asking--rose to the top of the Republican ticket and then to the pinnacle of the American political system as president of the Republican party.
And now the whole party has endorsed another sexual predator, Roy Moore, who "allegedly" is not only a sexual predator but also an abuser of power, who in his 30s preyed on underage girls while he was supposedly upholding the law as a prosecuting attorney. He stalked them outside the courthouse where he tried to pin guilt on other criminals, and he repeatedly stalked them in a nearby shopping mall. A man who doesn't feel shame over that revelation is a very dangerous man indeed. And now he's likely to become Alabama's U.S. senator, because he has so many ardent supporters. By the time you read this, we'll all know the outcome of that election.
Many have been wondering aloud: "What's wrong with those people in Alabama?" I would add, "What's wrong with Republicans?" Has partisanship completely eclipsed human decency, patriotism and common sense? And while we're at it, "What's wrong with Evangelicals?" These people who have so utterly betrayed their values, and forever forsaken the moral high ground they once thought they owned will never reclaim it without being scorned by those they try to convert through their doctrine of proselytization. Convert to what? To what spiritual creed can any evangelist now testify?
Yes, there have been sexual predators on all sides of the political spectrum. The difference is that highly educated liberal men are being knocked down by their peers, and have largely acknowledged that enough truth lies behind the accusations to cause them shame, regret, and humiliation.
On the Republican side, though, they're being exalted. As long as one lies and denies, as Trump so compulsively models, they will continue to rise. Commenting on the credible claim that Moore sexually molested a 14-year-old girl, whom he (allegedly) hit on for the first time outside an Alabama courthouse while her mother was inside, Trump said, "He says it didn't happen … he totally denies it! And you know, you have to listen to him also." As if "totally denies it" is more credible than just "denies it." As if denial were akin to innocence.
Better chomp a few more Tic Tacs, Trump & Moore. The level of hypocrisy has just been made glaringly visible, and your days are numbered. Enjoy the limelight while it lasts.
Barbara Scott is president of the Unitarian Congregation of Taos.