Roy Moore and What Political Parties Should Be

In 2017, Roy Moore donned a cowboy hat, brandished a pistol, mounted his horse named “Sassy” (or was it “his camel named Clyde”?), and rode off into the sunset, I mean rode off to his local polling station where he would most assuredly be voting for his own sweet sassy showboating self. Moore was participating in Alabama’s special election for U.S. senator. But Alabama’s Republican voters were none too happy about their “creepy” candidate, as he had just been credibly accused of improprieties years before with teenage girls.

The truth of the allegations should have been irrelevant as to whether Moore continued with his candidacy. Any normal man would have taken his lumps and bowed out of the race for the good of the party, and then he would have thrown his support behind a candidate with no taint. As Alabama is a very red state, any halfway decent Republican would have won the 2017 election in a walk. But Moore refused to give up his place on the ballot. So rather than having a 54-seat margin in the U.S. Senate, the GOP has 53, and all because of one man.

But Moore isn’t through with Alabama -- he wants a rematch.

On May 29, Vanity Fair ran an article that should be required reading for the National Republican Senatorial Committee (the NRSC) as well as any serious Alabamian: “Will the Return of Roy Moore Hand Democrats the Senate?” by Tina Nguyen. She quotes Alabama Rep. Bradley Byrne: “People who I believe know what they’re talking about say that Judge Moore intends to announce his candidacy for the U.S. Senate in June.”

On June 5, the Washington Times reported that Moore “received swift backlash in May from Republicans after tweeting, ‘If I run I will beat Doug Jones.’”

Sure you will. A recent email to the Alabama Republican Party consisted of one question: “Has Alabama passed ANY legislation to prevent a repeat of the Roy Moore problem in the 2017 special election?” I promptly got this response:

Greetings- I received your email asking about legislation being passed to avert situations that may arise like in the 2017 US Senate race. 

There are no state or federal laws that address your concerns. The Party relies upon the voters to make the decisions. We currently have 4 candidates who have announced with maybe others to follow.  

We ask that you find someone to get behind and ultimately help us win in November -- remembering that whoever the nominee is we must beat Doug Jones. I am confident we will. 


Mrs. Terry Lathan

Chairman, Alabama Republican Party

So it appears that government officials in Alabama have done nothing to prevent a replay of the 2017 debacle, where the choice was between a possible sex offender and someone who would be caucusing with Cryin’ Chuck Schumer. Maybe this needs to happen again so Alabama’s lawmakers can face up to the possibility that their election laws aren’t up to snuff.

There’s a host of reasons why one man can commandeer a party’s slot on the ballot. But in a rational system, the Alabama Republican Party would have the power to summarily deny Moore a spot on the ballot. That our political parties do not have the right to true self-determination is because government long ago took the parties out back of the barn and gelded them. The parties are now little more than epicene harem attendants; they need to grow a pair and take back the power so rudely taken from them.

The weakness of political parties is one of the main reasons that America’s politics and campaigns have become so vile and stupid. A state’s party committees should have the power to select their candidates. The only prerogative of voters should be to choose among those candidates in the general election. A state’s party committees should also have the power to take their candidate off the ballot much closer to Election Day than Alabama currently allows. If the parties don’t have such powers, then they’re fairly useless. What’s to keep Roy Moore from running in the Democratic primary? I wish he would, just to see what the Dems would do.

If America’s political parties were what they should be and were allowed to operate as they should, we’d see a lot more drafting of candidates, as the Republican Party did with Eisenhower. The political parties should (are you ready?) operate a bit like the Bene Gesserit, the science fictional sisterhood whose mission was to bring about the ideal political leader. If that’s too wacky for you, then think of the parties’ proper role as that of talent scouts whose role is to identify, groom, and recruit the right people for office.

Roy Moore is the White Boy equivalent of Al Sharpton, but without the charisma. Responding to Moore’s tweet that he could “beat Doug Jones,” Donald Trump Jr. tweeted (italics added):

You mean like last time? You’re literally the only candidate who could lose a GOP seat in pro-Trump, pro-USA ALABAMA. Running for office should never become a business model. If you actually care about #MAGA more than your own ego, it's time to ride off into the sunset, Judge.

What’s important in choosing a Republican candidate for U.S. senator isn’t the willingness to stand up for the Ten Commandments. What’s important is finding a candidate who understands what’s at stake and who can recognize the true enemy; that is, the progressive Democrats plans to take America even further from her founding principles. If folks in Alabama want to avoid a repeat of the 2017 debacle, they might read “How to Prevent a Roy Moore-Doug Jones SNAFU.” Alabamians might even find it sassy.

Jon N. Hall of ULTRACON OPINION is a programmer from Kansas City.