It’s time for Alabama to make the right choice. It’s time for us to pick a candidate who will represent us and our morals. Roy Moore is not the right person for that job.
The Republican U.S. Senate candidate would never have been our first choice to fill Sen. Jeff Sessions’ seat among the 100 most powerful people in America. And he’s definitely not now.
Any other Republican. Any other Democrat. Anyone but Roy S. Moore.
He has consistently shown himself to be a showboat and a demagogue. He’s been thrown off the bench twice, and he espouses views that are too fundamentalist for even Alabama.
But the horrific sexual misconduct and molestation allegations levied against him over the last week — first in the Washington Post and later on television cameras Monday — are entirely disqualifying.
He should not be our senator.
Sexual assault, unfortunately, is a topic college campuses like ours are far too used to dealing with.
Women on college campuses, and some men, are far too familiar with being uncomfortably pursued by older men who don’t know when to stop. Many women on our campus know exactly what it’s like to be forced into sexual contact they didn’t want.
Far too many know what that’s like, even some members of our editorial board.
The idea that someone accused of something so heinous could be elected to the U.S. Senate is repulsive.
We’ll never know for sure if Moore actually sexually assaulted the women who were brave enough to come forward and tell their stories. But we believe the women. They have nothing to gain from this.
This is an election, not a criminal trial. Character and integrity matter.
How long ago it happened — that’s irrelevant. We know why victims are reluctant to come forward, because many of us haven’t. We may never.
The people we send to represent us in the Senate — one of the oldest and most prestigious government bodies in the world — set the tone from the top. We look to them for moral guidance, whether we admit it or not.
Moore, and his morals, do not belong there.
These allegations are too serious to ignore, and they ring true for too many of us. We cannot and should not support a man accused of such abhorrent wrongdoing.
We urge our readers: Put aside your personal politics, whether you’re a Democrat or a Republican. Leave your ideology at the door.
We’ve been trained to mark our ballots for an “R” or “D” — not for the person whose name, morals and character are actually on the ballot.
Aside from the sexual misconduct allegations against him, Moore has shown himself to be out of touch and pompous. He believes he is above the law.
He didn’t complete either of his terms as chief justice because he thought he, and he alone, knew better than the U.S. Supreme Court. He defied the law. He defied the Constitution.
On one side, we have a man who has espoused ideas that are fundamentally at odds with everything our country stands for: liberty, pluralism and equality.
Ask yourself: Do you think homosexuality should be a crime? Do you think a practicing Muslim should be barred from serving in the U.S. Congress?
We doubt it.
On the other, we have Democrat Doug Jones, a respected prosecutor with an impeccable record and a history of public service — a man who will be an accurate representation of our state and our morals.
Whether you agree with his political views or not, he has the character and the morals to represent our state as it should be represented. Don't just disregard him because he has a "D" by his name.
Most Alabamians are not bigoted at their core. We don’t endorse or normalize sexual misconduct. We don’t want politicians who defy the law. Roy Moore is not us, and he doesn't reflect our values.
But somehow, Moore has for years managed to bring out the worst in us. He has brought out these qualities in Alabama voters. He has divided us.
Jones is a moderate, who has said he is willing to work across the aisle. We believe he will work to represent both Republicans and Democrats. He will have to if he wants to get re-elected in this deep-red state.
Over the years, as a prosecutor, Jones has shown he has the morals needed to be a U.S. senator.
He refused to back down when prosecuting Klansmen who perpetrated the 16th Street Baptist Church Bombings. He has shown a commitment to going after those who attack our collective values when he was involved in the prosecution of bomber Eric Rudolph, who attacked the Atlanta Olympics, women’s health clinics in Birmingham and Atlanta and an LGBT bar.
It’s time we put an end to Moore’s divisive antics. He has had his grip on this state for too long, tearing us apart and drawing out the worst in us. Alabama voters should show him the door.