The entertainment industry has been rocked in recent weeks by sexual misconduct allegations against multiple powerful men in Hollywood.
Once the accusers of Harvey Weinstein came forward, more and more women shared their stories or alleged misconduct by many other bold names, including actor Kevin Spacey and comedian Louis C.K. It would be naïve to believe this culture of powerful, abusive men is exclusive to the entertainment industry.
Last Thursday, The Washington Post reported a sexual harassment claim made against Republican Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore. A longtime resident of Alabama, Leigh Corfman said that Moore initiated a sexual encounter with her in 1979, when she was 14 and he was 32 and serving as an assistant district attorney.
In light of this story, four more women have accused Moore of sexual misconduct. Just like Corfman, they were also teenagers when they were encountered by a younger Roy Moore.
Moore has vehemently denied the accusations, calling them “fake news” and a political attack by Democrats.
In an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity, Moore denied knowing Corfman, but said he dated “a lot of young ladies.” He added, “I don’t remember ever dating any girl without the permission of her mother.”
On the national level, many prominent Republicans including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called for Moore to step aside. The Republican National Committee also ended support for Moore. The last thing Republican leadership wants is to lose a senate seat to a Democrat, but they know a Senator Moore would be awfully damaging to the party.
Still, Alabama Republicans defended their candidate and called out the media and showed their disdain for Doug Jones, the Democratic candidate.
Alabama Marion Country GOP chair David Hall said, “It was 40 years ago. I really don’t see the relevance of it. It wouldn’t affect whether or not I’d vote for him.”
Bibb County GOP chair Jerry Pow said he would vote for Moore even if he did commit a sex crime against a girl.
“I would vote for Judge Moore because I wouldn’t want to vote for Doug [Jones],” he said, “I’m not saying I support what he did.”
State auditor Jim Ziegler even referenced the Bible in his defense of Moore.
“Take Joseph and Mary,” he said, “Mary was a teenager and Joseph was an adult carpenter. They became parents of Jesus.”
Some even attacked Democrats in defense of Moore, referencing former Rep. Anthony Weiner and Weinstein, a major donor.
There is a difference between these men, however. Weiner is now in prison and is a registered sex offender. Weinstein lost his company and may face criminal charges. However, Roy Moore is still running for senate.
Moore was never fit for the job. It is easy to forget that this is a man who said homosexuality should be illegal and that Muslims should be barred from holding elected office.
If Alabama elects Roy Moore on Dec. 12, he will become a stain on the Republican party for years to come.
Andrew Lombardo is a senior journalism major from Middletown, Conn. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.