Roy Moore and the Normalization of Right Wing Extremism

By Janice Barlow

Tomorrow Alabama holds its special election for its state Senate seat. Republican Roy Moore is going up against Democrat Doug Jones in a very red state. Moore will likely win, but as of now, that is an unknown result. Jeff Sessions held the seat, but was promoted to the position of Attorney General. Now there is a vacancy that was assumed would be easily filled by a Republican. A primary was held last September in which mainstream Republican Luther Strange, endorsed by President Trump, battled against Roy Moore, and Moore came out victorious. Moore always was a Trump supporter and was taken aback that he didn’t get that coveted endorsement. But he won the primary without it.

This article is timely not only because of tomorrow’s election, but because of the trend that is occurring within the Republican party that must be addressed. There is a disturbing acceptance of “alt-right” candidates cropping up within the party – candidates accepted by the likes of David Duke, neo-Nazi’s, Nationalists, and right wing extremists. This is not the party of my parents. This is not even the party that I left last year. It’s morphing.

If we hearken back to the days of George Wallace, Lyndon Johnson, and the John Birch Society, (I know, an odd mix of Republican and Democrat, but all from the South), the commonality that can be gleaned from them is that they all had the support of the KKK, among other racist organizations. Although the KKK connection to Wallace is somewhat hazy, he was an unabashed segregationist from Alabama, and this was an established fact.

Lyndon Johnson was one of the most verbally racist leaders to ever speak, let alone speak as a president. So the Democrats cannot escape that link to racism that lingers yet in some rural southern, yet Democrat communities.

The John Birch Society, which still exists and is on the rebound, was almost like a code name for Conservative Whites Only. The plethora of information on this group is so entangled, that it is nearly impossible to say what is FAKE news and what is not, but suffice it to say, that words like “illuminati“, “globalist“, “Koch brothers“, and “extremism” appear in almost every article I perused. And these words are politically strong today.

Is the Republican Party headed back in a circle to those days when narrow minded beliefs constricted the minds of many; when Jesus was a figure whose model was twisted to represent a certain haughty and bigoted group of white men where women played the role of being their social slaves? These men aren’t the Ted Cruz’s, Ben Sasse’s, Marco Rubio’s or Rick Santorum’s of the “mainstream” conservative movement.

Instead, they appear to be a nefarious branch of the Tea Party, taking the duped followers in a direction that is not forward moving at all. Breitbart is a prime example of media that promotes such extremism in the real sense, followed by FAKE news blogs such as Gateway Pundit. What is the “shapeshifting” that this mode of “Republican” values is trying to capture?

We can look at people like Sheriff Joe Arpaio, for one; an eighty-five year old man whom President Trump pardoned for harsh conditions in his jail for illegals, and extreme profiling of Hispanic people in Arizona in an attempt to antagonize illegals. He was so old that he needed be pardoned but apparently he’s not too old to consider running for Senate now.

Instead, let’s focus on Roy Moore in Alabama. In fact, let’s put aside all the accusations and allegations made against Moore regarding a predilection for teenage girls in the 1970’s. We’ve all heard about it. Step back for a moment and pretend none of it exists. Let’s look at Roy Moore, the Republican candidate. Would you vote for him if you knew that:

  • He co-authored a textbook where one of the other authors firmly has stated that women should not be allowed to run for office, and that people should not vote for women running for office, because it is not Biblical. (I personally would love to hear what Roy Moore’s response would be to the question: “Do you believe that women should not run for public office?”)
  • He suggested last year that 9/11 was God’s punishment upon America for sodomy.
  • His foundation took a donation in 2005 from a pro-KKK 9/11 Truther Group.
  • He was dating his wife before she was divorced from her first husband. He denies this but he bought her one-year-old daughter a puppy on Valentines Day 1984 and the divorce wasn’t final until April 1984. Puppies aren’t just little gifts for one-year-old’s.
  • And a quote from Roy Moore:  “I think it was a great time in America at the time when families were united, even though we had slavery. They cared for one another. People were strong in their families.” (emphasis mine).
  • After tweeting that, “Diversity is not our strength“, Roy Moore quotes Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán: “Mixing cultures will not lead to a higher quality of life, but a lower one.”
  • Last, most recently, and certainly not least, Moore would like to get rid of some of the amendments to the Constitution after the 10th one. That’s a boatload of amendments!

There is much more, but that should highlight a few key issues to show that Roy Moore is not your run of the mill Republican. But dear God you can’t have an abortion supporter win, so many Republicans are out there stumping for Moore, the extremist, forgetting that Doug Jones can’t impact abortion law, since it already exists. How about staying home, evangelicals? You did it when Mitt Romney ran, and for far less odious reasons.

Roy Moore Radical?

In my book, yes. Republicans should be wary, if not disgusted. If Roy Moore’s issues stem from behavior he allegedly exhibited back in the 1970’s, he has not let go of some very narrow minded, and small minded ideas from eras prior to that decade.

This is not an election where a voter needs to consider the lesser of two evils.

It’s much more than that. It is a precursor of what is happening in the deeply damaged Republican party. For example, a person like David Duke will no longer be seen as an abnormal blip on the radar. Instead, Republican men everywhere will secretly be telling themselves, “Yes, yes, this is what we really need – to get back to those days where everything was white and right. And men dominated the landscape. Women – stay home and take care of your babies. Your place is in the kitchen, and for God’s sake – don’t run for office!

Lord Jesus, come quickly! We are on a downward spiral.





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