On Tuesday, Roy Moore, who is running for the US Senate seat in Alabama, will likely win. Moore, for those not in the know, has been accused of sexual harassment by around a dozen women. More disturbingly, most of these women claim—rather credibly to most ears—that Moore approached/propositioned them when they were teenagers.
This is hardly the first time Moore found himself amidst controversy. He was removed as Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court. Twice. He was thrown out of his office because he disobeyed the US Supreme Court and refused to grant marriage licenses to gay couples. He has referred to American Indians and Asian Americans as ‘reds’ and ‘yellows’. Recently, some borderline treasonous statements he made: That Vladimir Putin had the right idea and that America was the source of evil in the world came to light.
I can say with some confidence that this situation would not have been possible a couple of years ago. Voters, even in a deep red state in Alabama, would not have sent Roy Moore to the US Senate. What changed? The election of Donald Trump, a man who was caught on tape bragging that he sexually assaults women, to the office of US president. It would seem Americans have such a deep-seated loathing of women that they elected a sexual predator to the highest office in the land.
Trump is the infection, Moore is the symptom
But Moore is simply the latest symptom of a disease which is ravaging America's Grand Old Party. A sickness known as Donald J Trump. The Republican politicians, after the election of Trump, cowards that they are, made a Faustian bargain. They sold their soul for tax cuts and deregulation. As it stands, the Republicans own every lever of power in government. They have the Senate, the House, the presidency and the Supreme Court. They own most of the governors' mansions. And yet they are staring at the abyss: Of having to serve with a man accused of preying on young women and children. Some have even attempted to defend the indefensible, comparing Moore and his purported perversions to Jesus' parents Mary and Joseph, saying that Mary was a teenager and Joseph an adult carpenter.
'Republicans elects perverts, Democrats arrest them'
Satirist Bill Maher summed up the difference between Republican and Democratic voters: “I have to say, I gotta defend my tribe here a little bit—liberals versus conservatives—because certainly sexual harassment is absolutely the one thing we see now is totally, truly bipartisan (maybe the last thing that is),” said Maher, according to a report in The Daily Beast. “But no liberal defended Harvey Weinstein or Kevin Spacey, who might be going to jail. Anthony Weiner is in jail. Louis CK, we hear this week, did horrific things. Compare that to Trump and Roy Moore. We arrest our alleged rapists—they elect them. I mean, there’s a pig in the White House,” he added, according to the report.
'Tend to garden of democracy'
Former US president Barack Obama, who is an incredibly decent man, spoke out this week, telling voters to stay engaged. Obama warned voters against complacency by using the example of Nazi Germany. "We get complacent and assume that things continue as they have been, just automatically, and they don't," Obama said in comments at a conference in Chicago, footage of which went viral on social media. "You have to tend to this garden of democracy — otherwise, things can fall apart fairly quickly. And we've seen societies where that happens," he added, referring to the late 1920 and 1930s. "Now, presume there was a ballroom here in Vienna in the late 1920s or 30s that looked pretty sophisticated and seemed as if it, filled with the music and art and literature and science that was emerging, would continue into perpetuity," Obama said. "And then 60 million people died. An entire world was plunged into chaos," he concluded, offering simple advice: "So you've got to pay attention and vote."
Voters set to strike back
Thankfully, voters are paying attention. It helps of course that the Republicans made such a mess of their attempts at "healthcare reform" and that they recently passed a tax plan that will kick their voters in the teeth and exacerbate income inequality like never before. Most Americans now think Democrats have better ideas than the Republicans when it comes to taxes and the economy. Which is akin to thinking that the fox has a better idea than the rooster to guard the henhouse. That tax plan, incidentally, also hurts a key provision of Obamacare, which will cost 13 million people their health insurance. And the 2018 mid-terms are around the corner.
According to some pollsters, women voters favour Democrats over Republicans by 20 points. It will be almost impossible for Republicans to outperform Democrats in such an environment. If that trend holds, it won't be a blue wave across America as much as a tsunami that will sweep the Republicans away and hand over control of the House and the Senate to the Democrats. For Donald Trump, that could mean the handicapping of an already impotent presidency. Impeachment suddenly becomes a very real scenario. But even if that prediction does not hold true, the Republicans have clearly shown that they cannot be trusted. Forget the battle for the soul of the party, the GOP has no soul. And for the good of America and indeed the world, they must be removed from office through the ballot box. Starting with Trump and Moore.
With inputs from AFP
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Updated Date: Dec 10, 2017 20:15:35 IST