Linda Valdez: The Roy Moore saga reveals how we are rejecting facts and overlooking integrity - both of which threaten our government.
The saga of Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore reveals two trends that are dangerous to our national experiment in self governing.
Moore says "fake news" to accusations that he repeatedly sought sex with teen girls when he was a powerful man in his 30s.
That's not surprising from a guy who was close enough to a Senate seat to smell the upholstery.
What’s shocking is that he still has followers – and they are parroting his claim of being a victim.
Moore’s supporters say it’s all a “witch hunt” orchestrated by Democrats and abetted by the mainstream media.
This blanket denial of inconvenient facts is the first dangerous trend. Consider how it threatens our form of government.
Thomas Jefferson said: “An educated citizenry is a vital requisite for our survival as a free people.”
The First Amendment’s protection of a free press is all about making sure people have access to the information with which to become “educated.”
The mainstream media employs reporters who are bound by professional ethics and a fear of lawsuits.
People can make up their own minds about the facts they collect. People can have differences of opinion. But we are in big trouble if people simply reject facts they don’t like.
The Washington Post stories of Moore’s fondness for young girls were well researched and carefully detailed. The paper is not going to risk its reputation on a sensational story that won’t hold up.
More women showed up to tell their stories after the initial piece was published.
Moore promises to sue the Post. The fact that he can sue is one reason the mainstream media has long been meticulous about what it publishes.
The blog sites and social media “news” sources that have proliferated in recent years are not held to the same standard. Some represent legitimate journalism. Some are info-tainment. Some peddle sensationalism, conspiracy theories and made-up stuff.
If Americans can’t tell the difference, our form of government is in big trouble.
In a society like that, the group with the best spin machine wins. In a society like that, there can be no educated electorate.
No survival of a free people.
The second reason some people continue to support Moore is equally disturbing. It makes personal integrity irrelevant in pursuit of an ideology goal. It says the end justifies any means.
Alabama Republican Rep. Mo Brooks offers this excuse for backing a man that at least five women have accused of trying to have sex with them when they were children.
Brooks lists “major issues” facing this country, such as the deficit, Supreme Court appointments, border security and abortion.
Democratic candidate “Doug Jones will vote wrong on each of those issues,” Brooks said, according to Roll Call. “Roy Moore will vote right; that’s why I’m voting for Roy Moore.”
Apparently even sexual predation of children is not enough to disqualify someone who will vote the “right way.”
To their credit, Republican congressional leaders have backed away from Moore.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he believes the women. He asked Moore to step aside.
House Speaker Paul Ryan also says the accusations against Moore are “credible,” and that the candidate should step aside, according to CNN news.
Not so long ago, the allegations against Moore would have sunk his campaign instantly. But today, many Republican voters either choose not to believe “credible” accusations or they don’t care what this guy did.
No matter what side of the political aisle you are on, that should be deeply disturbing. It represents the erosion of our system of government.
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