Guest essay by Mike Huckabee
Alabama GOP Senate candidate and former Judge Roy Moore has issued a response to an article in the Washington Post, accusing him of having sexual contact with a then-14-year-old girl, 38 years ago when he was 32. The woman never filed a police report or made any public accusations against Moore in any of his previous campaigns. The paper cited claims by other women that Moore asked them out or kissed them back in the 1970s when they were age 16 to 18, but the age of consent was 16. Moore flatly denies the Washington Post article, calling it “completely false and a desperate political attack.” If so, it would not be the first time WaPo has published false or misleading hit pieces on Moore.
President Trump and a number of top Republicans called on Moore to drop out of the race if there’s any truth to the allegations. That would leave the GOP in a bad spot, since their Senate majority is razor-thin now, and the law says it’s too late to change the ballot. Democrats would likely fight a lawsuit to change the ballot, even though they did the same thing to keep a seat in New Jersey when one of their elderly incumbents died near Election Day.
Full disclosure: I endorsed Judge Moore, because I believe we need more people in Washington who are willing to stand up to the do-nothing, go-along establishment and not betray conservative principles or their constituents. Nevertheless, if this accusation is true, then it is disturbing and unacceptable, and I agree that he should step down.
However, in America, one of our bedrock principles is the presumption of innocence until proven guilty. In the wake of recent Obama college directives and the wave of accusations in the media following the Harvey Weinstein scandal, the right to due process regarding sexual conduct has been thrown out the window. There is a middle ground between ignoring or smearing accusers and accepting trial by media and de facto conviction without evidence.
The decision on whether to stay in the race is Judge Moore’s, and I call on him to make it with honesty and integrity. If he stays in, sans a trial or evidence, the ultimate decision on whether last-minute media accusations should determine elections will come next month from Alabama voters.
Mike Huckabee is the former governor of Arkansas and United States presidential candidate in 2008. Via his website and other efforts, Governor Huckabee continues active on behalf of Christian and conservative causes.
Image of Governor Huckabee by David Ball – Own work, Attribution, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2924235.
© 2017 Used by Permission