Roy Moore, the Federalist and the Decay of the Conservative Mind
On the left, liberals and leftists are beginning to admit that perhaps they were too willing to gloss over the alleged serial sexual misconduct of former President Bill Clinton. At the same time, many prominent and powerful men identified with liberal causes — TV anchor Matt Lauer, movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, actor Kevin Spacey, Rep. John Conyers and Sen. Al Franken, to name but a few — have either been ejected from public life or may soon be, after credible allegations of sexual harassment or assault. After a few days of dithering, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi finally called for Conyers’ resignation earlier this week. The calls for Franken’s head are growing by the day as his list of accusers grows as well.
At least on this issue, Democrats and liberals appear to be moving toward higher moral standards in public life. On the political right, however, there is a growing segment pushing in the opposite direction. Once the religious right and their more secular allies decided to overlook Trump’s constant stream of lies, his frequent promotion of bigotry and the numerous allegations of sexual misconduct against him, anything was possible.
After years of conservatives claiming to denounce “moral relativism” and stating that the personal conduct of public officials had an impact on their fitness for office, all of the posturing has gone out the window in the name of political power. In 2011, just 30 percent of white evangelicals believed that personal morality was irrelevant to public service. In October of 2016, with Trump as the Republican presidential nominee, 72 percent shared that opinion.