It began last month with press reports that more than a dozen women had accused Hollywood movie mogul Harvey Weinstein of having sexually harassed or assaulted them. Shortly thereafter, other movie industry bigwigs and celebrity entertainers came under similar fire. Within a couple of weeks, it seemed that new allegations of sexual misconduct and even rape on the part of movie industry players were surfacing on an almost daily basis.
The alternative press has had a field day with the Hollywood sex scandal, as well they should, since it showcases the abysmal moral character of the entertainment industry. The wider proliferation of the scandal may have unintended consequences, however; one conservative radio talk-show co-host said Nov. 11 that the net initially cast with the allegations against Weinstein might catch quite a few dolphins along with the intended tuna.
Earlier this month, several women came forward and accused former Alabama state judge and Republican senatorial candidate Roy Moore of having made sexual advances toward them when they were between 14 and 19 years old. This is worrisome even if one does not find the 16-year-old age of consent in the state of Alabama somewhat creepy. Moore, a champion of conservatives for several years now, has unequivocally denied the allegations, arguing that they are part of a campaign of personal destruction orchestrated by his political opponents.
It remains profoundly difficult to ascertain the truth in cases such as Moore’s, where one must weigh the probability of the allegations at hand being pure character assassination against the probability that the accused is being less than forthright in the interest of his career.
This is the problem with summary denials such as Moore has offered. They cannot be amended. Regional cultural norms that are more accepting than most with regard to men in their 30s dating 18- and 19-year-olds notwithstanding, an initial response to allegations of sexual misconduct in the vein of “Well, I was kind of a wild young man, and there might have been some misunderstandings or impulsive, inappropriate behavior on my part” leaves far more room for understanding and consideration on the part of the public than “I don’t know her from a can of paint.”
Perhaps Moore was indeed a wilder young man than he would like to have his largely Christian, conservative supporter base become aware of. Perhaps at some point he realized that his behavior was not acceptable, and was deeply contrite over it. While the potential damage attendant to such an explanation might be overcome during a political campaign, all bets are off once the summary denial his been made.
At this juncture, it is also important to have a clear picture of what Roy Moore represents to his detractors. Moore isn’t just a conservative Republican running for the office of U.S. senator in Alabama. In 2003, Moore was the sitting state chief justice who defied a federal judge’s ruling that a monument to the Ten Commandments be removed from the Alabama Supreme Court building. This gave rise to a protracted and high-profile legal fight that ultimately resulted in Moore’s removal from the bench. Moore’s actions effectively make him the poster boy for the type of politico the left seeks to destroy as a matter of course.
As I write this, things are looking increasingly grim for Roy Moore, but the issue may actually be far bigger than the candidate, the Alabama Senate seat, Hollywood, or even sexual misconduct on the part of people in power. Considering the bizarre contours of the political landscape at present, it is possible that this all might be contextualized as a campaign of desperate distraction being carried out by the political establishment.
A few weeks ago in this space, I analyzed the Hollywood sex scandal and examined the question of why the movie industry appeared to be offering up some of its heaviest hitters considering that sexual deviance tends to be celebrated by the left and that amorality in general tends to be rewarded rather than punished by the left. In my column, I floated the idea that perhaps these hardworking performers had simply gotten sick of having to trade their virtue for a shot at the big time.
I’m having second thoughts about that now; even at the time I wrote it, this seemed a bit too superficial and neat an explanation.
Is it possible that the political left may have deemed that some among their own are worth sacrificing if the result includes the successful neutralization of people such as Roy Moore and their ability to sustain ongoing distractions from crucial political developments? Taking the aforementioned contours of the political landscape into account, it is clear that there are crucial developments taking place nearly every day. Perhaps they began with Hollywood because, given the abysmal moral character thereof, it was simply an easy place to start.
Why orchestrate an industrial-sized sex scandal that might touch off witch hunts, paranoia and fear across an untold number of sectors? Well, what are the political left’s most ready go-tos? I’ll answer that: Race and sex. Race because of our national history and the sensitivities that have been cultivated around it, sex because those on the left are base-natured swine who have sex on the brain in perpetuity. It bears mentioning that we have also seen a significant increase in the left fomenting racial tension over the last few years, and race-related issues have highlighted the last several news cycles.
Plausibility of the theory aside, one would have to admit that this would certainly be true to form.