Author’s Note: This post was written prior to the outcome of the Alabama election.
There haven’t been as many politicians as entertainers who have been caught up in sexual misconduct scandals, but two big ones are currently prominent in the spotlight: (now former) Democratic Senator Al Franken and Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore. Both have had credible sexual misconduct allegations made against them, and in the case of Al Franken we have photographic proof of one of his misdeeds. Recently the Democratic Party finally threw Al Franken under the bus in what appears to be a political maneuver to gain the moral high ground and make Republicans look bad for not doing the same to Roy Moore. Time will tell whether or not this strategy works.
Personally, I think both of these men should go. I realize that I’m probably in the minority for having this opinion, but I believe character is an integral part of a person’s qualifications for leadership. When a person has multiple credible sexual misconduct accusations made against them it speaks volumes to their character and in my view makes them unfit to hold high public office. The Democrats were right to pressure Al Franken into resigning, though their motives are very suspect given how long it took them to get around to doing it. Republicans ought to do the same to Roy Moore and demand he withdraw from the Senate race. These men cannot be our leaders. Had they confessed and repented of their deeds back when they first happened then we could be talking today about giving them a second chance, but right now they are unqualified.
As an addition at the end here, let me also say how disgusting it was in the early days of the controversies to read people trying to defend Al Franken and Roy Moore on purely political grounds. The line of reasoning seems to be that pushing them out will set a bad precedent and could potentially hurt either the Democratic or Republican Party in a really bad way in the future. Both Al Franken and Roy Moore come from states that are pretty safe bets for their respective parties, but what if a senator from a swing state gets forced out and the party loses a crucial vote for their legislation? Never mind the women who have been hurt or the blatant hypocrisy that will be committed—the party comes before principles.