Unless you’ve been on a desert island for the past two weeks with no access to TV or radio news, you can’t help but know that there have been some serious accusations against the Republican candidate for the Senate in Alabama.

Roy Moore, the former Alabama chief justice, defeated his Trump-supported opponent Luther Strange in the primary election in September. But since that time, four — no, now it’s FIVE — women have stepped up to accuse Judge Moore of coming on to them sexually when they were very young or, in one case, legally under age.

He didn’t actually have sex with the young women; there is no stained blue dress (a la Monica Lewinsky). He is, though, reported to have kissed one of them, groped one in a car, tried to wrangle a date with a 14-year-old. The latest accuser claims that he reached for her breasts in a parked car.

But this is America, where people are innocent until proven guilty. Judge Moore has categorically denied the allegations, charges which were never spoken for nearly 40 years but then conveniently popped up as the Democrats’ “October Surprise,” and which now threaten to destroy Moore’s candidacy.

I’ve been watching as the Democrat machine gleefully celebrates Moore’s supposed crisis of character. And first, let me say that I absolutely do not believe that it’s acceptable for a man to force himself upon a woman. If the accusations are true, then Moore is not the man for the job.

Democrats and many Republicans, including a number of my friends and acquaintances, have resorting to striking their breasts and demanding that Moore step aside, dropping out of the race.

However, even if it’s possible — 38 years after the supposed sexual assaults — to prove that Moore really did cross the line with these young women, we can’t possibly know that with certainty before election day. If spurious and politically motivated accusations made many years after-the-fact cause an honest man to lose an opportunity to serve the people of the state he loves; if the people are denied the right to vote for a worthy candidate because of political hi-jinx; then Justice will not have been served.

Here’s what I think needs to happen:  The people of Alabama need to decide. Not the Congress nor the Washington establishment; definitely not the media. The decision belongs to the electorate in Alabama.

And then, if the investigation continues and it is proven beyond a doubt that Judge Moore acted inappropriately with a series of pretty young women, he should resign from office. Following protocol, the Alabama governor should then appoint a replacement — most likely the primary runner-up, Luther Strange.

My reasoning:

Ladies and gentlemen, let me assure you: The winner in Alabama’s special election on December 12 will either be Republican candidate Roy Moore or Democratic candidate Doug Jones.

  1. If Moore is forced to withdraw, there will be no contest. The winner of the Senate seat in Alabama will be Moore’s Democratic opponent, Doug Jones. Jones does not share the conservative values of Alabama’s voters. He has vociferously opposed imposing restrictions on abortion (such as a limit after 20 weeks gestation). He has hung his star on liberal causes such as climate change, supporting the Paris Climate Agreement and other big-government causes. He supports the Affordable Care Act, and he has been a strong proponent of civil rights, which sounds great until you get into the details.
  2. With less than a month to the election, Luther Strange or another, as-yet-unknown candidate doesn’t stand a chance.
  3. In fact, it is too late for a new candidate to be added to the ballot, replacing Roy Moore. Pundits I’ve read have claimed that for this special election on December 12, a candidate must file a declaration of candidacy at least 70 days before the election. I’ve been unable to verify that fact; but I do know that Alabama state law requires a political party candidate to file a declaration of candidacy with the state party chair 116 days before the primary election. The state party chair must then certify the names of primary election candidates with the Alabama Secretary of State no later than 5 p.m. 82 days before the primary election.

Nonetheless, some seem genuinely pleased to take advantage of what is most likely a sneaky political ploy, using the five women’s charges to put their liberal candidate into office in a conservative state. Other seem to me to be simply naive.

Political pundit Dennis Hurst put the accusations into perspective: “The allegations against Moore are so FAKE and scripted,” Hurst wrote,

“…that they are an insult to every voter in the nation, especially Alabama voters. If flirting with girls when you are young and single and trying to ‘kiss’ them and even ‘get to second base’ disqualifies you for the US Senate then we should have mass resignations going on every single day.”

I believe that. Perhaps it’s my own experience, working in an office environment in the late ’60s and early ’70s, that tempers my resolve to kick the bum out. I didn’t sign on to the #MeToo initiative a few weeks ago, but it’s become apparent that many, many women have suffered from men’s unbridled aggression. I recall one man, my boss, who grabbed me and kissed me in a stairwell. Another… well, I don’t tell that story, but let me say that had I gone public, I could have ended his political career. Instead, I chose to cross the street to avoid an encounter, I quit my job, and I went on with my life.

I hope that Americans — women and men — learn something from the Moore story. In a society which has snickered about sex and belittled its significance, five women are standing up to say that what Moore supposedly did is not right.

In fact, women everywhere are reclaiming their right to be respected and valued as persons, as equals, not regarded as mere playthings for aggressive males. This is a good start! Next, perhaps we can talk about the deeper meaning of human sexuality, and why intimacy should be reserved for marriage.