It’s often said that you can know a man by his enemies. If so, we can know a lot about Judge Roy Moore by last night’s blaring Huffington Post headline: “Alabama Earthquake: GOP Picks Outsider Bigot.” Translated, this means, “GOP Picks Conservative Christian, Anti-Establishment Candidate.” Sounds good to me.
What does Moore’s victory mean in national political terms? What does it mean in social and cultural terms?
The Anti-Establishment Base Remains
First, Moore’s victory rode on the same anti-establishment wave that brought President Trump the White House.
To the extent Trump is associated with the establishment, to that extent he loses much of his appeal. Conversely, to the extent a candidate is perceived to be anti-establishment, to that extent the candidate is embraced by Trump’s core base.
That’s why the president’s endorsement of establishment favorite Luther Strange only went so far. That’s why the $30 million GOP ad campaign against Moore only went so far.
Who wants the endorsement of the swamp? Who wants to be part of the swamp?
Moore’s victory sends a message to the GOP establishment from fed-up Republicans across the country: “We’ve had it with your compromising and you political games.”
That’s why the crowd at Trump’s Alabama rally chanted, “USA, USA” more than “Luther Strange, Luther Strange.” And that’s why the president hedged his bets with statements like, “I’ll be honest, I might have made a mistake.” And, “If his opponent wins, I’m going to be here campaigning like h*** for him.”
That’s also why Trump quickly tweeted out congratulations to Judge Moore after his victory and deleted (!) his earlier tweets supporting Strange.
A Resounding Message to the GOP Establishment
Second, Moore’s victory sends a message to the GOP establishment from fed-up Republicans across the U.S.: “We’ve had it with your compromising and political games. We’ve had it with career politicians in general. You represent what we reject. You represent a major reason we voted for Donald Trump. Your time in D.C. is over.”
If recent Breitbart headlines are to be believed — and note Breitbart was all-in for Moore — then establishment GOP candidates up for reelection in 2018 are quaking in fear.
Supporting the Ten Commandments Judge
Third, Moore’s victory reminds us that strongly conservative pockets remain in the U.S. for whom biblical values are a positive, not a negative.
America can be great only to the extent that America is good, and for America to be good, it must recapture its biblical heritage.
Let’s not forget that Roy Moore is known as the Ten Commandments Judge. For 20 years, he’s fought legal battles to keep these commandments in central, public view. It began when he hung a homemade version of the commandments in his courtroom, refusing to remove them after the ACLU successfully sued him.
Then, when he became Chief Justice of Alabama, he installed outside the state Judicial Building a 5,280-pound granite block featuring two large tablets with the 10 Commandments. The move prompted a lawsuit from the ACLU, SPLC and other groups. Moore countered, saying the 10 Commandments are the ‘moral foundation of U.S. law’ and therefore appropriate in a judicial setting.”
Although he was removed from office after refusing to comply with court orders, voters reelected him Chief Justice in 2013.
Moore served only three years before being suspended again for defying the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage. He had directed probate judges to continue enforcing the state’s ban on same-sex marriage despite the ruling. Moore appealed his removal but then resigned to run for Attorney General Jeff Session’s Senate seat.
Moore’s Victory Speech
This is the man who just crushed establishment candidate Luther Strange, despite Trump’s endorsement a flood of establishment money.
In his victory speech last night, Moore said,
As long as it’s constitutional, as long as it advance[s] our society, our culture, our country, I will be supportive. As long as it’s constitutional. But we have to return to knowledge of God and the Constitution of the United States to the United States Congress.
I believe we can make America great, but we must make America good, and you cannot make America good without acknowledging the sovereign source of that goodness, the sovereign source of our law, liberty, and government, which is Almighty God.
We have become a nation that has distanced ourselves from the very foundation. Washington said that of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports.
Moore also “spoke of protests, demonstrations, mobs, and racial strife, but that ‘we’re all made in the image of God.’”
Yes, this is the man who will likely be the next Senator from Alabama.
For America to be Great, America Must be Good
To be candid, it sounded like his speech came straight from Saving a Sick America, where I wrote,
Now, there is a widely circulated, powerful quote attributed to Alexis de Tocqueville, a quote that scholars agree does not originate with him. But regardless of who first uttered these words — if not Tocqueville, then one of his contemporaries — I wholeheartedly affirm the sentiments they reflect:
“America is great because America is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.”
These words underlie the central argument of this book: America can be great only to the extent that America is good, and for America to be good, it must recapture its biblical heritage. Stated another way, a theocracy is not the answer; returning to God’s Word is the answer.
That was the message of Judge Roy Moore. That is the message that still resonates with many Americans today.
Could it be that the tide is beginning to turn? That we are getting sick and tired of radical liberalism? Could it be?
The message from conservative Alabama is loud and clear.
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