“In the beginning of a change the patriot is a scarce man, and brave, and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." ~ Mark Twain
The most important special election of the year, and perhaps in recent memory, is about to unfold in the Deep South in just a few months. This election cuts to the core of the divide within the party.
Democrats seek power while Republicans seek office as an end to itself. This is why it’s more important to observe what a candidate is made of rather than what he stands for in the abstract.
Judge Roy Moore is everything we say we want and expect in a Republican politician but have become accustomed to and even content with never achieving. Chief Justice Moore is a man who actually believes in our ideals in heart, mind, and soul — not just sending out scam PAC fundraisers — but actually implementing those ideals in practice. His ascendency to the U.S. Senate would be a game-changer for conservatives of all stripes — not just social conservatives — in a way we have never expected to see. Failure to mobilize will result in the seat of former Senator Jeff Sessions falling to another McConnell yes-man.
Let’s face it: we are a movement and a party of cowards. We like to fundraise off life, marriage, runaway courts, Obamacare, spending, borders, security, etc. Yet, when we are confronted with the very leverage point or point of contention that will determine the outcome of those issues, we run away like a bunch of scared school girls. Then, when there are a few brave souls who actually stand in practice for what we espouse in rhetoric, we toss them overboard.
This is why we are stuck with a party that stands for nothing beyond one slight deviation from where the Democrats are at any given moment. And they are rapidly moving to the left with every passing month. We are content with House and Senate candidates that come straight from the Chamber of [crony] Commerce or pseudo-conservative intellectual circles that have never lifted a finger to fight for the causes they suddenly adopt on the campaign trail but drop the minute they assume office.
At its core, this is why so many conservatives embraced Donald Trump. They thought he would finally be different. Given his inherent flaws, the liberals surrounding him, and the existence of the same failed congressional leadership, almost nothing has changed on critical issues. Nowhere is this more evident than with the fake fight over Obamacare.
That is why it’s so important for conservatives to pay attention to the Alabama Senate race and the candidacy of Judge Roy Moore.
Roy Moore embodies everything lacking in the Republican Party and even the contemporary conservative movement. The Vietnam War veteran and twice-elected chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court has actually fought for everything we claim to believe in but are too scared to push in a meaningful way with real ammunition down range. If we are unwilling to elect a man like him from a state like Alabama, there is no hope for ever injecting any courage into the Senate; a body in which Republicans are to the left of where Democrats were on critical issues just one generation ago.
In light of the phony ad hoc Alabama Supreme Court panel upholding the suspension of Judge Moore from the state supreme court, it’s important to highlight an uncomfortable reality about conservative media. Judge Roy Moore stood alone in his battle for marriage, the Constitution, federalism, and state sovereignty, yet most of the conservative media couldn’t care less that he was wrongly suspended. We live in a society where a federal judge can redefine marriage, redefine sexuality, or force states to rip down monuments of the Ten Commandments, and even “Republican states” like Alabama will treat it as “the law of the land.” When one man finally stood up to this corrupt system and upheld what we all said we believed to be an unambiguous reading of both God’s law and the Constitution (and Anthony Kennedy himself said so two years prior in the Windsor case), Moore was standing alone.
The single most consequential constitutional crisis we face today is judicial fascism — the notion that the federal judiciary is the sole and final arbiter over every social and political question, including faith, liberty, marriage, sexuality, election law, and national sovereignty. And the fact that the Republican Party refuses to lift a finger to tackle this crisis is part of the more systemic crisis we face — a lack of integrity among elected officials.
They are all against abortion, except, with control of all three branches of government they will fund Planned Parenthood (but not the border wall) in the upcoming budget bill.
They are all for marriage and religious liberty, but will not bring a single piece of legislation to the floor to reform the courts or protect religious liberty. They refuse to even address those issues with a ten-foot pole.
They are all against Obamacare … except they love its core elements.
They are all against spending and the entitlement state … except they won’t even oppose the Obama-era additions, much less the longstanding aspects of it.
We are left with nothing but excuses and the straw-man idolatry of binary choices — “but the Democrats might be even worse.” No matter how bad things get, we will be told we must continue voting for this soulless Republicans in 2018 … and then in 2020 … and onward — it will never end.
Just take a look at the roster of recent additions to the Senate: they are all Republicans-in-name-only, or at best, stuck in a witness protection program refusing to give voice to their campaign promises when the lead is actually flying.
Where was Judge Moore when history called upon him to do the right thing?
In 2003, he could have easily obeyed an illegal federal district judge’s order who abused the rules of standing to allow a bunch of lawyers to demand Moore rip down a replica of the Ten Commandments at the court house. But he stood his ground and was suspended by a bunch of unelected lawyers. He ran again for chief justice and won fair and square despite having all of the monied interests against him. Then, when the courts redefined marriage and nullified the state’s marriage laws, Moore, once again, stood alone in upholding the existing law on the books and was removed from office, again, by unelected lawyers … all because of the Southern Poverty Law Center.
As Moore was persecuted by this same ad hoc panel, nobody lifted a finger to uphold Alabama law and side with Moore. The governor, lieutenant governor, and attorney general are all Republicans. The party controls the state House and Senate with supermajorities, 72-33 and 26-8, respectively. The eight other judges on the state supreme court are elected Republicans. So this case should never have gotten off the ground because if the Republican Party truly stood for the rule of law, for federalism, for the Constitution, and for a state’s plenary power over marriage, all of these officials would have immediately moved to protect Judge Moore.
Yet, almost all of them were dead silent, including the former Attorney General, Luther Strange, who is now warming the Senate seat for the Chamber of Commerce.
Almost every problem we face today is the result of shredding Article I or state powers in favor of judicial supremacy. Judge Moore was ahead of his time when he warned about the absurdity of a district judge redefining the First Amendment and our heritage and ordering the removal of the Ten Commandments. Today, as Attorney General Sessions, the man who occupied this seat for years, battles these same puny federal district judges who are nullifying national sovereignty, nobody could deny that Judge Moore’s ominous warning portended the loss of democratic representation in this country. Those phony conservatives and chambercrats who attacked him in 2003 have now paved the road for a reality in which there is nothing — absolutely nothing — a court cannot do for which the feckless hacks in the other branches will not regard as the law of the land.
The only man running for higher office this cycle who could actually restore the balance of power back in favor of Article I is a true judge who actually laid his livelihood on the line to do so. All the other politicians running as Republicans claim to support originalism and then are happy with judges who say Roe and Obergefell are settled law and that a judge has the power to create a right to immigrate. In order to return the judiciary to originalism, we need elected officials in the Senate who actually believe in originalism — in practice, not just in campaign rhetoric.
Not only are voters sick of the corrupt system, but they are tired of those who say they will drain the swamp yet become drained by the swamp. Judge Moore is one individual who will never get drained by the swamp. And that is why Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and his boys will go all in for the establishment candidate and employ their typical duplicitous television ads in a desperate attempt to turn over the Sessions seat with a yes-man for leadership.
The coming days will be very telling in deciphering the men from the boys in the fledgling conservative movement. We’ve learned all too often in politics that it’s not what you stand for that counts, it’s who you are and what you’re made of. As Noah Webster warned, “If a republican government fails to secure public prosperity and happiness, it must be because the citizens neglect the divine commands, and elect bad men to make and administer the laws.”
The 2016 election was largely about the forgotten man …who has since been forgotten. Chief Justice Roy Moore is the ultimate forgotten man.
Editor's note: The author has endorsed Roy Moore in the U.S. Senate race in Alabama.
Daniel Horowitz is a Senior Editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.