Donald Trump, Mike Pence, Roy Moore — November 11, 2017

Whose Truth is Marching On? A GOP Primer on Veracity

by

As an academic who works in the world of words, it’s been by turns horrifying and fascinating watching Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore and his defenders try to rationalize his–alleged–history of sexual harassment, assault, inappropriate, and illegal (at the time–the statute of limitations now having expired) behavior with teenage girls.

Given that Moore and most of his supporters in the local Alabama political scene are attorneys, you might expect their statements to be peppered liberally with terms like “evidence” and “proof”–the kinds of words that lawyers use when arguing a case, and that carry very specific meanings in a court of law.

But instead, the phrase we see most often in these missives is neither…it’s “true.”

“If these allegations are true, he must step aside,” said Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell.

“The allegations against Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore are deeply troubling,” said Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee. “If these allegations are found to be true, Roy Moore must drop out of the Alabama special Senate election.”

“These allegations are disqualifying if true. Anyone who would do this to a child has no place in public office, let alone the United States Senate,” Speaker Paul Ryan said in a statement.

Vice President Mike Pence “found the allegations in the story disturbing and believes, if true, this would disqualify anyone from serving in office,” his spokesperson said.

“The president (Trump) believes we cannot allow a mere allegation, in this case one from many years ago, to destroy a person’s life. However, the president also believes that if these allegations are true, Judge Moore will do the right thing and step aside,” said White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

While these statements seem to be critical of Moore, bestow an air of moral superiority on those who utter these words, and provide an aura of detachment from Moore’s disgusting behavior, their real impact is to inoculate Moore from any chance of being removed from the race by his party’s leadership. By attaching “if true” to their faux condemnations of Moore’s heinous behavior, these powerful men are injecting an element of uncertainty into the women’s accounts, and providing Moore with the cover he needs to remain in the race, secure in the knowledge that his party will not act against him
This is what power and male privilege look like. This is what happens when powerful men in powerful positions are allowed to change the terms of engagement from proof to truth.
But whose truth are we talking about here?
The truth of 4 women’s tortured stories, bolstered by the testimony of over 30 supporting witnesses who have corroborated the women’s accusations?
Or the truth of a wealthy, powerful man who believes he’s entitled to “his” Senate seat, and sees these 4 women as nothing more than nuisances…hindrances to be squashed as he takes what is rightfully his.
Indeed, only a rich, entitled man like Roy Moore could be so arrogant, so self-absorbed, so full of hubris, as to believe that these women would risk the fallout that comes with their accusations–the public humiliation, the shame, the damage to their reputations–just to keep him from achieving his goal.
The truth is that it took astounding courage for these women to come forward, knowing that their accounts would be subjected to great scrutiny, and possible retribution from the powerful Moore…
Corfman, 53, who works as a customer service representative at a payday loan business, says she has voted for Republicans in the past three presidential elections, including for Donald Trump in 2016. She says she thought of confronting Moore personally for years, and almost came forward publicly during his first campaign for state Supreme Court in 2000, but decided against it. Her two children were still in school then and she worried about how it would affect them. She also was concerned that her background — three divorces and a messy financial history — might undermine her credibility.
Let’s be clear–this is not merely a case of “he said, she said.” This is a case of:

he said

she said
she said
she said
they said
they said
they said
they said
they said
they said
they said
they said
they said
they said
they said
they said
they said
they said
they said
they said
they said
they said
they said
they said
they said
they said
they said
they said
they said
they said
they said
they said
they said
they said
Alabama, and the rest of us, have a chance on December 12 to decide whose truth we believe. We already dropped the ball last November 8–let’s not do it again.

And maybe it’s time for the lyrics of that famous song to get a much needed update:

Mine eyes have seen the glory
of the coming of the Lord,
She is trampling out the vintage
where the grapes of wrath are stored,
She hath loosed the fateful lightning
of Her terrible swift sword,
HER truth is marching on!
  • Gerald Parks

    Powerfully written article!
    Let’s not ingnore the call to action!

Quantcast
Quantcast