Opinion writer

Alabama voters won’t be able to say that conservatives of good conscience didn’t warn them of the perils of voting for Roy Moore. David French, both an evangelical and a conservative Republican, wrote that the question before voters is “whether the people of Alabama should vote for a terrible man who lacks any redeeming virtue.” He argued, “Moore is so terrible that the most likely outcome of his elevation to the Senate is direct and important harm to the causes most Alabama Republicans claim to support.”

Aiming directly at pro-life voters French declared:

The battle to end abortion is every bit as much cultural as it is political or judicial. For the sake of electing a single junior senator (a man who’s not even a swing vote) to serve one-half of a Senate term, pro-life Republicans would make it more likely that Republicans lose the upper chamber in 2018. In 2012, the Left hung Todd Akin around Republican necks like a millstone. Moore makes Akin look like a gentleman and a scholar.

Nevertheless, Alabama voters may well choose the candidate nostalgic for the days of slavery, contemptuous of the Constitution, accused by multiple credible women of child sexual predation and unabashed in his hatred of gays and Muslims. There would be no moral justification or political sense for such a result. If they do send Moore to the Senate, Alabama voters, either because they believe in his hateful nostrums, or because they are so consumed by hatred of liberal elites’ telling them what to do, they would demonstrate their state is everything it is accused of being — backward, ignorant and racist.

If Alabama voters send Moore to the Senate in the wake of Minnesota Democratic Sen. Al Franken’s resignation announcement, they also will succeed in painting the GOP as a refuge for credibly accused sexual predators. They will sentence every Republican on the ballot in 2018 (and many others who’ll face the electorate in 2020) to a non-stop stream of questions. (How can they be in a party that accepts Moore? Should he be expelled in contravention of voters’ wishes?)

Moreover, they will force Republicans to answer why Moore should get bounced from the Senate, but President Trump be allowed to remain in the White House. After all, both pols would have been put in office by voters. In any event, Alabama voters will have turned the Senate into a star chamber in which its ethics committee, likely behind closed doors, will decide if Moore is fit to serve in its body. If it does, every senator will have to go on record with his or her vote — as the president defends his choice.  The Senate will become a three-ring circus for the foreseeable future.

That all might sound enticing for Democrats. Watching the other party snared in a trap of its own making surely would be cause for schadenfreude among some Democrats. It is not an outcome they should root for, however. In the category of putting “country before party,” no decent American should cheer a character like Moore’s elevation to the Senate. No lover of liberty and believer in equal justice should welcome the return of a pre-civil rights mentality. Rather they should pray for and give thanks if Doug Jones is the winner, a small sign that Trump has not entirely destroyed our political culture. Having pulled off an historic upset, Democrats will be entitled to gloat, encouraged to try killing the awful tax bill and determined to root out Trumpism root and branch in every corner of the country.