Thank Goodness Roy Moore Lost, But It's Embarrassing He Almost Won

Thank Goodness Roy Moore Lost, But It's Embarrassing He Almost Won

There’s nothing moral about voting the party line when voting the party line means voting for a pedophile.
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Americans who still have a little bit of pride, dignity, and self-respect can rejoice – Roy Moore will not become a United States Senator.

It would have been hard to miss what could charitably be called the controversy over Moore’s candidacy for the Alabama Senate seat vacated by Jeff Sessions (now the United States Attorney General). I wouldn’t call it a controversy, though. I’d call it a dirty war between the people who believe that young people have a right not to be harassed, stalked, and assaulted by adult men and the people who think the Republican Party maintaining control of the Senate is more important than all of that. For the latter group of people, it’s not enough that the accusers have been underage. It’s not enough that their sisters, mothers, daughters, cousins, best friends, and coworkers have shared their stories of harassment and abuse in a vain effort to convince them not to vote for a pedophile.

Contrast that to Minnesota Senator Al Franken, who recently resigned over allegations of sexual harassment. As far as political moves go, it was a terrible one. It lessens the Democratic presence in the Senate at a time when we can’t afford to lose a single seat. But morally, it was undoubtedly the right thing to do. Democrats style themselves as the party of women, the party of human rights, and in condemning Franken and Franken’s resignation, Democrats chose to practice what they preached. They put people above politics, and on the other side of the aisle, Republicans are cackling about the Democratic seat that might be up for grabs in the next election.

I’m not one of those liberals who can’t handle a disagreement. I welcome debate and the free exchange of ideas. What I don’t welcome is an utter lack of compassion and empathy, and the emphasis on partisanship over people. Moore lost the Senate seat by 1.5 percent of the vote, which tells me that now and forever, the Republican Party has lost its morals.

There’s nothing moral about voting the party line when voting the party line means voting for a pedophile. Whatever decent ends the Republicans of Alabama were hoping to achieve with their vote (assuming there were decent ends) are wiped out by the means they took to get there – voting for a man who harasses young girls and thinks it’s all right because he got away with it. I don’t care what rationale they used. It was wrong, and they were wrong, and politics don’t matter in the face of child abuse.

Moore lost. His opponent, a man who successfully prosecuted members of the KKK who murdered children, won. But this isn’t a victory. It is, in the sense that the moral triumphed over the morally bankrupt, but in what it says about the state of Alabama, and the country at large? It says that a child abuser can come within 1.5% of victory in a statewide election. It says that politics are more important than morals to 48.4% of Alabama voters. It says that, if you didn’t realize it before, you’d better realize it now — that we’ve got a problem.

Moore lost. I can breathe easy because of that. But it should never have been that close.

Cover Image Credit: TIME / YouTube

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An Open Letter to the Person Who Still Uses the "R Word"

Your negative associations are slowly poisoning the true meaning of an incredibly beautiful, exclusive word.
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What do you mean you didn't “mean it like that?" You said it.

People don't say things just for the hell of it. It has one definition. Merriam-Webster defines it as, "To be less advanced in mental, physical or social development than is usual for one's age."

So, when you were “retarded drunk" this past weekend, as you claim, were you diagnosed with a physical or mental disability?

When you called your friend “retarded," did you realize that you were actually falsely labeling them as handicapped?

Don't correct yourself with words like “stupid," “dumb," or “ignorant." when I call you out. Sharpen your vocabulary a little more and broaden your horizons, because I promise you that if people with disabilities could banish that word forever, they would.

Especially when people associate it with drunks, bad decisions, idiotic statements, their enemies and other meaningless issues. Oh trust me, they are way more than that.

I'm not quite sure if you have had your eyes opened as to what a disabled person is capable of, but let me go ahead and lay it out there for you. My best friend has Down Syndrome, and when I tell people that their initial reaction is, “Oh that is so nice of you! You are so selfless to hang out with her."

Well, thanks for the compliment, but she is a person. A living, breathing, normal girl who has feelings, friends, thousands of abilities, knowledge, and compassion out the wazoo.

She listens better than anyone I know, she gets more excited to see me than anyone I know, and she works harder at her hobbies, school, work, and sports than anyone I know. She attends a private school, is a member of the swim team, has won multiple events in the Special Olympics, is in the school choir, and could quite possibly be the most popular girl at her school!

So yes, I would love to take your compliment, but please realize that most people who are labeled as “disabled" are actually more “able" than normal people. I hang out with her because she is one of the people who has so effortlessly taught me simplicity, gratitude, strength, faith, passion, love, genuine happiness and so much more.

Speaking for the people who cannot defend themselves: choose a new word.

The trend has gone out of style, just like smoking cigarettes or not wearing your seat belt. It is poisonous, it is ignorant, and it is low class.

As I explained above, most people with disabilities are actually more capable than a normal human because of their advantageous ways of making peoples' days and unknowingly changing lives. Hang out with a handicapped person, even if it is just for a day. I can one hundred percent guarantee you will bite your tongue next time you go to use the term out of context.

Hopefully you at least think of my friend, who in my book is a hero, a champion and an overcomer. Don't use the “R Word". You are way too good for that. Stand up and correct someone today.

Cover Image Credit: Kaitlin Murray

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President Trump’s Wall Is Not A Solution, It Causes More Harm Than You Think

After the second government shutdown since Donald Trump's inauguration, immigrants and opponents of the wall are not the only ones suffering.

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At this time of writing this, the government has been shut down for 19 days. Friday will be the first day that workers in one of the affected organizations will not receive a paycheck. Children on free lunch programs will have gone without this service for 19 days. Families on food stamps are unable to receive one of the most necessary and basic human rights. This is not an emotional tangent, but rather a reasonable suggestion to our government to do their jobs. Both political sides can be seen at fault, as a negotiation usually occurs between dissenting opinions. However, compromises are made through understanding and reasoning.

However, while our government converses about their views on the proposed wall, I will offer mine. With a price tag of $5 billion to construct, this is not a cheap and short-term project. Building this "border" will take money out of every American's pocket; our government simply does not have $5 billion in a savings account. Funding may occur in the form of taxes, which is already a system that has been reformed and looked over time and time again. If the administration follows through with their prior statements, then funding may also come from the budgets of other existing agencies. Additionally, since President Trump is a man of maximalism, the construction of a wall will impede on residential lives for those who live along the southern border. This affects major cities and towns such as San Diego, El Paso, and San Luis.

In a capitalist country where money and finances are a concern, there are many agencies that would thrive if they could obtain a fraction of this billion dollar proposal.

Schools need funding. The criminal justice system and public defenders need funding. Women's health services, like Planned Parenthood, need funding (Planned Parenthood has stated that government money does not get used in abortion services). Did you know that Planned Parenthood only receives $500 million for their annual budget, which is 1/10th of the wall's budget? With a fraction of this budget, you could fund a project to provide clean and safe drinking water across the world. The governmental funding for the Environmental Protection Agency has been halved, and it is now less than the budget for this wall. Humanitarian services need funding. We could help the homeless and build walls… four walls for a shelter, that is. Remember Puerto Rico and Hurricane Maria? There are still people without power- our government is responsible and needs money to aid these citizens.

I understand that people want stricter security and immigration services. A wall is not a solution. Airplanes exist- people can fly over the wall. Boats exist- traveling to America via water occurs. Building a power symbol cannot solve a "national emergency," as Donald Trump believes; the national emergency lies in the suffering Americans who will be impacted by the attempts to get this wall built.

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