This column by ACRU Senior Fellow and Policy Board member J. Kenneth Blackwell was published October 7, 2017 by Huffington Post.
It wasn’t supposed to happen. But Donald Trump was elected president. Establishment politicians, Washington pundits, foreign governments, and just about everyone else was shocked, even horrified.
They tried to maintain business as usual. Even Republican Party big-wigs hoped nothing much would change.
However, the president has been busy working to secure our borders, keep out terrorists, cut federal regulation, strengthen the military, roll back Obamacare, and cut taxes. And Congress? Not so much.
Which has left the American people frustrated. But the special election to fill Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ former Senate seat gave them an opportunity to speak — again.
Former State Attorney General Luther Strange, a long-time conservative, was appointed to the position. But many people believed he was chosen as part of a deal with the governor.
Fair or not, it looked like old-style politics. The new senator appeared to have joined the establishment GOP, which achieved so little after promising so much.
So Roy Moore decided to run.
There may be no American politician who is less PC. After he was elected chief justice of Alabama’s Supreme Court he had the Ten Commandments installed in the courthouse. The Left went crazy, but he stood firm even after a federal judge ordered the monument’s removal. And he was dumped from the court.
He got elected again. Then he was suspended after telling state judges to enforce Alabama law and ignore the Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage. So he quit in April and ran for the Senate.
How many other politicians lost their job twice for standing on conservative principles?
Of course, the usual suspects are horrified. For Democrats there could be nothing worse. Someone who believes in life and truth, and acts accordingly. Someone who challenges everything the Democratic Party represents.
Liberal pundits also are beside themselves. Moore believes that traditional values not only should help us govern ourselves but belong in public life. It doesn’t get much worse for the Left.
However, Republican elites are even more opposed to Moore. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell raised money to stop Moore.
Republican party apparatchiks and consultants are equally adamant. Moore’s success, they fear, could trigger a wave of copy-cat candidates. What is worse than Roy Moore in the Senate? Two or five or ten Roy Moores in the Senate!
Of course, professional Republicans say they fear the GOP could lose its majority. However, the purpose of the majority is to act. If Senate Republicans won’t do their job, why are they there? Americans did not elect them to serve as high-priced decorations.
Moore already has proved that if he’s elected in December he won’t become just another member of the club. He recently ventured to Washington and did not meet with McConnell, the National Republican Senatorial Committee, or any of the other Republican leaders or groups which worked to defeat him.
Instead, Moore visited Steve Bannon, one of the few people in America who is even more controversial than Moore. Bannon wants to encourage additional challengers like Moore around the country.
Which would be good for the country since Moore has endorsed President Donald Trump’s agenda. The president needs congressional Republicans who will stand with him in transforming Washington.
The establishment is running scared. Tennessee’s Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, recently announced that he won’t run for reelection next year. Others are likely to join him.
But what matters most is not what people in Washington are doing. It’s what people across America are demanding.
Change. Real reform. Returning government to the business of serving the American people.
We know what needs to be done. Repeal Obamacare, for one. Republicans have been promising to do so for seven years.
Cut wasteful spending. Washington is a swamp, but at its center is a mass of expansive and expensive programs. For the sake of our children and grandchildren as well as ourselves we need to make Uncle Sam live within his means.
Congress should prioritize securing America’s borders and rebuilding the military. President Trump has made the case for doing both. But legislators have yet to do their job.
And that’s just a start.
Establishment Republicans had their chance. And they blew it.
The failure to live up to their responsibilities helped both Donald Trump and now Roy Moore win. These two men represent a movement which is far bigger than any one person.
Shocked politicians of both parties began looking forward to the end of Donald Trump’s presidency the moment he was elected. But Roy Moore’s victory shows that the American people have only just begun to retake control of their country.