JACKSON, AL - NOVEMBER 14: Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Judge Roy Moore speaks during a campaign event at the Walker Springs Road Baptist Church on...
Jonathan Bachman

Roy Moore points to slavery era as a time when America was ‘great’

Updated

Roy Moore’s right-wing Senate campaign in Alabama has been plagued by allegations of sexual misconduct, including claims of child molestation. But even before the Alabama Republican was confronted with allegations from women from his past, Moore’s record of extremism made his Senate candidacy the most radical in recent memory, at least in this country.

Indeed, some of his most unhinged moments are now getting a fresh look in the closing days of his special election. We talked in August, for example, about Moore suggesting that the United States may be “the focus of evil” in the world, in part because of our support for marriage equality. It’s a line that’s now receiving a new round of attention.

So, too, is this L.A. Times article from September.

At Moore’s Florence rally, the former judge outlined all the wrongs he sees in Washington and “spiritual wickedness in high places.” He warned of “the awful calamity of abortion and sodomy and perverse behavior and murders and shootings and road rage” as “a punishment inflicted upon us for our presumptuous sins.”

In response to a question from one of the only African Americans in the audience – who asked when Moore thought America was last “great” – Moore acknowledged the nation’s history of racial divisions, but said: “I think it was great at the time when families were united – even though we had slavery – they cared for one another…. Our families were strong, our country had a direction.”

At the same event, Moore referred to Native Americans and Asian Americans as “reds and yellows,” and earlier this year he suggested the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks were divine punishment.

Doug Heye, a prominent Republican strategist and pundit, responded to the report this morning by saying, “I don’t know how I can say to any minority voter that they should join the GOP right now.”

In recent years, one of Donald Trump’s signature lines is that he intends to “make America great again.” He does not, however, clarify when exactly he thought the country was “great.”

Roy Moore, however, was willing to clarify: he believes America was last great when slavery was still legal.

Note, the GOP candidate wasn’t asked about slavery. Moore brought it up, unprompted, arguing that America before 1865 was better than America anytime since.

It’s a reminder that Moore’s candidacy is scandalous for reasons that extend well beyond his alleged mistreatment of women and girls.

It’s also a reminder that the Republican Party and Donald Trump’s White House don’t find the details of Moore’s vision offensive enough to stop supporting his Senate candidacy.