Roy Moore didn’t see this one coming. Moore, the leading candidate and lone Republican in Alabama’s Senate race decried multiple allegations of sexual assault and misconduct on minors as “a desperate attempt to stop [his] campaign” but did not outright deny dating teenagers while in his 30s, according to a Nov. 11 CNN article. Following the public downfalls of actor Kevin Spacey and comedian Louis “C.K.” Székely in the face of alleged sexual misconduct in just the past two weeks, it seems 2017 is bringing skeletons out of closets all across the American public consciousness. However, where Spacey and Székely have been publicly lambasted and forced to offer apologies of varying candor, Moore has fired back at accusers and pledged to supporters that he “Will never give up the fight,” according to a Nov. 11 Washington Post report. As Moore’s campaign rolls on, defended by Alabama voters, we must question why we hold entertainers to moral standards but let politicians off the hook. If we find sexual assault and misconduct universally detestable, don’t these crimes deserve universal condemnation?

While Moore’s alleged sexual transgressions are far from the first instances of misconduct in American politics, they are among the most troubling. According to a Nov. 9 Washington Post report, four women claim that Moore had inappropriate interactions with them while they were under the age of 18; these interactions began in courthouses, classrooms and malls. Moore allegedly approached these girls and asked them out on dates, which in the case of then-14-year-old Leigh Corfman, led to sexual assault in his home. Corfman just “wanted out,” according to the same article. At the time, Moore was a 32-year-old assistant district attorney in his home region of Northern Alabama. As of Nov. 13, a fifth woman also came forward, according to a Nov. 13 New York Times article.

This news comes just as former congressman Anthony Weiner began serving his 21-month term for child pornography on Nov. 6. Weiner reported Monday morning to Federal Medical Center Devens, a prison in Ayer, Massachusetts, where sex offenders receive treatment, according to a Nov. 6 CNN article. In June 2011, Weiner resigned from Congress after denying and finally admitting that he had inappropriate online conversations which included photographs. Two years later, he ran for mayor of New York but his candidacy collapsed due to new sexting allegations, according to an Aug. 30, 2016  CNN timeline of Weiner’s scandals. Today, Weiner sits in a prison cell at one of six federal medical centers in the country, where he is enrolled in a specialized sex offender treatment program. By all accounts, his career is over. Meanwhile, a Nov. 10 poll by Decision Desk and Opinion Savvy shows that Roy Moore may still win his race in Alabama.

If the allegations are proven true, Moore could face harsher punishments than Weiner because his alleged crimes have been physical. A Nov. 10 New York Times article reveals that Washington Republicans are trying everything they can do to pull the plug on his candidacy as a result of the allegations. So, why is he still in the race and how does he still receive strong local support? In the words of 15 Alabama voters interviewed for a Nov. 11 NBC News report, Moore is popular precisely because of his “penchant for political incorrectness.” The same political moment that allowed President Donald Trump to win last year’s presidential election because of his flippant attitude toward social and political convention now has Alabama Republicans poised to justify their candidate, even though he might be a child molester. Moore employs Trump’s tactics of vehement denial and media blame in the face of accusation, turning his woes on the institutions in an anti-establishment America. He also gives interviews in sympathetic settings such as Sean Hannity’s radio show, which reinforces his base and he avoids hardball questioning. None of the 15 Republicans interviewed by NBC had any plans to change their votes. 

Bill Cosby, Kevin Spacey and Louis C.K. are disgraced names. Hollywood creates a facade in which those who entertain us are viewed positively through the lens of their work and not for who they are. When something heinous breaks this facade for an entertainer or producer, we want nothing to do with them. The facade of morality in politics shattered a long time ago. According to 2017 Pew Research Center polls, only 20 percent of Americans trust elected officials to “do what’s right,” from a moral standpoint all or most of the time, compared to 75 percent during the John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson years. Our numbness toward moral reprehensibility in politics fueled Trump’s rise and empowers Roy Moore to stay in the Senate race. Unless something changes, on Dec. 12 Alabama residents choose whether or not they want a potential child molester as their senator. Let's hope voters will draw the line there.