The MLK Factor: Why Roy Moore Will Never Be Governor of Anything.
Opinion by Will Bevis, Gadsden, AL... Not long ago I was in Steele, Alabama, interviewing a man who had lived in his Pick-Up Truck for 27 years. I asked him to show me around, and as we drove I realized we were not far from Gallant, Alabama, where Roy Moore, Jr., lives. I asked the man if he knew where Roy lived exactly, and he thought he did, but he was wrong. Instead, we stopped at what appears to be the one store in Gallant, and went in to talk to the man who owned it, who was very comfortable, wearing no shoes. He was very laid back, had a sofa right in front of a TV, and it was blaring out a game show. Over against one wall was one rack of DVD's to rent. Outside, the man's dog didn't even bother to get up when we pulled in the parking lot. This store owner didn't know where Old Roy lived either, but confided that Roy had talked to him about the possiblity of running for Governor again. Well the possibility has come to be. Roy Moore, Junior, is back. He is officially running. And he's got YouTube, and FaceBook and Twitter on his side now in the coming election. Keeping all that in mind, I saw a guy today who I thought I remembered as being from Steele, and asked him if he was, and if he knew Roy. He said "Why, man, I've known Roy all my life - he just lives a little piece from me." I asked him how he thought Moore would do in the election, and he answered, "I don't think he'll do any good. Not any good at all." At this point another man came up and joined in, one who knew Dean Young, who was once big in Moore's previous political dealings. Those two started talking and I couldn't get a word in edgewise. I just took out a pen and paper and started taking notes. They were in agreement that Moore had handled the Ten Commandments situation wrong, and that he should have obeyed the rulings that were handed down to him. Then they said he should have told the people, "I've done all I can do. It's in God's hand's now." And then gone on. They thought that if had of done that, he would have gone way up in Alabama politics. That it was a big mistake to disobey the rulings of the Alabama Surpreme Court so defiantly. That the Bible said to give unto Caesar that which is Caesar's. That even Jesus obeyed Roman law, and paid his taxes, with a coin from a fish's mouth no less. That's where I and the two men disagreed about what the cause of Roy's failure was, and I told them so. I told them, and I will tell you, what I believe was the biggest mistake Roy Moore, Jr., made, and one which I believe will dog him forever, causing him to never win a leadership position in Alabama or national government ever again. I call it the MLK Factor, but it could just have easily been called the "Daniel in the Lion's Den" factor, or the "Shadrach, Meshack and Abednego Factor. " What the factor is, is this: When the chips are down - You've got to step up and stand up and do whatever is necessary. No matter how much you are afraid.
Of course, Shakespeare said it best:
"There is a tide in the affairs of men, which taken at the flood, leads on to fortune. Omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and in misery... We must take the current when it serves, or lose our ventures."
Roy Moore, Jr... In my opinion, AT THAT POINT IN HIS LIFE WHEN ALL WAS AT STAKE... backed down from the crisis. I called the factor, the MLK Factor, because when at the critical moment of his life, when Dr. King was about to be arrested, and others WERE being arrested, MLK did not take himself out of harm's way. He stepped up and stepped forward willingly and was arrested. And was taken to the Birmingham Jail. And the rest is history. His followers saw here was a man who backed up his convictions not with words, but with his body. With his freedom. He was willing to be imprisoned for what he believed in. And he was. Unfortunately, that is not what happened with Roy Moore, Junior. I have read his book and I believe it says - I don't have it anymore, I threw it away - that at the critical moment, when his supporters were being arrested in Montgomery, he was inside a building, looking out the window, watching it happen. And I believe it also says that at this crucial moment, he consciously decided to NOT go out and be arrested. I believe the book stated that he reasoned if he went out, what would happen next would be about him, and not about the Ten Commandments. Sorry, Roy, but that is the lamest excuse I have ever heard of. Because, you're supporters were already out there being arrested, BECAUSE of YOUR LEADERSHIP. At that high tide in his affairs, when things could go either way, Roy Moore chose to step back onto the beach and to his own safety, and not get swept away by that powerful tide. A tide which had he stepped in, as MLK so willingly stepped into, could have taken Roy to very great things, places, and opportunities. But... Roy Moore, Jr., would not and did not go outside like a true leader, and get arrested with those who were following him. And who can blame him? Not I, for the tide is very scary. You can not control where it will sweep you, once you step into it. In Doctor King's case, it eventually carried him to his death.
But if you want to be a leader, YOU HAVE GOT TO DO IT. And as I said previously, the factor that Moore does not have could have been named the "Daniel in the Lion's Den Factor." Because Daniel was given a choice. He could renounce his belief in God, and not have to step in to the lion's den. He would not renounce his faith in God, and stepped forward willingly. And surprisingly was saved from the lions. And the three who were thrown into the furnace. They were given a choice as well. Renounce what you believe in, and all would be forgiven, and there would be no furnace. The three would not. And were saved. Though others around them burned up. But Roy Moore, Jr., will never know if he would have been "saved" if he stepped forward and was arrested, or not. Because he played it safe. No matter what excuse he came up with or comes up with now, the bottom line is, he didn't go out the door. And one of the results of that is that in some eyes, including mine, he is not a leader. He is a guy that when it came down to decision time, wouldn't back up his stated beliefs with his physical body. He would not give his life for his cause. Now I honestly don't know if the people of Alabama did not vote for him for Governor the last time because they somehow sense what I have just told you. All I know, is that they didn't. Yet here he is again. He hasn't changed. Yet somehow he believes he has a better chance now, since a "popular" governor can not run again. He doesn't realize that popularity is not as important as leadership. I say, you had your chance, Roy, and you didn't take it. I remember back then, all those years ago, there was even talk of Roy Moore for President. I believe all that talk is gone now. It's just one step at a time again for him. He's going to try to be governor. But all the talk I heard today was this, from a man who has known him all his life. The man said, "Roy is smart as a whip. But when it comes to common sense he's just... he's just..." I kept waiting for the man to finish his sentence. But he never did. So I will have to finish it myself, in my own way. He is just not a leader. When I was looking for Roy's house with the man who lived in his truck for 27 years, I did so because I wanted to see the gate at the beginning of his driveway, which I believe it was said, he built out of rock with his own hands. I wasn't going to go in unannounced. Even though I would have liked to see his house, which I also heard, he had built with his own hands. I just admire people who can do things for themselves. But as I was talking with this man who said he'd known him all his life, and we were talking about common sense and having it or not having it, the man out of the blue said, "Why he couldn't drive a nail straight!" Bewildered, I asked him what he meant, as I had heard he had built his own house. He told me again, "Why he couldn't drive a nail without bending it!" He then went on to say that Roy had had a lot of help building that house. A lot of help. I guess I am still just a sucker who falls for the publicity machine, the Facebooks, the Myspaces, the Youtubes, and the endless Twitters... But now I know there's a lot to every person's story that people never know. And I believe that in Roy Moore's case, there is a very lot we don't know. After viewing his background video on his website, I am sure of it. Everything seems so happy and rosy. I am absolutely sure, a lot of details... are left out. It's a lot like the Bible. People read and believe what they want to believe, and ignore the parts that convict them of sin. But the one thing that can never be left out of the story of Roy Moore, Jr., is that when the Ten Commandments crisis came to a head that decisive day years ago in Montgomery, he did NOT come out of the building and get arrested with his supporters. And that one decision made all the difference in his future political life. It was the road not taken. And it has made all the difference in his world. Sure, he is not hurting financially. He still has many followers who contribute to his foundation. But deep down in Roy Moore's heart I believe he honestly wants to do more. I believe he has a good heart now, just as he did then. And let it be known that I did vote for him for Governor previously, and it was the only time in my life I have ever voted Republican. And although I didn't agree with every thing he said or did back then, I loved his conviction in God. So much so that I also wrote a book about him. But conviction is nothing if it is never tested. Roy Moore, Jr. was tested. And he failed. I don't believe he will ever be given a second chance in Alabama, or in the nation. His moment of truth came... and passed. And now he can never regain what he lost from not making the right decision: the decision to back up his beliefs with his freedom. As a famous writer wrote, "The moving finger writes and having writ moves on, and none of your tears nor all of your piety, can wash away a single word of it." Sorry, Roy: You just don't have the MLK Factor. You are possibly many good things... but you are not a leader. But if you ever want to change, there is one simple thing you could do to begin with: You could apologize to all the people who got arrested, when you did not. You could simply say, "I'm sorry." Because that's what a leader does. When he is or was wrong, he admits it. Only then can he move on. But why take advice from me? You've probably got a lot of high paid advisers, and I'm just a man with a pen. One who is looking for a leader I can put my whole heart behind. One who has the MLK Factor. One who I know, that if I am going to be arrested, He will already be in the jail waiting to welcome me. One like the greatest leader ever, who said to those who were about to take him away to be tried and crucified, "I am he... therefore ye seek me, let these (his followers) go their way."
Prove you are a leader, Roy. When you start something go all the way.
Don't back down.
Don't let others go to jail for you.
Go first. Will Bevis, Gadsden, AL, May 2, 2010.