Roy Moore (Getty/Drew Angerer)

Fox News guest: Seducing 14-year-olds "may not have been that unusual" 40 years ago

A Neil Cavuto guest wonders aloud if Roy Moore's alleged squiring of a child was actually fine in the '70s


Gabriel Bell
December 7, 2017 5:31PM (UTC)

On Wednesday night's Fox News broadcast of "Your World With Neil Cavuto," guest and CEO of the conservative advocacy group Independent Women's Voice, Heather Higgins, posited that, hey, maybe making sexual advances to a 14-year-old in the late 1970s wasn't all that out of the mainstream.

Speaking about the allegations against Republication Alabama senatorial candidate Roy Moore who, among other things, has been accused of initiating sexual contact with a 14-year-old girl in 1979, Higgins was asked by host Cavuto about the statute of limitations concerning statutory rape.

Advertisement:

"You would think that that has expired for something that was 40 years ago," she said, "and I suspect that that’s part of why if you look at the polling in Alabama, a lot of the Alabamians don’t believe it."

She continued. "[Moore's] been in public life for a very, very long time. Dating somebody who was much younger may be something that we find repugnant, but 40 years ago in Alabama it may not have been that unusual."

Cavuto responded, "Well, but she was 14."

"There was one allegation, exactly, about the 14-year-old," Higgins replied.

"One allegation, right," Cavuto said.

At this point, there are multiple allegations against Moore, but let's table that. Higgins' claim that — who knows? Maybe! — this was all quite fine in 1979 is the juicy bit here.

Advertisement:

After all, she has a point: Who can say what Alabamians thought of statutory rape during the Carter administration, given that human written language at the time was limited to crude pictograms scratched into cave walls? Without a true historical record or living witnesses to explain how life was lived while "The Amityville Horror" was king at the box office, it is unknowable.

Advertisement:

Moreover, from our distant historical remove, who are modern thinkers to judge the mores of our ancient, silent ancestors? If only we could speak to the alleged victim or the people who knew her we might have an answer, but no hand can reach through the eons of lost time to the era when Rod Stewart roamed the earth.

All that said, it's pretty sad how many seem to want to say locals excuse such behavior simply because they live in the South. Just because you live past the Mason-Dixon line, doesn't mean you don't feel that child rape is fine, you know. Location isn't why many Alabamians continue to support more. There are other reasons for that.


Gabriel Bell

Gabriel Bell is Salon's Deputy Culture Editor. Follow him on Twitter at @GabrielJBell

MORE FROM Gabriel BellFOLLOW @GabrielJBell



Fearless journalism
in your inbox every day

Sign up for our free newsletter

• • •