Democrats should not be too sanguine about yesterday’s election in Alabama. Yes, there is now a small blue spot in the deep-red South, so let’s celebrate it and move on. The main question is what can we learn from this election, while hoping that the Republicans don’t learn anything. Our question, and lesson, ought to be: does this make it more or less likely that we can take back congress next year?
The voters of Alabama rejected Roy Moore by the slimmest of margins. He probably feels as bad as when he was told that he couldn’t cruise the mall preying on young girls. And yet, the GOP leadership in Washington is breathing a sigh of relief. They were going to hold a meeting this morning to determine how they could protect pages from Chester the Molester. Not since Tom Foley left congress in disgrace have we had a known child molester walking the halls of congress.
Senators like Lindsey Graham realized that Roy Moore would become the face of the GOP for the next few years, and would thus make it more likely that Democrats would win back congress.
But Don the Con was all-in for the sexual predator from Alabama. Most Republican politicians were willing to accept a pedophile as long as he voted to cut taxes for the rich, outlaw abortion, and put assault rifles in the hands of every man, woman, and child in America. Except in Moore’s case, he probably doesn’t want women who have young daughters owning assault rifles.
We should keep in mind however, what the voters rejected and what they were prepared to accept.
Our molester-in-chief (Don the Con) wanted Roy Moore to help him “Make America Great Again.” They want to take America back to the good ole days “when families stuck together—even though we had slavery” (Roy Moore’s exact words). Moore thinks that America was great when we only had Ten Amendments to the Constitution. He doesn’t like the ones that freed the slaves, made them citizens, and gave the women the right to vote—why?
Well, first of all, Roy Moore won the white male vote in Alabama in a 74% landslide. It seems that our political divide is not only along geographical lines, it is along racial and gender lines—which is one of the reasons why white males in Alabama are still trying to block the African-American vote, with strict voter ID laws.
Let’s keep in mind what the voters rejected and what they were prepared to accept. Roy Moore thinks that homosexuality ought to be a crime. He thinks that Muslims should not be allowed to hold public office in the US. He said that America should have stopped with the Tenth Amendment. All this was fully acceptable to the GOP leadership, if only he hadn’t molested 14-year-old girls. Still they were prepared to support him.
For me, the question in politics is what can we learn from all this? Doug Jones ran a great campaign. The African-American voters turned out as much as they did for Obama. By my standards, Doug Jones is a moderate Democrat—but I would rather have a moderate Democrat than a Republican any day! This is why I am a pragmatist. There are many states where an extreme liberal cannot win. We need to win back those crossover voters who were conned by Trump.
What will it take? We may need hope. We must hope that the Republicans don’t learn from this election, and that we do. We must hope that Tom Perez learns the sad consequences of stay-at-home Democratic voters in off-year elections. And, we must hope that more and more Americans are beginning to see the horrendous consequences of Trumpism in America. The Con Man is out to destroy democracy in America, let’s hope people begin to realize this before he causes any more damage.
Besides Doug Jones, there is one other small glimmer of hope coming out of Alabama: Trump’s approval rating in this deep-red state is only 48%. Let’s hope that it continues to plummet.