Election Miracle in Alabama
Miracles happen and on election night December 12, 2017, we all witnessed a political miracle in the state of Alabama. The race to fill Attorney General Jeff Sessions' open U.S. Senate seat came down to two candidates – Republican nominee Roy Moore and Democratic nominee Doug Jones.
In a surprise twist of fate, the Democratic candidate won. With 100% of the 2,220 precincts reporting, Jones received 671,151 votes to Moore's 650,436, making Jones the winner.
According to the Republican Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill, it is unlikely the outstanding ballots will sway the apparent outcome of Tuesday's election. But this election was more than Jones v. Moore. It was more than Democrat v. Republican. It was more than basic human decency v. pure, unadulterated evil. It was a repudiation of mansplaining justification for bad actions. Most importantly, it was the Silence Breakers and the #MeToo movement v. Sexual Predators everywhere.
Sadly, it was not a referendum on hate or Steve Bannon's white nationalism. No voter who abides a moral code of love and respect can rest until the likes of Bannon and Richard Spencer have no platform to spew their venom. Alabama voters squandered an opportunity to send those swamp rats a message loud and clear. One that says: we're better than this and we don't subscribe to your brand of white separatism and racial animus. With Moore still managing to overwhelmingly win the white male vote, it's clear that people of good conscience must be willing to continue the fight.
For the Democratic Party to ignore the impact race had on Alabama's special election would be political malpractice. Black voters cast a ballot for Jones at a rate of 96%, compared to 66% of white voters who supported Moore. The national Democratic apparatus needs to internalize these numbers and facilitate the incorporation of black and brown political minds when making decisions that affect the future of the party.
Despite the importance of Jones' victory for national politics, this election highlights the force of nature that is the #MeToo movement. Women and allies for those previously assaulted have declared their unwillingness to accept continued degradation. While congratulating Doug Jones, remember to give a shout out to the 'Silence Breakers' (Time Magazine designated "Silence Breakers" as the 2017 Person of the Year for speaking out against sexual assault and harassment) for their courage to step forward and expose Moore as the sexual predator that he is.
Compassion for victims of assault and harassment is evolving. The U.S. electorate seems primed for a new era that eradicates the objectification of women.