Tom Being Tom

Just me, talking about stuff.

Roll Tide

roll tide, jones wins

By on 13 Dec 2017

Last night, the people of Alabama did a good thing. The right thing.

It was entirely unexpected and, anyway, by a very narrow margin. But enough people in the Heart of Dixie had the courage of conviction to place country over party, and elect Doug Jones to the Senate. A Democrat. In Alabama.

Alabama voted for Donald Trump, in 2016, by a margin of 28 percentage points. They last put a Democrat in the Senate two and a half decades ago. They are the very definition of a Red State. But, last night, that went out the window, as 670,151 Alabamans cast their votes blue.

But this wasn’t about party. This race was not about Republicans vs Democrats, not in the state of Alabama. In the press, it was. To the president, it was. But for the denizens of the Cotton State, and for many of us watching from the outside, it was not. It was about character. It was about an alleged pedophile, a clear bigot, and a devout racist, battling against a man who, by all accounts, is a good man. And the good man won. Despite all odds.

It was not easy. 650,436 Alabamans still voted for Roy Moore. 650,436 Alabamans chose party over character. The party liners made it clear that, if the allegations were true, they’d still rather have a child molester than a Democrat in the Senate. That is sad.

The president of the United States of America made that clear, too. Donald Trump himself made similar comments, imploring those who would listen to forget the allegations against Roy Moore on the sole basis that the Senate needed a red vote for his ambiguous tax bill. It is not a surprise. The entire country had to rally behind a man of bad character, the president himself, to win the vote in 2016 by a negative margin.

But win, he did. The final tally in 2016 was a vote for intolerance. Like Roy Moore, Donald Trump represents bigotry, misogyny, and narrow-mindedness. They welcome all religion, as long as its Christian. All color, as long as its white. Any gender, as long as it knows its place in a male-dominated society.

The election in Alabama was a referendum against such shallow thinking, however small the margin. 670,151 people in the deep south stood up and said β€œenough.” Enough prejudice. Enough xenophobia. No more free passes. Enough bad behavior. Enough.

Last night, the people of Alabama did a good thing. The right thing.

And I wake up this morning feeling a little bit better about human nature; and about the future of the United States of America.

40 comments on “Roll Tide

  1. Has Moore conceded yet? When I watched his speech he was crying recount & hadn’t conceded. You lost, get over it! I was starting to lose faith in humanity since I had seen so many crying that Jones was for abortions (oh-no!) but forgetting that Moore was a creepy, racist pedo.

    1. The last I’ve seen, Moore is still crying for recount. However, Alabama law requires a recount only when the vote is within .5%, and the margin of victory was 3x that. Bye, bye, Roy Moore.

      And I won’t say this outcome has completely restored my faith in humanity, or in America, but it was a good step in that direction. Bad is bad, and let’s defeat it wherever it shows its smarmy head. πŸ™‚

  2. Everyone should go to Twitter and follow the handle @RoyMooresHorse. It’s a true gem in this otherwise bizarre Orwellian reality we have created.

  3. Last night my phone gave me the little news alert saying that Doug Jones won and I could not wait to read your thoughts on it. I am high on this feeling of hope. The theme of this year has been “have you lost faith in humanity yet” and last night, I got a little back.

    1. Not gonna lie, very proud of the fact I came to mind on this! πŸ€—

      I walked into work this morning, unlocked the door for the tired looking, sullen crew and said “why all the long faces gents; it’s a proud day to be an American for a change!” πŸ˜‚

      1. I thought of you, too! Immediately thought, “can’t wait to read what Tom thinks!”.

    1. Agreed, Nicola! Very proud of the stand Alabama has taken, and Virginia before them. As Anony Mole says down below, “the edifice of rationality is being reassembled.” Indeed it is!

  4. I was happy to see this, and in light of Moore’s horrible record for ignoring the Constitution and laws as judge, we should all be relieved, Republicans perhaps more than anyone else. It makes me a bit hopeful. Perhaps there is a bottom to this thing after all.

    1. Very astute observation, Harry! Moore has been a cad for years, and these latest revelations are just the tip of the iceberg. It’s time to say goodbye to Roy Moore for good, and to the King of Cads himself, Donald Trump, soon enough.

      As for the Republicans, they have to wiping their collective brows on this one, having dodged the biggest bullet aimed at their 2018 campaign to date. Roy Moore would have killed them next year.

      Really, everyone won when Doug Jones won. πŸ˜‰

  5. I cannot wait to read this post in it’s entirety. Tom, I always enjoy your stuff (sorry for the long break, by the way, just returned to real life after a month on parental leave). In the meantime, and in a shameful display of me trying to drum up traffic (and conversation), I’m going to leave a link to my angry response. I’d love feedback from yourself or your readership!!

    Alright, in case you or your readership are interested in a very crass, angry, and (hopefully) humorous response to the election results:

      1. A month of insane boredom, screaming child, hellilsh weekends (with two young kids, one of them horrifying jealous and violent), and me finally discovering the joys of Rick and Morty.

  6. The tide does indeed seem to be turning, Tom! Interestingly, while staying at my sister’s house in NJ, I took To Kill A Mockingbird down from her book shelf and read it cover to cover. Obviously, I had never read this superb novel before alleging that the only good thing to have come out of Alabama was that “flea market just like a mini-mall” commercial, because back in 1960 there was obviously one good-hearted person repulsed by racism and ignorance in Alabama and her name was Harper Lee.

    1. I must embarrassingly admit, Paul, that I’ve never read the book! It has been on my list for years, and at or near the top of ever “most important book of all time” list I’ve ever seen, but I always seem to have my head in something else. Your glowing recommendation will push it to the top of my agenda, however, and I will report back what I see. Now, I can’t wait.

      As for the tide, I agree. Not only have we seen this, and Virginia, but Trump’s approval numbers have tied his all-time low today. The country is waking up; and if I have anything to say about, they won’t go back to sleep again!

  7. My husband woke me up last night to tell me the news; it is the best thing I have heard in a long time. It is nice to remember what it feels like to be hopeful! Love this post and sharing it like mad!!!

    1. Thank you so much! I really appreciate the kind words and shares. And what a wonderful thing to be woken up to! There was a spring in my step that has been missing for too long, I must say, when I went to work this morning. Heck, I might even hang my Christmas lights now, what with hope all springing eternal again and all! 😁

    1. I honestly couldn’t believe how good I felt about it; I’m not even an Alabaman! But, it’s been such a tough, tough year of disappointment, I should not have been surprised. Between this, and Virginia, and Trump’s numbers declining to match his all-time low today, I think this may very well be the turning point we’ve been looking for.

      Heck, even my trolls are silent today. πŸ˜‰

  8. Another articulate post! Well done, Tom. I really appreciate how thoughtful and articulate and respectful you were in this. It’s a nice Counterpoint to Hell God damn much I swear in mine…

    1. Thank you, Justin! I can’t wait to read the counterpoint; this administration deserves some hell goddamn swearing, and I trust in you to bring it!

    1. Thank you, Pablo. Yes, I agree. The president’s numbers are shrinking, and the frightened and unpopular Congress is forcing through unpopular bills to please their backers instead of their constituents. And folks are noticing. The backlash will be historic.

      BTW, love that hovercard. πŸ™‚

      1. Thanks! It’s helped restore my faith in human nature to see American’s turn away the ugly that crept in with this Administration. The spontaneous removal of Confederate statues after Charlottesville. The massive stance against alt-right demonstrations across the country. The Democratic upset in Virginia and New Jersey. Let’s hope it’s not just a trend, but a show of our true colors.

  9. Well said Tom. While I’m outside the country, my first reaction was Yay! Hope this means a change in the political tides.

    But as you allude to, this isn’t a simply marker of a possible return to more enlightened and informed decision-making by voters in the coming mid-terms.

    Moore’s defeat in a historically β€œred” state is an indication that the change has already occurred.

    1. Thanks, Gabe! I hope you’re right, and this is the change we’ve been waiting for. Those in power today are not listening to the voice of the people, as it speaks louder and louder in places like Virginia and Alabama. They do not feel they work for us. Let’s get out there and remind them that they do.

      When you get back, I mean. Enjoy your travels first! πŸ˜‰

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