December 13, 2017

Alabama Looks Good Today

Doug Jones Trees
Doug Jones for Senate [CC BY-SA 4.0]
It was great to see that Doug Jones upset Roy Moore in Alabama's special Senate election. It seems like a rare bit of good news amidst all the bad. In some ways, it might even reaffirm the notion that basic human decency can sometimes triumph over tribalism.

There will be plenty of opportunities for those who are so inclined to attempt to extract lessons from this election. As for me, I just want to note that the outcome of this special election makes the state of Alabama look good.

Maybe this will strike some as an odd thing to say, but I think we can agree that a Moore victory would have harmed the state's image. It would have reinforced many negative stereotypes about the state and the majority of those who live there. Fortunately, Alabama voters decided to go a different route. By rejecting Moore and electing a Democrat, something the state has not done in roughly 25 years, deep red Alabama showed us that they were able overcome tribalism. I think this makes Alabama look good.

I thought that Kim Chandler and Steve Peoples (Religion News Service) were correct to point out that Moore's defeat was probably the best outcome the national Republican Party could hope for.
Still, many Washington Republicans viewed the defeat of Moore as perhaps the best outcome for the party nationally despite the short-term sting. The fiery Christian conservative’s positions have alienated women, racial minorities, gays and Muslims — in addition to the multiple allegations that he was guilty of sexual misconduct with teens, one only 14, when he was in his 30s.
Moore's lingering popularity in Alabama has not helped the state's image. Sending him to the Senate would not have done much for the image of the national GOP. Frankly, the willingness of many prominent Republicans (including President Trump and the RNC) to support Moore has already tarnished the party's image.

It seems to me that the outcome of this special election was a win for the Democrats and for the Republicans. But most of all, it was a win for the state of Alabama.