Although the extremely divisive 2016 election year is behind us, the 2017 special elections and the ones coming up in the midterms don’t necessarily look any more promising. From Donald Trump’s polarizing and ill-advised tweets (of which there are many) to the fact that ultra-nationalist candidates are being elected in Republican primaries all across the nation, voters are once again going to be faced with an ugly election cycle, a batch of unruly candidates, and a lot of incessant and divisive comments from the White House. This is why Alabama’s special Senate race is so important; it will give us a taste of the upcoming midterm elections before 2018 actually rolls around.
1. A key Trump-backed candidate just lost the Republican Primary
Roy Moore, the former Alabama judge who has been suspended TWICE in the past for judicial misconduct won the statewide Republican Senate primary over Trump-backed incumbent Luther Strange. This upsetting victory of a racist and homophobic Christian extremist spells disaster not only for Alabama but for the nation at large. This win for Moore might mean that Trump is losing support, especially in the south; but his alternative isn’t any better.
2. This election will be a hotbed of bigotry
From pulling out a gun at a campaign rally to believing that homosexuality should be illegal, Republican candidate Roy Moore has a troubling history of flagrant neglect for morality and equality. As a matter of fact, Roy Moore even denied a woman and mother access to her abused children solely due to the fact that she was lesbian. Furthermore, despite the fact that the children in question were abused and endangered, Moore flouted judicial restriction and allowed his personal beliefs to influence his work, thus denying the mother custody of her children and placing those children in perpetual danger solely because he was a bigoted homophobe.
The very fact that the people of Alabama could elect such a person to be their preferred candidate is inexcusable, immoral and quite frankly endangering to minorities, women and children. Yet, they are willing to because Moore represents the “anti-establishment”, a movement of which Donald Trump was once a staunch member. Now, that increasing group of voters will go to the polls in 2018, and more Roy Moore’s might be elected in other states.
3. Democrats Might Have a Chance
With such a polarizing candidate leading the GOP in that state, one must also keep in mind that Doug Jones, a talented and dedicated federal prosecutor, is slowly catching up to Moore in the deeply conservative state. Jones’ moderate views along with his drive and dedication are priming him to be a strong alternative to Moore. Jones is trailing him by only five points in the latest election poll. If he wins, he will be the first Democrat to represent Alabama in the Senate since 1992.