Thank you, Alabama. Thank you, African-American voters who turned out at 30% (much greater than expected) to vote for Senator-elect Doug Jones, a decent, honest man who has done great work for civil rights as a prosecutor and will fight for the middle class in the Senate. Thank you, Republicans who voted for Doug Jones, choosing to put country over party.
What can we learn from Alabama? The climate is changing and the tide is turning against Donald Trump. First came Virginia and New Jersey, where Republicans were beaten by a landslide throughout both states. But the biggest victory for Democrats as they look towards 2018 has to be this special election in Alabama, a state that went by 28% towards Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton, a state that has not elected a Democratic senator for 20 years.
Alabama shows us that civility is still a value that most Americans can unify around. Alabama shows us that 2018 can bring disenfranchised voters on both sides to vote for candidates on the left who will fight for them. Republican voters who are dismayed with what Trump is doing to the GOP are willing for Democrats who they can identify with at least on some values. After all, even if they disagree on most positions, most mainstream Democrats and Republicans can admit that the other side still consists of their fellow Americans.
2018: It’s a fight for what inheritance will be passed on to the next generation. Will it be an America that can fight for the middle class and the environment, provide affordable healthcare to the poor, and unite around sensitive topics like racial inequality? Or will it remain Trump’s America, where white supremacists run rampant, where abuse of power is being covered up by complicit congressional members and senators, and where our environment is being polluted one deregulation order at a time?