What We Learned from the Alabama Senate Election

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What We Learned from the Alabama Senate Election

Credit: Wikipedia

Credit: Wikipedia

Credit: Wikipedia

Credit: Wikipedia

Juling Wang

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Last week, Republican Ray Moore — the man who has described slavery as an empowering aspect of American history, was at the center of multiple sexual misconduct allegations, and openly promotes the ban on same-sex marriage — lost the Alabama senate election to Democrat Doug Jones by a slim margin of 1.5%.  The year’s political situation, from its beginning, has looked bleak; Donald Trump took the highest office and practically set the internet ablaze.  He bragged on tape about sexual assault and later dismissed it as “locker-room talk.”  Trump’s opponent, Democrat Hillary Clinton, was the first woman to be nominated for presidency, an office which had been held by her husband, whose own sexual misconduct case was immensely disturbing.

Although Ray Moore’s entire campaign struck the media as highly controversial and threatening, many people of Alabama respected and supported his views.  Moore promoted that idea that “[homosexual conduct] is, and has been, considered abhorrent, immoral, detestable, a crime against nature, and a violation of the laws of nature and of nature’s God upon which this nation and our laws are predicated.”  

In November, nine women came forward and accused Moore of sexually harassing them when they were minors, and Moore was in his early thirties.  The allegations were handled with extreme insensitivity as Moore completely dismissed the accusers.  “If you are a liberal and hate Judge Moore, apparently he groped you… If you are a conservative and love Judge Moore, you know these allegations are a political farce,” stated Moore’s campaign.

As the women came forward, many of Moore’s supporters began promoting his opponent, Jones.  While some residents of Alabama felt empowered by Moore’s high speech of unity and conservative rule, others stepped back as his statements became too hostile.  Moore also wrote poetry that provoked nationwide criticism:

America the beautiful, or so you used to be.

Land of the Pilgrims’ pride; I’m glad they’ll never see:

Babies piled in dumpsters, Abortion on demand,

Oh, sweet land of liberty; your house is on the sand.

Too soft to put a killer in a well deserved tomb,

But brave enough to kill that child before he leaves the womb.

This excerpt emphasizes the views of his political campaign: anti-abortion and capital punishment.  “…this isn’t just an isolated matter. Right? Moore obviously made blatantly ignorant statements… There’s a lot of social injustice here, and it needs to be stopped,” expressed Scarsdale resident Ed Wang.

The moments when the voice of democracy is muted by the noise of intolerance and hatred are the moments that yield strong, fierce movements.  The world is listening.