After Senator Jeff Sessions was appointed as Attorney General by President Trump, one of Alabama’s two Senate seats was left unfilled. After a hard-battled race between polarising candidates, Democrat Doug Jones came out on top, but it was Republican candidate Roy Moore who gained all the media attention (not particularly for the right reasons). However, this election represented much more than a seat in Congress.
For those who are not aware, the US Senate is the more prestigious House of US Congress. Two officials are elected from each of the 50 states to represent their people and develop/pass laws. The importance of this position is echoed by the fact that the Senate has been keeping Trump from enforcing his tax reforms. President Obama was a Senator for the term ending in 2008.
Alabama is one of the most Conservative states in America, and with this comes its’ loyalty to the Republican party. Donald Trump won 62% of Alabama’s votes in the 2016 Presidential election. So why has a Democrat won a Senate seat for the first time in 25 years? A combination of a poor Republican candidate and an anti-Trump wave gripping some Americans.
Firstly, candidate Roy Moore’s political beliefs, enforced by his staunch evangelical faith, made him unelectable for many. Moore is strongly anti-abortion and proposed an amendment that would allow segregation in schools, which was outlawed during the civil rights movement. Also, Moore has argued on several occasions that ‘immigrants hurt native-born Americans’. His commitment to the Christian faith means that he has often voted in favour of criminalising homosexuality, and has also claimed that homosexual people are not capable of raising children.
‘It’s a false religion’
-Roy Moore, when quizzed on his beliefs in relation to Islam
To accompany his far-right views, Moore has recently been accused of sexual assault by three women, two of which were teenagers at the time- ages 14 and 16. Moore’s responses to the allegations have been muddled, on November 10th, stating that he recognised the names of the accusers and recalled them being ‘good girls’, yet just 17 days later he claimed that he had never heard of them. Although he is yet to be convicted of any wrongdoing, the 3 accusations of sexual assault are accompanied by 6 accounts of inappropriate sexual or social conduct.
Despite the wall of warning signs about Moore, Donald Trump was still happy to endorse his party’s controversial candidate. This comes at a time when Trump’s national approval rates (already at an all time low) dipped further, especially with female voters. These recent numbers are an indication of public reaction towards Trump’s recent doings which include calling Kim Jong Un ‘rocket man’, sharing anti-islamic videos on twitter (one of which has already been proven as fake) and recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, which has since led to widespread protests by Palestinians.
The people of Alabama will do the right thing. Doug Jones is Pro-Abortion, weak on Crime, Military and Illegal Immigration, Bad for Gun Owners and Veterans and against the WALL. Jones is a Pelosi/Schumer Puppet. Roy Moore will always vote with us. VOTE ROY MOORE!
-Donald Trump on Twitter
Eventually, it was Doug Jones who won the seat, the first Democrat to do so in Alabama since 1992. But this was more than just an election, it’s symbolic of America’s growing disillusionment with those preaching hatred towards different ethnic groups, religions and sexual orientations. Furthermore, it is a depiction of the difference being made by the wave of sexual misconduct allegations made following the Harvey Weinstein case, and how the use of power to get away with these crimes is being eroded. Roy Moore’s loss is a depiction of progress.
At the end of the day, this entire race has been about dignity and respect.
-Doug Jones, in his victory speech.
By KIERAN KELLY